Supervisors and worker involvement crucial to construction safety

Dodge Data & Analytics, together with the Center for Construction Research and Training, has analyzed the ways that construction contractors in Pennsylvania and across the U.S. strive to create a safer job site. The majority of contractors emphasized the role of supervisors and the importance of getting workers themselves involved in safety programs.

Worker involvement was a crucial factor for 84% of contractors. Eighty-three percent also agreed that supervisors with good leadership skills were crucial. This was followed by regular safety meetings (82%) and ongoing access to safety training (77%). After this came things like the need for recurring safety audits (67%) and for staff positions entirely devoted to safety (61%).

The report found ways, however, in which contractors were not letting employees participate to the full. For instance, only half allow any input from employees regarding safety conditions, and 61% do not involve employees in safety planning. Many contractors, especially small contractors, have not made site-specific safety and health plans.

There were also training-related issues with more than 80% of contractors having their supervisors trained via OSHA’s 30-hour training program despite the fact that OSHA has a separate program specifically for supervisors. Called the Foundations for Safety Leadership training program, it was used by only 29% of contractors. A mere 43% were familiar with it.

Whether they slip and fall or develop lung cancer from long-term exposure to asbestos, workers who are injured on the job are entitled to compensation. Regardless of who, if anyone, was to blame, victims may file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits and, if successful, be reimbursed for medical bills and for a percentage of lost income. They may face opposition from their employer or its insurance company, however, so having legal assistance throughout the process.