Construction Today - June 2017 - 9
tional and possibly criminal. In cases where
criminal charges are brought and sustained,
these costs can include jail time for such
charges as criminally negligent homicide and
manslaughter, among others. Here are six
proactive steps employers should implement
to ensure safety on the job site:
1. The first step is to re-evaluate the company's health and safety programs and immediately correct any outstanding issues.
In addition, be sure to fully familiarize
yourself and your team with the job site
safety program and job specifications
related to safety before starting the job.
2. It is crucial to complete the job with
a proactive focus on safety. Workers
should take their time and do things
correctly and safely to make sure that
nobody gets hurt.
3. It is important to keep detailed records
for each job site for the entire duration
of the project. That way if someone does
get hurt, there is a record of the company's safety efforts and compliance.
4. It is imperative that companies develop
and strengthen employer safety training programs for construction workers.
Be sure jobs are handled by employees
that have gone through the proper
training and have the proper credentials. That includes not only your own
employees, but also the employees of
5. Conduct frequent and thorough safety
audits of the job site. Investigate any citations and inspection findings quickly
and make the necessary changes and
document your efforts. Make sure to
heed warnings and recommendations
from public and private inspectors.
6. Lastly, thoroughly investigate all
accidents to ensure they never happen
again. Make sure to follow your gut if
you are uneasy as to whether a particular operation is being performed safely.
Ask questions if there is a concern about
safety and take prompt corrective action,
frequent and thorough safety
audits of job sites.
Despite a company's best efforts to ensure workplace safety, accidents still occur. There are many important steps to take and the first
72 hours are critical after an accident:
* Be sure to immediately involve legal counsel to provide advice
of your legal rights and responsibilities.
* Before agreeing to an OSHA violation, be aware of your potential
* Be aware that prior violations may be used in subsequent criminal charges.
* Make certain to strictly follow all pertinent OSHA guidelines,
such as notifying OSHA of any workplace fatalities, the in-patient hospitalization of an employee and all work-related amputations or loss of an eye.
* Secure the work site such that potential evidence as to the cause
of the accident is carefully preserved around the scene. You are
responsible for securing and protecting all equipment related to
the accident until OSHA inspectors and your own attorneys have
* Be sure to locate and preserve all safety logs and related
records, including training and orientation records, tool box
talks, attendance sign-in sheets for jobsite meetings, safety
manager logs, e-mails related to safety compliance and all
other records that will document your regular practice of good
Monk LLP, a full-service
law firm with offices
in White Plains, N.Y.,
and New York City. Its
lawyers have a wide
breadth of experience
in construction, liability
and business litigation,
business and corporate
matters, real estate and
and copyright law,
employment law, trusts
and estates and outside
general counsel services.
Construction companies need to very carefully manage the risks
associated with work sites so that many of the foreseeable accidents
that occur can be prevented. Ultimately, this will help to protect
the safety of the workers involved in the job, the individuals in the
local communities around the construction sites and, of course, the
construction company itself.
For more information
about Harrington, Ocko
& Monk LLP, please visit:
JUNE 2017 CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM