Owner's Guidelines for Selecting Safe Contractors

by Nancy M. Samelson, (A.M.ASCE), Sr. Research Assoc.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Stanford Univ., Stanford, Calif. 94305,
Raymond E. Levitt, (M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Stanford Univ., Stanford, Calif. 94305,

Serial Information: Journal of the Construction Division, 1982, Vol. 108, Issue 4, Pg. 617-623

Document Type: Journal Paper


A study of practical means by which owners can reduce construction costs was undertaken as part of a larger investigation of construction cost control. The study involved three parts: 1) documenting the costs of accidents, 2) selecting safe contractors and 3) monitoring for construction safety. The major costs of accidents are found to be workers' compensation insurance costs and hidden costs, conservatively estimated from the research to total 4% of project costs on industrial construction. The size of construction accident costs combined with the fact that research shows that they can be reduced very substantially by management methods makes selection and monitoring by owners cost effective techniques. Criteria for selection of safe contractors are described in detail: Experience modification ratings, OSHA incidence rates, and management safety accountability. Effective monitoring methods are also listed.

Subject Headings: Construction costs | Occupational safety | Construction methods | Owners | Safety | Contractors and subcontractors | Employee compensation and benefits | Insurance

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