Should You Implement a Buddy System on the Construction Site? Part 1

Embracing construction job safety is a must for both employers and employees. Not only does it strengthen worker security, it also improves your company’s reputation and keeps your projects on schedule. Our OSHA attorneys know that safety in construction requires collective effort in order to keep workers safe and to avoid violating federal health and safety regulations. Working in pairs is one of the ways in which employers look to achieve greater safety. If you are considering a buddy system on your jobsite, you will need to decide if doing so will be beneficial for your company. Read this part and part two to determine if a buddy system is necessary for your jobsite.

The Buddy System Defined

Under OSHA Standard 29-CFR 1910.120(a)(3), a buddy system is a means of pairing a group of employees together to ensure that every worker is being observed by another employee in order to provide an endangered employee with immediate assistance. Construction employers are encouraged to have a written comprehensive site safety and control plan which should include the details of their buddy system.

The Best Time to Use a Buddy System

Every task does not require the buddy system. In fact, this would be a waste of resources. The best time to utilize a buddy system is while performing work that needs to be done in pairs. Standard 1910.269(I)(2) outlines several types of work that requires at least two employees when installing, removing, or repairing the following:

  • Lines energized at more than 600 volts
  • De-energized lines with parts energized at greater than 600 volts
  • Equipment exposed to parts energized at more than 600 volts
  • Using mechanical equipment (except insulated aerial lifts) near parts energized at more than 600 volts

Our OSHA attorneys recommend paying close attention to OSHA guidelines as compliance with these standards is of utmost importance.

If you would like to speak with one of our OSHA lawyers, please contact us at 813.579.3278, or submit our contact request form.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

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