Are you an experienced general contractor? As a general contractor with time in the field, you know how important safety training is for your workers.
Safety training is an investment that will protect your company and help maintain your safety and performance objectives.
As a contractor, you are likely familiar with basic safety and OSHA requirements, but you may not be up to date on the hazards of specific worksites. As the general contractor on a construction project, it is your responsibility to ensure that you and your workers have gone through the required training to meet OSHA standards and reduce injury risks.
This is especially vital for new projects. Scheduling training to cover project-specific topics can reduce the risk of safety pitfalls.
General Contractor Safety Risks
What safety training should you provide for your workers?
It depends on the specific safety risks and OSHA regulations for your project and industry. Keeping your workers informed on the latest safety recommendations can reduce the chance of injury to them, and others, on job sites and prevent delays in meeting deadlines. Some of the safety risks general contractors face may include the following issues.
Personal Safety Risks
Construction workers can face several personal safety risks on the job. There is no such thing as too much safety education for the top personal injury risks. These include:
- Slips and falls
- Electrocution safety training
- Getting or caught in-between equipment
- Struck-by accidents
These are four of the top causes of injuries and fatalities on construction sites. Equipping your workers with refresher training courses to protect them against personal safety risks is a wise investment for any contractor.
Proper Use of Equipment
Workers can easily forget aspects of their training on specific types of equipment. It is essential to repeat these courses regularly. To meet OSHA regulations and protect your company and your crew, education on the proper use of specific equipment is essential.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 200,000 work-related injuries were caused by unsafe operation of equipment in 2019. That’s a good reason to update equipment operation training regularly. Not only can improper use of equipment put workers at risk, but it can be a huge liability for your company.
Refresh on Workplace-Specific Safety Concerns
Each worksite is unique and may have specific hazards that require awareness on the part of your crew. It isn’t wise to assume your workers are up to date on the particular safety risks they may encounter on each new project. Training on job-site-specific risks is a good standard to set whenever you start a project on a new worksite.
Safety Training Options for General Contractors
Depending on your business and specific needs, you may need safety training for multiple topics. The following are several examples of training options you may want to implement to promote a safe and productive worksite:
- Basic workplace safety - From slips and falls to COVID-19 protocols, keep workers updated on your workplace safety rules.
- OSHA regulations for your specific worksite - All workers need to understand the current OSHA standards required for their workplace in anticipation of OSHA inspections.
- Hard hat classes - It never hurts to have workers take a hard hat safety refresher.
- Heat safety training - If you have heat-related injury risks, include heat safety in your training of new workers on the site.
- Electrical safety - Electrocution training is vital for work sites with electrical risks.
- CPR/First aid - Updating your crews on CPR and first aid can ensure you meet OSHA regulations.
- Aerial lift safety - If your job sites have aerial lifts, train your workers to operate and work around these lifts safely.
- Forklift safety - For loading docks and building sites, training on forklift safety may be a wise and potentially required refresher course for your workers.
Ineffective or sporadic safety training can not only increase the risk of injuries but hinder your chances of being considered for premium job opportunities. Injuries and OSHA shutdowns resulting from lack of training can also affect your ability to meet project deadlines and may result in higher workers’ compensation costs for your company.