How Contractors Can Save on Worker’s Comp Claims Through Safe Work Practices

by admin | June 3rd, 2014
Custom contractors roofing

State Requirements

Whether you have one employee or a hundred workers, you are required to have Worker’s Compensation Insurance in most states. The rules for Worker’s Compensation varies with each state, which means that you have to comply with the regulations for Worker’s Compensation for each state that you do construction in. To find out the regulations for each state click on to

Worker Compensation Benefits

Worker’s Compensation applies to any worker, who has been injured in a job-related accident. It requires the payment of medical benefits, rehabilitation and lost wages to the injured employee. Worker Compensation includes a work related death benefit. In the case of a fatal accident, Worker’s Compensation pays a death benefit. The amount of the benefit is different in each state. For example, the state of Kansas death benefit is $50,000.

Fall Protection Plan

The Occupation Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has certain requirements to avoid falls on construction sites. Building contractors can submit Fall Protection Plan if the regulations may create hazards. This plan has to be submitted in writing, and it is a complex document. If you want to see a sample Fall Protection Plan, follow this link

Safety Precautions

Whether you decide to submit a Fall Protection Plan to OSHA, it’s useful to review the sample plan because it outlines safety precautions that should be in place at a work site.The safer your work site is the less likely you are to have accidents and Worker’s Compensation Claims.

It is also important that your worker’s understand the safety regulations at your site, and how compliance to these rules protect the worker and the company. OSHA suggests that a conference on safety regs should take place before you start a project. You need to project to workers not only that they need to follow the rules, but also that the rules have been devised because you value them as employees.


OSHA considers foremen as automatically responsible for worker safety. A monitor would be a person other than a foreman, who is knowledgeable about the risks entailed in the specific work tasks that are being monitored. Legally, one monitor can only supervise six workers. The monitor needs to have reduced responsibilities to effectively ensure that safety measures are being implemented and to warn workers about hazards that they may not be aware of. Workers might not be conscious of a hazard because it is out of their range of sight.

A monitor must be able to be identified by wearing a blue arm band, hard hat or vest.

When a monitor approaches an open edge area, he must warn workers by voice that he is coming towards them. Voice warnings by the monitor are also required when pointing out a dangerous situation to workers.

Fall Protection Requirements 

OSHA states that any time a worker is placed six feet above the lowest level of a structure, fall protection strategies or equipment must be in place. Falls can happen to erectors in the framing of a dwelling. Roofers by the nature of their work must have fall protection measures in place at almost all times.

Safety Measures

Some steps need to be taken to put safety measures in place:

  • Recognize and list safety hazards for falls.
  • Understand and communicate to workers how to avoid safety hazards
  • Pay attention to weather and increase safety measures or cease work in response to windy, icy, rainy or snowy conditions.
  • Make a worker aware when he is displaying unsafe behavior on the job.
  • Restrict other workers from control zones, where they might be injured by falling materials.

Safety Equipment and Regulations

  • Have equipment available, in good condition and in use for fall protection.
  • Use scaffolds, ladders, platforms, guard rails, body belt harnesses and control zones to decrease injuries
  • Control Zones may have rope, wire, tape or other devices, such as a supporting stanchion.
  • Ropes or wires used for safety, including sagging, cannot be any less than 39” and at the most 45”above the walking surface
  • Lines used to prevent falling must have a minimum breaking strength of 200 lbs.
  • Holes greater than 12”X12” have to be covered or have guarding rails.
  • Holes created by precast concrete columns must be covered except for the column that is currently being worked on.

Implementing safety procedures can seem overwhelming to a small business owner, who wears many hats. However, job related injuries have a much larger impact on a small company. The loss of a worker due to an accident can extend the timeline of a project and increase the costs entailed.

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