Did You Know . . .
You must identify, evaluate, and control jobsite hazards before they cause worker injury and illness, and communicate them to site personnel?
Types of hazards include physical, chemical, biological, ergonomic, or any other potential source that could endanger the health and safety of workers. Hazard identification involves not only recognizing the hazards themselves but also learning their specific characteristics and identifying the population at risk so that control programs can be designed accordingly.
OSHA standards may require that you adopt certain practices, means, methods or processes reasonably necessary to protect your employees. It is your responsibility to become familiar with standards applicable to your establishment(s), to eliminate hazardous conditions to the extent possible, and to comply with the standards. In addition, you must ensure that workers comply with all rules and regulations that are applicable to their own actions and conduct.
Before beginning work at a construction site, a competent person must conduct and document a Jobsite Hazard Analysis (JHA). During a JHA, activities, practices, material, and equipment are reviewed to determine any physical and health hazards that are likely to be present at the jobsite and recommends control measures to abate hazards. These hazards and control measures may indicate the need for exposure monitoring, specific training, the use of personal protective equipment, additional support personnel, etc.
During the course of the construction project, a competent person (usually the Jobsite Safety Coordinator) needs to perform and document frequent and regular safety inspections of the jobsite, materials, and equipment. These inspections may be unannounced and should focus on the identification and correction of potential safety hazards and verification compliance with company safety rules and applicable safety regulations. All site personnel are required to participate in these inspections. Timely correction of hazards identified should be tracked by the Jobsite Safety Coordinator.
In addition, designated supervisory personnel should inspect each area of the worksite daily to check for hazards as well as unsafe work practices and where observed, correct the hazard.
Hazards must be eliminated or minimized first through engineering controls. If engineering controls are impractical or infeasible, administrative controls may be used. When engineering controls alone, or in combination with administrative controls cannot adequately minimize the hazard, personal protective equipment (PPE) may be employed to reduce or eliminate personal exposure to the hazard.
With very few exceptions, you must provide suitable equipment to protect employees from jobsite hazards when PPE is required. Protective equipment, including PPE for eyes, face, head, and extremities, protective clothing, respiratory devices, and protective shields and barriers must be used appropriately and maintained in a sanitary and reliable condition.
Appropriate warning signs (such as danger and caution signs) and/or safety instruction signs (such as when PPE is required) should be posted to provide adequate warning of hazards to site personnel and the public. Construction safety warning and instruction signs are used as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, engineering and administrative controls when controlling hazards.
Check out OSHA for more info on 29 CFR 1926.20 Subpart C – General Safety and Health Provisions.