There's no getting around it: construction can be a hazardous job. We say "can be" because professional remodeling contractors respect those hazards and equip and train their workers and subcontractors to mitigate safety issues as much as possible. By doing so, those remodelers protect their businesses and their clients from liability.
The Construction Safety Association of Ontario provides specific guidelines and regulations for construction regarding the prevention of accidents on construction sites, this is called the Occupational Health and Safety Act . The Workers Safety & Insurance Board of Ontario ( WSIB) administers the Occupational health and Safety Act. The penalties for failing to comply with those rules range from hefty fines to shutting down the job until violations are corrected.
Professional remodelers not only comply with those regulations, but often take extra steps to help ensure a safe working environment on every project, and to help keep everyone out of harm's way.
Inspection. As directed by WSIB, professional remodeling contractors continually inspect their job sites for potential hazards, and may even have a safety manager that regularly visits each site. Common hazards may include ladders or scaffolding that are unsecured or set on uneven ground, unmarked trenches, or an incomplete or missing first aid kit.
If violations are found, they are quickly reported and remedied to get the company back into compliance. And, they are corrected for the next job.
Education and Training. It is critical to continually educate workers, to train and equip them to recognize and avoid construction job site hazards and accidents.
In addition to a written safety and health program required by WSIB, professional remodelers often conduct what's called "Toolbox Talks" on the subject of safety, perhaps showing a video, presenting a report, or (even better) showing workers a real-world example of a common hazard and how to remedy or avoid it.
Contractors who are dedicated to safety also equip their crews with the latest in safety gear, from guardrails on ladders and scaffolding to hard hats, gloves, eye protection, and personal harnesses -- and keep that gear in optimum working order. These remodelers also require their trade partners to follow these same safety procedures with their employees.
Incentives. Smart remodelers often use incentives to help ensure safety. A worker who reports or remedies a job site hazard may earn a bonus, time off, or some other reward that recognizes his or her initiative and sets an example for the rest of the crew.
Remodeling contractors may also track and publicly post job site safety achievements, such as the number of days without an accident or time lost to a job site injury. Those accomplishments may earn the company recognition from WSIB or acknowledgement from the company that insures the builder against liability and worker's compensation -- lowering the remodeler's overhead costs and enabling them to be more competitive for future jobs.
Including Owners. Savy and safety-conscious remodelers know that their homeowner clients will want to occasionally visit the job site or walk through the affected area to see progress, make decisions and discuss concerns. Safety is no less a priority for those instances.
Homeowners can go a long way to keeping themselves safe on the job site by following the same rules and procedures as the crew. We encourage them to wear hard hats and safety goggles and avoid visiting and walking through sections of the house being remodeled without supervision, after hours, and on weekends, as they may not be aware or are unprepared to avoid hazards.
This is an exert from a newsletter that is distributed to all former, current and future clients of Village Builders Inc. It is written by the President Doug Abbott. If you would like to receive this newsletter feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Village Builders Inc.