If the construction industry isn’t talking about the labor shortage at the moment, the focus is on safety. Billions of dollars and thousands of hours are spent each year trying to keep workers safe on the job site, as construction is consistently a leader in job site injuries and illnesses. With so many construction companies currently operating in America, there are bound to be a few bad apples when it comes to safety and unfortunately those also make up a majority of the bad apples across all industries in the country.
OSHA’s “Severe Violator” program was initiated in 2010 in order to come down hard onto employers that the administration deemed too indifferent with regards to health and safety. To be considered a severe violator, a company must demonstrate continued willful, repeated, and/or egregious behavior as deemed by OSHA inspections. A full list of criteria to be considered a severe violator can be found on OSHA’s website by clicking here.
Not only will severe violators receive stronger citations and bigger fines, they will also be added to OSHA’s public severe violator’s list. Much like OSHA’s impending ruling that will make job site injury and illness records public, which has caused some mixed reactions, the list acts as a sort of “public shaming” for those who have not complied with safety procedures. As of the latest report posted, dated 3/31/16, 381 of the 697 companies labeled as severe violators are in the construction industry, which is 55%.
With the complexity and uncertainty of each and every job site we step foot on, it’s extremely important to create a safety culture, one that puts employee’s lives ahead of a timeline and one that doesn’t turn the other way. Sure, it’s each and every person’s responsibility to keep themselves safe, but an attitude of safety comes from the leaders of the company. Don’t just talk about it, either, talk about it and then live it.
Further reading: OSHA 'Severe Violators' Cases Grow Steadily in Early 2016 | ENR