RJ Martin Electric Blog

6 Components of a Sound Electrical Contracting Safety Program

In a recent blog, we discussed the importance of safety in electrical contracting projects. While its importance can be expressed and emphasized in so many ways, the lack of safety on job sites manifests in three bottom-line ways:

  • Job site accidents. Besides the obvious personal toll of any injury, job-related injuries can lead to workers’ compensation (WC) claims, and possibly lawsuits.
  • Time delays. When a worker is injured on a job site, the location of that injury immediately becomes an accident site. Often, it is cordoned off, pending investigations by OSHA and other authorities. This renders that spot inaccessible to workers, which often results in substantial delays. It’s also worth noting that an injured worker who leaves the site is one less worker to keep your project on time.
  • Cost overruns. When you figure in potential costs associated with WC claims, legal fees, higher insurance premiums, delay penalties and more, it’s easy to see that costs associated with any job site injury can add up quickly.

When you’re evaluating electrical contractors for your next project, the contractor you choose must maintain an established and comprehensive safety program that ensures workers are properly trained in all elements of safe work practices. At RJ Martin Electric, our comprehensive safety program is comprised of six core elements which we believe should be the bedrock of any comprehensive safety program.

1. Comprehensive drug-free workplace education, training and testing. RJ Martin Electric established its Drug-Free (Substance-Free) Program in the early 2000s and has rigidly enforced it year in and year out ever since, updating it as necessary in conformance with best practices, updated regulations and new mandates.

This program covers all full-time, part-time, seasonal, casual and temporary employees in three main areas: illicit drugs, prescription medication and alcohol. Two types of testing are performed: drug testing and blood-alcohol testing. For drug testing, RJ Martin Electric utilizes the 10-Panel Plus test, which is a federally certified test. Initial tests are 92-98 percent accurate, and confirmatory tests are 99 percent accurate. All testing is performed in conjunction with Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) federally certified labs.

Testing is performed on all RJ Martin Electric employees in the following circumstances:

  • Preemployment
  • 90-day new hire
  • Reasonable suspicion
  • Post-accident
  • Return from layoff or leave of absence
  • Random (5 percent of all employees quarterly)
  • Return to duty following program violation, follow-up to assessment and/or treatment
  • Owner/contractor required
  • Government-required

Additionally, our leading-edge program provides employees with education regarding substance abuse, safety and specific program components. Supervisors are continually trained on their roles and responsibilities for administering the program.

2. Training and enforcement of company policy, state regulations and OSHA rules. The need for safety on the job site never ends; company and governmental regulations are in place to keep workers safe and contractors compliant. It’s critical that all policies, regulations and rules be followed every hour of every day. That takes effort and commitment, which leads us to the third component of a comprehensive safety program…

3. The requisite personnel to administer the program on an ongoing basis. At RJ Martin Electric, we employ a full-time RJ Martin Electric safety supervisor to coordinate training, conduct job site inspections, and internally enforce company, state and federal regulations.

4. Completion of OSHA safety and health courses. At RJ Martin Electric, ALL of our electricians have completed the OSHA 10-hour or 30-hour Construction Safety and Health course.

5. Establishment of a site-specific safety plan at the start of each project. Some electrical contracting projects may seem similar, but no two projects are exactly alike; requirements are different, job site characteristics vary and different trades work at different time intervals. Variables like these must be accounted for in a job-specific safety plan.

6. Weekly toolbox talks. Toolbox talks follow OSHA mandates, and we believe in their value. Through our experience, we see how they keep the notion of safety front and center in workers’ minds on the job site. At RJ Martin Electric, we conduct weekly toolbox talks that help educate workers on vital safety issues and demonstrate a working and vital safety program.

RJ Martin Electric places the highest priority on providing employees with a safe and clean work environment. In fact, you would have a hard time finding an electrical contractor with a more comprehensive safety program.

Whatever your next project may be, when it’s time to select an electrical contractor, make sure the one you choose has a comprehensive and fully documented safety program in place. Its program will help ensure that your contractor stays safe on the job. And that, in turn, will help keep your project on time and on budget.

Contact RJ Martin Electric to learn more.

We hope this blog gives you a strong sense of the premium that outstanding electrical contracting firms place on safety. If you’re looking for an exceptional electrical contracting firm for your next project, or if you want information about RJ Martin Electric’s experience in industrial, health care, commercial, education and retail markets, please call Robert J. Martin at 216-662-7100 or email rmartinjr@rjmartinelectric.com.

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