If you want to avoid a visit from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), you need to be proactive. In this two-part article, an OSHA lawyer will give you a few straightforward tips to avoid costly citations. If you have recently experienced a penalty for a safety violation, consult the OSHA lawyers at Cotney Construction Law today. We offer construction firms aggressive defense against OSHA citations.
1) Risk Assessments and the Safety of Your Site
Before work commences on a project, there should always be a risk assessment in place. A risk assessment is the process of gathering information and determining the amount of risk present on a project. The point of a risk assessment is to reduce risk, improve safety, and achieve project goals.
As the American Society of Safety Professionals states, when performing a risk assessment, a project manager needs to identify both “tangible and intangible sources of risk.” There are three stages of a risk assessment:
- Phase One: Hazard identification is the first and most crucial stage of a risk assessment. It’s best for contractors to have a checklist available to help identify hazards. Potential risks can be everything from physical hazards to chemical exposure or the surrounding environment.
- Phase Two: After you discover risks, the next step is to determine the severity of each hazard and decide what risks need to be addressed first. The process of prioritizing action to mitigate risks is referred to as a risk analysis. From here, the contractor can determine the best course of action to take and proceed accordingly.
- Phase Three: After the necessary corrections have been made to the site, it’s important to review the results of the assessment. A risk evaluation is often an overlooked phase of an assessment. It’s important to analyze results and determine what additional controls need to be put in place to ensure jobsite safety in the future.
Although a risk assessment is a vital part of reducing safety risks on a jobsite, it’s also important to effectively communicate the risks present on the jobsite. If you are interested in learning about effective on-the-job safety training and communication, read part two.
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.