Safety at the Workplace (For Contractors)

Companies take significant measures to make the workplace for their employees safe and free from any potential hazards. However, if a company hires a contractor, they may not be inclined to follow the same level of safety protocols. Generally, all companies use the services of a contractor at some point to get assistance in their ongoing projects.

In some cases, contractors are required to carry out tasks in hazardous work environments that they are usually unfamiliar to them. This may include exposure to lead, asbestos, chemicals, excessive noise, or odd temperature conditions. Contractors and their employees may be at risk for sustaining injuries from the workplace activities, which can also put the general public in danger.

As a company hiring a contractor, what steps can you take to make sure the working environment is safe for everyone? Here are a few useful suggestions for you:

Make the Worksite Safe

When the majority of the projects spans for more than one day, contractors are likely to leave the site as it is so they can pick up from where they left off the next day. It is essential that the entire worksite is barricaded or marked for everyone to see that work is in progress. Prepare a checklist for securing the perimeter at the end of every day to ensure nothing is left that can cause harm to others.

Make sure you secure any openings in the ground or floor, like small holes, that you can cover using plywood. With any ground openings, you can run a snow fence around its boundary and install some poles so that no one accidently falls into them. To protect yourself from any sort of liability, it is best to take a time-stamped picture of the worksite from different angles at the end of the day.

Account for the Public

Some of your projects may take place in areas where interaction with the general public is inevitable – maybe your worksite is in a commercial area with office buildings or people live in the vicinity. As you set up your worksite, make sure you observe the surroundings and determine the possible areas where people may come into contact with it – a good example would be sidewalks or busy roads. Discuss with your contractor or the site owner how to keep people from getting too close to the worksite and possible ways to divert them. A few factors you should consider include:

  • The surrounding environment of the worksite
  • Whether it is a high traffic area
  • Whether there are people present at specific times or all day long
  • Whether there is a residential area nearby whose children might get close to the worksite and try to break in to play with the equipment

Other Possible Solutions

Aside from placing barricades, here are a few more steps you can take to secure the worksite:

  • Put appropriate, clearly visible signage
  • Clean up the worksite after calling it a day
  • Educate the contractors and their workers about the possible hazards and how to mitigate them
  • Consider using cordless tools to reduce the probability of trip and fall accidents

It is important to ensure safety of all parties involved in your projects and of others that might be affected by your work. For guidance on how you can secure worksites and ensure safety of the contractors, you may contact Suburban Insurance Agencies, Inc. today at (630) 325-4000 to schedule an appointment.


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