Responsible employers in the construction industry know the importance of implementing a safety and health program to prevent workplace injuries. Effective safety programs have seven core elements.
- Management leadership—provides the resources needed to implement an effective safety and health program.
- Worker participation—allows a program to benefit from the workers’ knowledge base and empowers workers to provide feedback.
- Hazard identification and assessment—identifies the root cause of construction injuries.
- Hazard prevention and control—helps employers provide workers with safe and healthy working conditions.
- Education and training—provides workers and managers with a greater understanding of the safety and health program.
- Program evaluation and improvement—verifies that the program is being implemented as intended.
- Communication and coordination for employers on multiemployer work sites—encourages employers and contractors to consider how the work they do can affect the safety of other workers at the job site.
The seven core elements are interrelated and are best viewed as an integrated system. Actions taken under one core element can, and likely will, affect other core elements. For example, the education and training core element supports the worker participation core element.
It is important to achieve progress in each core element in order to benefit from a safety and health program. Contact Scurich Insurance for more information regarding recommended practices for safety and health programs in construction.
OSHA Rescinds Walkaround Memo
OSHA has withdrawn its 2013 “Walkaround Letter of Interpretation” that allowed union officials to participate in inspections at nonunionized workplaces.
The letter was viewed by employers as an attempt by the Obama administration to support and expand union representation to nonunion workplaces. However, OSHA has now withdrawn the union policy language featured in the letter, calling it unnecessary.
OSHA compliance officers may still attempt to include outsiders to participate in a walkaround if there is good cause. One example of good cause would be due to the compliance officer lacking technical or language expertise that is necessary to the inspection. Such cases are rare, however, as OSHA usually provides the needed expertise from within the agency.