No contractor ever wants to hear from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). If you receive a request from an OSHA inspector to visit your jobsite, or worse, you receive a citation, consult a Tennessee OSHA defense lawyer.
In this two-part article, the construction lawyers of Cotney Construction Law are discussing three proactive ways that contractors can mitigate safety risks before OSHA audits their workplace. In the first part, our Tennessee OSHA defense attorneys discussed the importance of a risk assessment. In this part, we will shift our focus to training initiatives and having a third-party audit performed.
2) Effective Communication and Safety Training
We previously discussed performing a risk assessment before work commences on a project. Although it’s important to recognize safety hazards, this is a useless exercise if you don’t effectively communicate the present risks to everyone on the jobsite. Safety training and communicating risks are necessities in the construction industry.
Here are a few tips to bolster your safety training program:
- Consistency is Key: Safety training should be a methodical and ongoing process, not a one-time lesson. A consistent message and prompt updates are essential to a great safety plan. As the scope of work changes, the safety plan should also evolve.
- Endless Assessment: As workers gain more responsibilities, they need to understand how to apply safety practices to their new role. Similarly, if certain workers experience increased risk, they require additional training.
- All-Inclusive Training: The most effective plans allow workers to provide feedback and learn through hands-on training. It’s important to create an environment that promotes learning and communication on all levels.
The key to effective safety training is to keep your workers attentive and willing to learn new practices. Avoid antiquated practices like safety lectures and instead allow your workers to be integrated directly into the training methods. When safety training becomes an active and consistent part of your operations, it keeps workers fresh and excited to learn new things.
3) The Benefits of a Third-Party Audit
Contractors need to proactively consider their options before an OSHA inspection. A great alternative to waiting for OSHA is to hire a third-party safety auditor. There are many benefits to hiring a Tennessee OSHA defense lawyer to assess the safety requirements of your jobsite, including:
- Knowledgeable: A construction attorney understands the nuances of the industry and has experience auditing all kinds of jobsites. They can assess your site and provide specific recommendations to ensure OSHA compliance.
- Professional: A third-party audit allows an outside professional that isn’t closely familiar with the site to objectively assess the site’s safety. This can provide an accurate evaluation as this professional will not overlook any aspect of the jobsite.
- Lower the Risk: What’s the worst thing that can happen when you invest in a third-party audit from Cotney Construction Law? If a problem is discovered, you mitigate risks and improve safety practices. It’s better to have your site audited than to receive a citation.
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.