Common Workplace Safety Hazards Overlooked by Contractors

Cover Your Assets

Construction and contracted trade services are a risky business — and one of your top priorities should be safety. The obvious hazards, like electrical shock and burns, are also accompanied by less obvious safety risks, such as working alone and distractions.

And if your team doesn’t take the time to consider and prevent all work-related risks, you could face some serious consequences. Don’t cut corners and overlook easy-to-implement safety procedures — it could prevent you from creating and maintaining a safe a workplace for your contractors. 

Read on to learn more about why working alone, distractions and confined spaces are three of the most common workplace safety hazards, and how you can minimize your risk. 

Working Alone

While you may need to work solo on a project, it’s important to be aware of the safety vulnerabilities lone work poses for you and your business. 

The International Data Corporation (IDC) estimates the U.S. mobile worker population will reach more than 105 million by 2020. Mobile workers, like your team of contractors, typically work alone and continuously throughout the day. 

Without an additional contractor onsite to assist with work in confined spaces, at extreme heights or near harmful materials, contractors face serious risk and potential injury.

The solution? It’s simple — send a pair of contractors to each project, rather than a lone worker. While it costs more to have two employees on a single jobsite, you’re saving yourself from an exponentially more expensive scenario, should your contractor be injured while working solo. 

And if sending a pair of contractors isn’t possible, there is also the option to invest in safety monitoring technologies. These can range from manual check-in and out processes, spot checks, or other GPS technologies that allow you to maintain contact with your employees as they work. 

It’s important to note, however, that these monitoring devices may also become a distraction. 

Distractions

Common Contractor Vulnerabilities

Speaking of distractions, in today’s digital world, everyone has their eyes glued to a screen. Cell phones, tablets, headsets and other electronic devices are a common workplace safety hazard in any setting, but especially for contactors.

When working in dangerous conditions, contractors need to focus their full attention on the task at hand. But, these distractions can impact your business even while contractors aren’t on the job. For instance, cell phone usage at the wheel has resulted in many distracted driving accidents. 

To minimize distractions and prevent accidents like these, implement a cell phone and electronics policy, which prohibits the use of these devices while working

As for safety monitoring tech, only use these tools as necessary. Carve out specific check-in times with your staff to prevent distraction. 

Confined Spaces

As a contractor, working in confined spaces comes with the territory. Sometimes it’s unavoidable. So, it might be easy to overlook this as a safety risk. But, working in these small spaces can result in injuries from the following:

  • Body positioning and muscle spasms
  • Cave-ins
  • Suffocation
  • Proximity to harmful materials 

There are ways to minimize risk and make sure your team of contractors is safe while working in these areas. Risk assessments are key to determining if an area is truly safe for work to commence. Your team should conduct this assessment before work begins to equip your contractor with the proper equipment. 

Contractors like yourself need to take safety seriously. Just because these scenarios might be part of the job doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to prevent accidents from happening. Connect with an insurance agent or risk analyst to determine other solutions for your team.  
 



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