Human performance improvement initiatives can systematically reduce human error rates inherent in any project. Considering both general industry and construction industry projects, some performance tools often include “pre-task planning”, post-task safety briefings, using peer and self-checking methods.
In deciding whether to cite an employer for safety violations, OSHA uses a two-step process:
- What is the status of the employer in the case—Creating, Exposing, Correcting, or Controlling?
- Given the different responsibilities of each employer type in a multi-employer project, did the employer meet those responsibilities?
If you are a Controlling Employer¹ on a multi-employer job, you have general supervisory authority over the entire work site, and power to correct health and safety violations, or require others to correct them. The standard of inspection or knowledge is less strict than that for the individual employers.
Still, you may be required, by direct contract obligation, or by an indirect obligation implied by other elements of your contract, to meet a “standard of reasonable care” for job safety. The direct obligation is spelled out in the contract, while the implied obligation kicks in when the degree of your control over the job as a whole implies some measure of control over safety.
Subcontracting is delegating. But you can’t delegate all of the safety issues that your subcontractors may face. In fact you, the prime contractor, can be cited by OSHA for safety-related problems and violations that are otherwise totally within your subcontractors’ sphere of action. This is why Pre-Task Safety and Health Planning (PTSHP) is vital to handling various forms of potential liability.
Pre-employment physical tests can be crucial in making sure that employees can handle the physical demands of their jobs before they’re hired. Tests also establish baseline information for managing the employee’s health, and handling disability claims in the event of injury.
The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) had a problem. In just a single year, the agency lost 3,027 work days to injuries and turnover.