Workers’ compensation insurance is required in all states, and while rates will vary, it can easily range from five to 40 percent of your contractor clients’ total payroll. For your clients, one of the most effective ways to keep these costs under control is to promote construction safety by creating and maintaining a safe workspace.
This will require some extra effort and time to implement, but it’s worth the investment.
Not only will it help reduce your clients’ workers’ compensation costs, but studies have also shown that every dollar invested in workplace safety can have a return on investment of two to six dollars.
Here are some tips to get them started.
1. OSHA and Onward
When creating a safety plan, using OSHA guidelines should be the starting point for your contractor clients, but it shouldn’t be their end point. Instead, your clients should try to go above the OSHA requirements.
If they’re looking for help, they can request that OSHA send a consultant to inspect their job site. The OSHA consultant can point out safety issues and provide them with a written report. However, if they use an OSHA consultant, they will be required to fix all the issues addressed, or they may be referred to OSHA’s enforcement branch.
As an alternate option, they can hire a private safety consultant. Then they can be more selective as to which issues to address.
2. Create a Safety Plan
For your contractor clients to have a safe job site, they need to create a written safety plan. If they’re not sure where to start, there are safety plan templates available online; just keep in mind that they’ll need to adjust the template to fit their business.
Once they’ve created a plan, they need to share it with their team members. They need to make sure that everyone on their team has read and understood the plan. Then, they need to take time to talk it over with their team to make sure everything is covered. This can go both ways; feedback from team members can help your contractor clients to refine and improve their safety plan.
They should also make sure that their employees have incentives to stick with the plan. This can include rewards for those who follow the plan and disciplinary actions for those who don’t.
3. Plan Ahead
Your contractor clients need to make sure their workplace has the necessary safety gear readily available before their team members arrive. Having the correct number of helmets, goggles, etc. can help prevent avoidable accidents at minimal cost to you. Even something as simple as having a ladder that is the correct length can help your team members to avoid accidents on the job site.
Your client should always stay in communication with their team members to ensure that they are providing the right equipment for every stage of the project.
4. Create a Substance-Free Workplace
In many states, your contractor clients are still liable if a team member is injured while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. That’s why they need to create a zero-tolerance policy for substance use while on the job. Your clients should make it clear to their team members that they have this policy in place, and make sure that they demonstrate that they’re ready to enforce the policy if it has been violated.
5. Train and Train Again
Your contractor clients should make sure all their team members have been properly trained on the equipment they will be using. They shouldn’t assume that experience equals training. Instead, they need to make sure that every team member, regardless of how long they’ve worked in the industry, has the necessary training.
6. Observe and Report
Job sites have plenty of near misses, but every accident that didn’t happen can turn into an accident waiting to happen. That’s why it’s critical for your clients to have a system in place to report on safety issues so that every member of your team can take the appropriate steps to stay safe on the job site.
7. Add an App
Looking for a fast and effective way of sharing information with your team members? Consider downloading a construction app and sharing it with your team members. Apps can be used to update and share checklists, safety plans, and other crucial documentation on a daily basis. It also allows team members to report potential safety issues in real time. They can even add photos or sketches to provide a clearer picture of the situation that everyone can use to stay safe.
8. Stay on Site
One great way for your contractor clients to make sure that their safety plan is being implemented is to be at the job site. To do this, they need to get away from their back office. That’s where Cinium can help. Our Contractor Credit Program takes the work of managing their back office off their hands and puts it in the hands of our team of construction experts. This gives them the time they need to create and implement a safety plan that will help their team members stay safe and also reduce their workers’ compensation costs.
Ready for your clients to take advantage of Cinium’s Contractor Credit Program? Schedule a free consultation today, or call (855) 4-CINIUM.