Even though everyone has safety measures in place, accidents on construction sites do happen. When accidents do happen, contractors must respond to (a) the accident victims, (b) governmental authorities, such as OSHA, and (c) the media. In order to effectively manage the response, contractors must have a post-accident or disaster response plan and employees trained in how to implement the plan.
Post-accident or disaster response plans will vary by trade and size of the company. But, every contractor’s plan should contain the following:
- Accident Investigation. Contractors should have a checklist or formal procedure for investigating an accident. The two goals of the investigation are to determine the cause and implement corrective action.
- Written Accident Response Plan. This is the “To Do” list after an accident. A few items include:
- A list of agencies and emergency personnel who should be contacted;
- An evacuation policy;
- Procedure to secure the accident scene and account for employees;
- A log of telephone calls and actions taken post-accident;
- A procedure to preserve physical evidence, documents and electronically stored information;
- Public Relations. Contractors should have procedures in place to control what information gets out and how it gets out. The plan should appoint a single individual to serve as the company’s spokesperson.
- Expert Retention. Depending on the severity of the accident, you may consider hiring an expert to assess and analyze the situation. These experts should be considered and evaluated well before any accident so that they can be retained and on site immediately.
Accident or disaster response plans are an important and every contractor should have one in place to effectively respond to an accident.