According to new studies, the inclusion of safety requirement sin construction documents creates a positive impact on worker safety. The news comes from a peer-reviewed feature in Contract Issues and Construction Safety Management that appears in the latest Professional Safety, The American Society of Safety Engineers journal.
Reports from surveys on construction and safety professionals identifies the most common contract stemming from safety management and the severity/frequency of contract issues related to worker safety on such sites.
“Often times, safety professionals spend all of their time and energy on construction safety after the fact,” explained the article's co-author, Brian Clarke, CSP. “If safety professionals can get involved in contract discussions up front, they can engineer out the safety problem before the project starts.”
According to the research, when there are too many ambiguous statements in language that allows for interpretation for either party in early negotiation, negative effects ensue. The most common aspect in disputes are the quality, cost, schedules, and safety logistics.
Authors Sathy Rajendran and Michael Whelan, along with Clarke, noted that the survey of safety professionals in the field showed a 5% company contract dispute total in the Pacific Northwest. They noted the disputes could be attributed to the safety management issues.
Strategies to avoid the contract issues include compiling quality safety issues to assist the inclusion of needed terminology in final contracts; staying involved during the set up to the contract; having clear communications regarding safety expectations and resource allocation; as well as participating in a “rrequest for proposal” processes as well as pre-bid/award contracts. The benefit of using construction worker injury attorneys will aid businesses in understanding the legalities of relevant safety issues.
“Bring on the safety professional early so we can go through the documents,” Clarke suggested. “If a safety professional communicates clearly and honestly from the very beginning of a project’s contract phase, the safety concerns will go down significantly.”
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