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Study finds supervisors responsible for construction safety

Construction contractors in New Jersey and around the country largely depend on supervisors to deliver safety programs, according to a study by Dodge Data & Analytics. In fact, the report found that nearly three-quarters of construction companies rely on supervisors and foremen to present safety information to workers.

The study found that contractors named several factors that are essential parts of an effective workplace safety program. The top four factors depended heavily on the participation of supervisors and job site workers. These factors included job site worker involvement, cited by 84% of contractors, strong safety leadership from supervisors, cited by 83%, regular safety meetings with supervisors and workers, cited by 82%, and continuing safety training for both supervisors and workers, cited by 77%. Other factors included regular safety audits, cited by 67% of contractors, having dedicated staff safety positions, cited by 61%, and regular staff safety meetings among corporate level staff, cited by 62%.

While the study found that the construction contractors rely on supervisors to implement safety programs, it also discovered that the industry isn't doing enough to give supervisors access to appropriate training tools. For example, 80% of surveyed contractors said they use a 30-hour supervisor training program by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration to train supervisors on workplace safety. However, the program wasn't designed for that use. Further, only 43% of surveyed contractors were aware of OSHA's Foundations of Safety Leadership training course, which is designed for safety training. It was introduced in 2017.

Construction workers who suffer on-the-job injuries are generally eligible to file a workers' compensation claim. Many of them find it advisable to have the help of an attorney when navigating the process.

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