Start the New Year Right for Safety

Originally posted 2013-01-14 10:48:33. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Painted relief map of the state of Virginia.
Painted relief map of the state of Virginia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As 2013 dawns, it is always a good time to reflect and refocus on some of the keys to keeping a well run construction business going. One of these keys is assuring that your company stays out of the cross hairs of the good folks at OSHA and VOSH. Keeping up with the various federal regulations (my checklists on OSHA and the construction industry standards can help) and Virginia’s unique standards is a must. These standards are tweaked occasionally so be sure to regularly review them.

However, as I was reminded by a quick reading of the new, and already informative Virginia OSHA Law News, authored by some good friends (whom you can follow @VaConstrLawyers), even the best prepared Virginia construction companies can end up getting a citation because of the fact that Murphy was an optimist. No matter how well prepared, trained and rule compliant management and the company in general are with all of these regulations, human beings are on these job sites and human beings (even the most conscientious ones) make mistakes. For that reason alone you must prepare to make a so called “employee misconduct” claim now.

My pal Brett Marston gives a great overview of the defense itself so I won’t go into the details here. Suffice it to say that the company, as the employer, needs to have a training protocol in place and effective enforcement of improper conduct by the employees. Furthermore, as is always the case for we construction attorneys, you will need effective written documentation of the policies and actions of the employer (read you) in order to effectively pursue this type of defense.

Thanks to Brett, Josh and Spencer for the reminder and, as always, let me know if you have any questions or comments.

As always, I welcome your comments below. Please subscribe to keep up with this and other Construction Law Musings.

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