5 ways to keep homeowners safe when they visit the job site

When 500 pounds of drywall at a job site in Edwardsville, IL, shifted and fell on a homeowner’s leg, the result was three surgeries, lost wages and medical costs — plus a lawsuit filed in April 2014 for pain and mental anguish.

A year later, a dentist checking on the construction progress of his house on Washington’s Mercer Island suffered fatal injuries when a wall fell on him. He had jumped in to assist the crew when a wall being raised began to slip.
And if you think homeowners have some inherent understanding of construction, consider the person who thought a temporary diagonal wall brace must have been there by mistake and almost removed it when he visited his site after hours.
The excitement of watching their dream home take shape can spur regular visits to the site. Add to that the not-uncommon belief among owners that they have the right to be there, along with the appeal of making last-minute design changes, and contractors are left to walk the line of managing risk while appreciating the homeowner’s investment.
After all, homeowners often don’t see the hazards present. “In fact, what draws their interest may be exactly where you don’t want them to be,” said Lari Kippen, director of heavy construction services at OSHA Environmental Compliance Systems (OECS), a safety consulting firm based in Bloomington, MN.
Setting expectations with owners early about job site access and ways they can safely check up on the project’s progress is critical.
Knowing the risk
Construction job sites are dangerous. The U.S. Department of Labor’s latest release on fatal occupational injuries notes 937 such incidents in the private construction sector in 2015. Although the figure is not restricted to homebuilders, these were construction professionals who understood the risks of the job. Most enthusiastic and often-distracted homebuyers don’t. Read the rest of the article from Construction Dive

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