Contractor Safety: How To Keep Contractors Safe And In Compliance At Your Worksite
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Companies seem to be hiring more contractors due to economic, staffing, and business challenges. Contractors can be found in almost every workplace—from construction, renovation, manufacturing, and transportation to service industries, information technology support, and security. If you look closely, you will find them in many locations and performing jobs that are not always immediately apparent.
Generally contractors are responsible for some or all of their safety and liability obligations. The division of responsibility between the contractors and the organization retaining their services is usually clearly defined in contractual agreements. But, in the real world this is not always black and white.
It is critical when your organization is considering retaining independent contractors or contract employees to establish clear guidelines as to who is responsible for specific safety program obligations such as: training, supervision/enforcement of safety rules, first aid and medical services, workers’ compensation program management, assuring compliance with regulatory requirements, generating procedures and policies for safe job performance, and providing personal protective equipment.
Once you have clearly identified who is responsible for the safety concerns, you can develop a comprehensive process for addressing each of them by working closely with the contractor. If your company is responsible, the approach would likely be to treat them as a regular employee with all safety requirements and responsibilities applicable. If the contractor is responsible, it will be necessary to review how they intend to address all safety expectations and responsibilities.
Join us when our presenter, a seasoned safety lawyer who has helped many companies develop and implement effective contractor safety programs, will provide the necessary guidance and information to develop a program from scratch or evaluate an existing contractor safety program to determine what changes are required to ensure that it passes regulatory muster and is fine tuned to achieve success.
Register now to learn how to ensure that all employees are protected, responsibilities are clearly defined and documented with respect to contractors, and the necessary steps have been taken to protect your organization from potential safety and legal risks and liabilities.
- Evaluate how contract law applies to contractors and contract employee agreement agreements.
- Assess how local, state, and federal agencies are targeting industries that use contractors
- Identify specifically who—your organization or the contractor—is responsible for specific safety obligations.
- Identify possible conditions that could apply liability to your organization if something unforeseen occurs.
- Determine the types of negligence for which your business could be cited including contributory negligence, negligent entrustment, a non-delegable duty, and inherently dangerous activities if responsibilities are not clearly agreed upon.
- Determine when someone is a contractor or a contract employee and develop strategies to ensure the relationship remains clear.
- Identify OSHA’s expectations for companies that are hiring contractors or contract employees
- Recommend considerations for selecting safe and dependable contractors.
- Identify what should be included in your agreement or contract for safety expectations when hiring a contractor.
- Understand what you need to consider when your independent contractor hires sub-contractors.
- Limit the “mixing” of your employees and contractor staff/contract employees on the jobsite in order to avoid potential risks.
- Identify what kind of documentation, especially written safety plans, programs, and procedures are required.
- Explain why it’s important to assure that the contractor has a process in place for providing first aid and medical care to their employees.
- Identify and evaluate external resources that can help you develop and implement an effective and comprehensive contractor/contract employee management program.
About Your Presenter:
Valerie Butera, a member of the labor and employment practice in Epstein Becker Green’s Washington, D.C. office, focuses on OSHA and other workplace safety and health issues. She represents clients from numerous industries, including health care and life sciences, financial services, hospitality, retail, and technology, among others. She is OSHA 300 certified and has substantial training and experience in process safety management (PSM).
Butera represents employers and trade associations in complex matters regarding the Occupational Safety and Health Act, litigates OSHA citations alleging violations of OSHA’s General Industry and Construction regulations, and counsels clients on compliance with all standards set by OSHA, including the PSM standard, lockout/tagout, machine guarding, and hazard communication. She assists employers with developing safety programs and policies and represents companies in response to various OSHA National Emphasis Programs. She conducts privileged internal general OSHA compliance audits, railway safety audits, and process safety management audits and advises clients on industrial hygiene concerns, including benzene and asbestos exposure. Butera also drafts responses to OSHA Requests for Information and comments in rulemaking and conducts workplace safety training presentations
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