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Supervisor, Worker Participation Crucial to Construction Safety

Published February 13, 2020 by Matt Fendon Law Group | Workers' Compensation

Arizona residents who work in the construction industry should know about a report from Dodge Data & Analytics, which shows how contractors are focusing more on having supervisors lead the way in safety and trying to increase worker participation. Eighty-four percent of the contractors surveyed said that involving job site workers was crucial to safety, and 83% said the same for supervisors with strong leadership skills.

The majority held up two other factors involving job site workers and supervisors as being crucial: regular safety meetings at 82% and ongoing access to safety training at 77%. These were the most widely agreed-upon factors, more so than the need for safety audits at 67% or for staff positions devoted to safety at 61%.

The actual training of supervisors is one area that could do with some alterations, however. For instance, OSHA offers the Foundations for Safety Leadership training course specifically for supervisors, yet more than 80% of contractors said they use OSHA’s 30-hour training program instead. Forty-three percent had heard of the module, and only 29% actually used it.

Other safety practices are not as widespread as one would hope. Half of contractors did not ask for employees’ input on safety conditions. A meager 39% involved their employees in safety planning. Additionally, small contractors tended to lack site-specific safety policies.

Training and safety plans can reduce the risk for accidents, but sometimes, these are unavoidable. Employees hurt on the job may want to learn more about workers’ compensation law because they should be eligible for benefits. Receiving those benefits is another matter as employers can deny payment, so victims may do well to hire a lawyer before filing. The lawyer might explain when it would be wise to strive for a settlement. If benefits are denied, the lawyer may assist with the appeal.

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