When you’re evaluating potential contractors for a construction project, it’s a given that you’ll look for a company that can deliver high-quality results on time and on budget. While these criteria are important, it’s even more critical that you identify a contractor with a great track record in construction safety. Safety issues can result in injuries, costly delays, and even litigation.
To avoid these unnecessary complications, make sure you screen contractors’ safety records early on in your bidding process. Here are three measures you can use to evaluate the strength of a contractor’s safety program.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides injury and illness data and citations. When reviewing OSHA records, it’s best to review three to five years of data and to request an explanation from the contractor for any repeat violations.
It’s also recommended that you ask to see the contractor’s OSHA 300 log, which can reveal whether or not the contractor has a pattern of issues.
While OSHA data can be helpful, they are not without their limitations. Injuries and illnesses can be underreported, and contractors might feel incentivized to do so in order to lower their workers’ compensation rates or increase their chances of winning bids for projects. This being the case, it’s a good idea to make sure you don’t limit your investigation to the contractor’s OSHA data alone.
The experience rating, also known as the experience modification rate, or mod rate, reflects a contractor’s workers’ compensation loss history compared to other contractors in their industry.
A rating of 1.0 represents the industry average, while a rating above 1.0 indicates losses that are higher than average. When looking at a contractor’s experience modification rate, it’s generally best to look for a rating of 1.0 or lower, though sometimes the nature of the work and the risks involved could warrant a slightly higher rating. Anything above a 1.25 or 1.50, however, should raise a red flag.
Safety attitudes and practices
It’s important to look at hard data that can be measured and reported, but sometimes that information doesn’t tell the whole story. In order to get a better sense of the contractor’s safety attitudes and practices, be sure to ask the following:
- Does the contractor have a safety plan?
- Do they have a safety officer to conduct inspections?
- Do they provide quality training programs that go beyond narrow safety training?
Taken together, these three measures will help ensure you hire a contractor with a strong track record in construction safety.
We’re proud of our strong safety record here at Diversified Interiors, and we’d be happy to talk with you more about our safety plan, our inspections, and our robust training programs. Please contact us today.