How to Enforce Safety and Stay on Schedule on a Multi-Employer Construction Site

11 August 2021

Time is money and nowhere is this clearer than on a construction site where there is consistent pressure to meet the strict schedules set by project owners. These tight deadlines mean that there are often multiple professionals working on site at the same time, from laborers and carpenters to plumbers, electricians and even decorators.

One of the biggest challenges of multi-employer construction sites is that each individual employer will likely have their own safety protocols, work methods and best practices and these don’t always align with one another across the construction site. This means that unless you take action, you’ve got workers adhering to differing safety standards across your project – a definite recipe for danger. As the construction safety manager in charge of the site, the overall safety of everyone on site regardless of their employer is your responsibility. So, how can you be sure that all workers are operating safely and understand their responsibilities to identify and mitigate the many risks associated with working on an active construction project?

Here are GoContractor’s top tips on how to enforce safety guidelines while keeping your construction project running on schedule.

1. Follow ANSI/ASSP A10.33-2020 US safety standards

The newly revised A10.33-2020 voluntary consensus standard from the American Society of Safety Professionals sets out general safety and health program requirements for multi-employer construction sites and projects while also identifying specific project entities, roles and responsibilities. While this is a US standard, these safety practices are globally applicable. Here are the defined responsibilities of some key roles according to these guidelines:

The owner has a responsibility to show a commitment to safety throughout the duration of the project.

The project constructor maintains responsibility for managing contracted works and creating an efficient and executable project-specific safety and health plan that is effective at maintaining the safety of everyone on site, both on paper and in practice.

The construction manager is responsible for implementing processes that ensure that the owner’s requirements for safety are incorporated into each stage of the project, from the design specifications down to the final construction.

Contractors must ensure that they carry out work in accordance with the information set out in the project-specific safety and health plan.

Suppliers must also liaise with the project constructor to maintain safety when delivering materials for the project to site.

You can check out the full safety standards here.

2. Carry out daily risk assessments and toolbox briefings

Tight deadlines also mean that new tasks are carried out virtually every day on construction projects and with each new activity comes a range of new potential hazards that everyone on site needs to be aware of. Construction safety managers on multi-employer construction projects should ideally carry out daily risk assessments based on the works to be completed and risks that they pose. This information can then be successfully relayed to construction managers and supervising contractors to pass onto their teams, ensuring efficient communication throughout the workforce.

3. Maintain control over site access

To minimize unnecessary risk, every worker should be properly trained and registered before they are granted access to the site. Unqualified workers pose considerably more danger, especially on multi-employer projects where there are often many more parts than normal, and it isn’t always clear who should and shouldn’t be on site. Cutting edge construction onboarding and safety software like GoContractor integrates with other technologies like remote access control, which enables construction safety managers to verify worker qualifications from their mobile device, giving them total control over who can access the site at any point of the project.

4. Implement a reporting system

This is an effective way in which any worker can quickly communicate any health or safety concerns directly to you. Additionally, it can be even more efficient if you reassure workers that any issues raised will be treated in confidence. You could even implement a way in which workers can report hazards or worries anonymously.

In addition to reporting, try and involve workers who have demonstrated a clear understanding of the construction site conditions that create hazards and have insights into how they can be carefully controlled. You may be able to identify these workers from past issues that they have raised or because they have shown a specific interest in health and safety.

5. Provide training on the safety and health plan

For any safety and health plan to be effective, managers, supervisors and workers all need to understand the goal of the plan and how this is going to be achieved. This training can include important information such as:

– Who they should contact in the event of an emergency

– How to report any concerns they have relating to health and safety

– Their employers’ responsibilities under the program

– What their rights are under the OSH act (Applicable to US companies)

– Who they should direct any questions to about the safety and health plan itself

– Confirming that workers can report concerns without fear of reprisals

Training should be created in an inclusive and accessible format and completed as part of the onboarding process for any workers. Monitoring exactly who has completed this training is easy when you utilize a construction management tool like GoContractor which can store training records online, making them accessible from any device anytime. Construction safety officers can upload their own training videos, PowerPoints and other resources, collating all necessary training resources in one place. Meanwhile, you can use the reporting option to find out who hasn’t completed training and get this sorted quickly, before it has an impact on your construction schedule.

You can even check the effectiveness of the training provided by asking workers to complete a custom quiz to test their knowledge, which is another valuable feature of the GoContractor software.

Maintaining safety on a multi-employer construction site doesn’t have to be painfully complex, especially when there is project management software to take care of many of the most time-consuming tasks on your behalf. Find out for yourself and schedule your demo with GoContractor today.

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