Legal Tips for Every Construction Site
Construction sites are valuable places. They employ highly skilled workers and require a wide range of expensive, specialized equipment. Therefore, it is critical to make these sites safe and secure. Below are several strategies that will help protect your crew and your capital.
Review Your Insurance Policies
Make sure your insurance policy covers all your equipment, as well as materials that are stored on-site. It should include coverage for theft and damage due to fire or water, but keep in mind that most policies will not cover flood. You may require a separate policy for that. Also, check to see if your policy calls for your property to be assessed based on replacement or cash value. Replacement value will provide funds that will allow you to fully replace your damaged or stolen equipment, while cash value covers your property for its depreciated value.
In addition, make sure you have adequate workers’ compensation insurance. This policy will cover medical expenses if anyone is hurt on the job and can help protect you from lawsuits.
Follow OSHA Safety Guidelines
Keeping up with all the OSHA guidelines can be challenging, but it is essential that your site is in compliance. Ensure your crew are properly trained on safety procedures, and always correct safety issues as you see them. Following these regulations keeps your workers safe and makes it less likely that OSHA will find you in violation and issue citations. These citations can be quite expensive, and if your clients and competitors learn about your fines, that can hurt your reputation.
Check Your Contracts
Contracts may seem long and complicated, but you must understand every word of the agreements you sign. Take time to read all your contracts and ensure you consent to the provisions. Carefully review your contracts for clauses regarding payments, delays, material substitutions, and warranties. Make sure you do not promise something you cannot deliver or may later regret.
Invest in Security
Your site is likely only active during the daylight hours, but you must ensure that when the sun sets, everything is safeguarded. Before the crew leaves each day, make sure to lock up supplies, storage units, and gates. If you do not have security cameras, look into putting some in place. These will be invaluable if materials are stolen or damaged. In addition, if your budget can accommodate, consider hiring security guards. Having a presence on-site will help protect your equipment and materials, discouraging vandalism and theft.
Acquire Proper Licenses
Depending on your project, different members of your crew may require different licenses. Make sure that everyone has completed the appropriate training and received the necessary licenses. Working without the required licenses can leave you vulnerable to lawsuits or other legal action.
Engage with Legal Counsel
If you are unsure about your contract provisions or have questions about OSHA regulations, do not hesitate to consult legal counsel. The experienced construction lawyers at Cotney can explain contractual language, provide beneficial revisions to your contracts, and offer strategies for defending OSHA citations. Our attorneys can also review your insurance policies and help determine what additional coverage you may need. We are here to help you maintain a safe environment where your property and your people are protected.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.