Building a Sturdy Business
OSHA Compliance: Avoiding Worker Injury

Construction is a dangerous industry. Spinning saw blades, heavy machinery, falling debris — it's almost like a scene from an action movie. But while a Hollywood hero might walk through an explosion unscathed, the construction workers who brave worksites every day face the very real possibility of bodily injury and death.

Federal and state laws closely regulate the construction industry in order to reduce worker injuries and promote safe worksites. As the owner of a small construction business, you need to know OSHA regulations for the construction industry and your state Workers' Comp laws so you can comply and keep your workers safe.

OSHA Regulations for Construction Professionals

OSHA Regulations for Construction Professionals

OSHA, or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, requires that you provide your construction workers with a workplace that meets safety guidelines and eliminates common hazards. This can be enforced in many different aspects of the construction workplace. For example, OSHA requires…

  • Hard hats on workers and visitors.
  • Respiratory protection and ventilation when working with particulates or fumes.
  • Proper reflective wear and signage when working on roadways.
  • Safety features on power tools.
  • Appropriate sanitation and bathroom facilities.
  • Fire prevention.
  • Proper scaffolding or ladders.
  • Correct handling of toxic or hazardous chemicals.
  • Safety training for all employees.

This is just a sampling of the kinds of safety regulations that OSHA enforces. For the full, extensive list of construction safety regulations, visit OSHA.gov.

It's a safe bet to say that if it happens on a construction site, OSHA has safety guidelines for it. While many of those guidelines amount to common sense (e.g., not leaving flammable rags near flames), the regulations are important to know in order to provide safe working conditions for you and your employees. If you don't know the proper procedure for a task or situation, OSHA is a great resource.

OSHA also requires your business to have a workplace safety plan in case of accidents or injuries. A first-aid kit on the premises is required, as well as plans to get the injured party swift medical attention. This preparedness can be the difference between life and death for your employee when an accident occurs. The main purpose of OSHA, however, is to prevent that accident in the first place.

How Construction Businesses Can Comply with State Workers' Compensation Laws

How Construction Businesses Can Comply with State Workers' Compensation Laws

In addition to following federal OSHA mandates, you must comply with your state's Workers' Compensation Insurance laws. Though the laws vary depending on where you live, most states require employers to carry the coverage. However, plenty of states have special stipulations that require construction professionals to have Workers' Comp coverage even if they have yet to hire their first employee. Check out our Workers' Compensation Laws by State guide to learn more.

A Workers' Comp policy covers…

  • Medical expenses related to occupational injuries or illnesses.
  • Lost wages that the employee would have earned if they were able to work.
  • Legal fees if your business is sued over the work injury (under a section of the coverage called Employer's Liability Insurance).

When an employee is injured at work, your business can be liable for medical costs and other related expenses. Workers' Compensation Insurance covers these expenses so your business doesn't have to pay out of pocket. In an industry as hazardous as construction, you can see why Workers' Comp is a must-have.

By following OSHA safety regulations and having a Workers' Compensation Insurance policy, you can limit work accidents and take care of employees when something does go wrong. Your employees power your business, and it's your obligation to protect them. Get them through the action-packed world of construction unscathed. Apply online for Workers' Comp quotes today.

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