As workers compensation costs continue to rise for the construction industry, it is imperative to mitigate potential losses by prioritizing proactive employee safety techniques.
I. Heat Stress Prevention

Did you know that a colored hard hat can be up to 10 degrees hotter internally than a white hard hat?

Heat stroke can not only cause poor judgment on the jobsite from an employee, but can lead to a fatality in some cases. If an employee ever complains about being light headed, it is critical that you take him to the emergency room immediately. In my opinion, it’s better to fork out $400 for a first aid case then to have him keel over on the job site or make a poor decision that could put other people in jeopardy. Evaporative cooling bandanas or dew rags should be worn under hard hats to cool guys down in the afternoon.

II. Motor Vehicle Safety Programs

According to OSHA, each non-fatal accident costs an employer 74,000. Each fatal accident costs an employer more than 500,000.

There are many ways that you can reduce auto accidents away from the jobsite. A few things you can institute are:

1) Prepare written policies and procedures. It should be noted in your employee handbook or IIPP (injury illness prevention program) that all employees must give permission to an immediate drug test after an accident. This insulates you from a potentials workers compensation claim in the future.

2) Have camera packs in all vehicles. It’s important that the employees have photographic evidence of any damage caused.

3) Enroll an employee in a vehicle safety program if they get a ticket or cause an accident. Make it mandatory. This will deter employees from unsafe driving habits. It should also be stated in your policies and procedures.

III. Snakes & Poison Oak

Snake bites cost over 100,000 to treat. That’s one big workers compensation claim!

Ensure that employees report a snake on the job site to the superintendent. Be wary of certain city regulations, before “disposing” of it. Do not attempt to kill the snake. Make sure the snake is monitored closely until it leaves the jobsite.

Poson Oak can be counteracted with Sumartin. It is a preventative spray that your employees can/should put on before venturing into any brush areas.

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