The utility must take responsibility for all workers including contract and staffing agency workers. Many utilities are not under the jurisdiction of federal OSHA or even a state OSHA, but the contract companies are under an occupational safety agency that will regulate and cite them for violations. However, local government officials have a moral obligation to make sure that workers of all types that do business with them are protected from hazards. To keep the workers safe, the utility should:
- Communicate with all outside contractors the importance of worker safety
- Coordinate with supervisors, owners, and workers throughout the project to make sure the worksite is safe
- Hold all workers and agencies accountable for operating a safe worksite
- Verify that the bids and contracts specify that safe work practices are a must for working with the municipality
A safety culture will protect the worker from injury and Illness, because the utility places a value on the lives of the workers. This is a deposit into the “good will” bank of the worker and will be rewarded with loyalty. A deep commitment to a safety culture will lead to worker retention and organizational benefits far beyond regulatory compliance.