An often overlooked contractor safety resource is the NECA – IBEW Joint Safety Committee. Similar to employer’s internal safety committees, this group of contractor and labor representatives meet bi-monthly to identify workplace safety concerns and recommend corrective action plans.
Language found in the Commercial CBA directs this committee to “develop and recommend safe work rules that are equal to or greater than the Standards of Construction as established by OSHA.”
To adequately perform this duty, the committee relies upon near miss, incident and injury reports from the field. When these events happen, it is understandable that those involved are sensitive to privacy issues.
To be clear, the committee is NOT interested in:
- The name of the contractor or the employees involved,
- The age or gender of the employees involved,
- Who appears to be at fault for the event, or,
- The outcome of any related OSHA inspection.
Updated CBA language directs employers to report all work related, recordable injuries to the Joint Safety Committee within 30 days of occurrence. Work related fatalities shall be reported within 24 hours. To facilitate reporting, a new online form has been added to the NIETC website. Clicking on the Safety tab will reveal the link to the form.
While mandatory reporting is only required for recordable level injuries, please consider also sharing incidents that fall outside of recordable criteria. This information can help identify trends where training, supervision, policy and procedural improvements can be made.
For example, check out the recent committee minutes where there are a number of reported 277V shocks that stem from misuse of meters and lack of proper lock out / tag out execution. These reports can be used in your internal communications with employees on what is happening in our industry and why a “test before touch” protocol is so important.
Contact me if you have any questions about these reporting requirements or Joint Safety Committee activities.