Preventing Risk and Liability for Contractors
The construction business is a dangerous one. There are risks for illness and injury at every turn. Any contractor needs to take precautions to mitigate these risks and save themselves great cost in liability, manpower and efficiency. Failure to include the right policies and procedures can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and damages. Here’s a look at how contractors must be aware of these issues and how proper masonry contractors insurance can protect you, your business and your workers from disaster.
Maintaining proper safety standards is the first thing a contractor can do to defend against the costs of accidents and injury. Some contractors make the mistake of believing that guidelines put in place by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are onerous and unnecessary. Nothing could be further from the truth.
OSHA standards are sometimes stringent, but they are important. These regulations are in place to protect workers from harm. Not only are they vital for maintaining safe work conditions, but they are the law. Contracting businesses who fail to obey them can be subject to fines and other censures from the organization.
Heavy equipment such as mixers are a fact of life on masonry job sites. It is vital to ensure that all employees and workers are properly trained and educated in the policies and procedures involving the use of heavy equipment. Safety zones should be established to keep unauthorized persons from the area of the equipment, and only those completely trained and certified should use the equipment.
In all cases, anyone on a work site where heavy equipment and machinery is in use should wear the proper personal protective equipment (PPE). This varies by equipment but could include hard hats, safety suits, gloves, boots or other pieces of protective clothing.
Hazardous materials aren’t common on masonry jobs, but situations can arise where asbestos, lead and other substances may be encountered. Follow OSHA guidelines in dealing with these substances to the letter. This includes the use of HEPA filters, respirators and other PPE indicated based on the substance that could be encountered. All workers should be properly trained and educated in safety policies and procedures. Regular updates in this training should be scheduled to make sure everyone is always up to date.
No matter how careful you are, accidents happen. The best way to manage liability issues is to carry a proper and complete masonry contractors insurance policy. This can include workers compensation, vehicle insurance, accident and liability insurance, and a variety of other coverage options that may vary from business to business and even job to job. The right insurance can make the difference between helping an injured worker get back on their feet, and going out of business.