Safety remains a high priority in the construction industry.
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration's (OSHA's) director of construction, James Maddux, recently answered a few questions regarding construction site safety and the agency's recent efforts to minimize worker injuries and casualties. In the interview with BLR, Maddux outlined what he feels the major obstacles in the way of optimized safety are and OSHA's plan to highlight and eliminate them.
According to Maddux, OSHA's recent efforts have focused heavily on fall-related accidents, small contractor compliance, demolition work and the recent upturn in site fatalities.
"One issue is the rush to get things done. These days many contractors earn incentives for early completion and are penalized for projects that go overtime. This puts construction employers in a difficult position, and sometimes they're not making the right decisions when it comes to productivity," Maddux noted, discussing the biggest obstacles on the path toward accident prevention. "It's not a simple issue and there aren't simple answers. But there's a lot of work going on in the safety culture area."
Maddux also outlined OSHA's efforts to enhance small contractor safety and compliance. Smaller employers present a biggest challenge for the department because they are harder to reach out to. However, he stressed the importance of independent contractors and small business owners to take regulations into their own hands and ensure they are meeting OSHA compliance.
In order to streamline safety-related efforts, smaller contractors can bring on safety consultants to assist with training and assessment to ensure they are meeting the latest requirements. A construction safety program specifically design for the company could help to enhance worker safety, reducing incidents and optimize safety-focused behavior at every job site.