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Working Alongside Subcontractors Toolbox Talk

Review best practices when it comes to working with subcontractors on the jobsite; how to communicate and what safety measures to take while working together.

Working Alongside Subcontractors Safety Talk

To run a business, you have to work alongside other companies. This is the case in about any industry that you are in. You will have vendors and subcontractors that you deal with. This is how jobs get done and things progress forward.

There are many hazards when working with subcontractors. The best way to help decrease the hazards that can occur is to have a plan in place. Jobs run more efficiently when there is preplanning done.

The Dangers Of Working Alongside Subcontractors

Anytime that you add in a new task to a job, there is the potential for hazards. The workers present in the area that new tasks are being added to are most at risk. They have created a routine for the job that they do, now they are needing to rearrange everything.

Together you guys will have to figure out how to make your jobs work together. The dangers that are present when working with other companies are there for both sides. Subcontractors are in a new environment and don’t know how everything flows on the worksite. Anytime someone is in a new environment, it takes time to learn the ropes.

Ways To Work Around Subcontractors

Working around subcontractors may be a difficult task to maneuver. It is a necessary one though. Jobs have to be completed and without this process, they wouldn’t get done. It is important to find a good way to work around each other and both sides get their jobs done. Here are some helpful tips on ways to do that.

Meet Prior To Starting

Each day on a construction site can be different. Tasks get completed and need to keep moving on to the next step. Meet with the subcontractors at the beginning of each day, that way you can arrange a good schedule. One that is safe for all crew members who are working.

Speak Up

If you are working and notice something not done correctly, don’t hesitate to take it to a supervisor. When a subcontractor’s employee isn’t following protocol, make it known. This is going to help the worksite be safe and avoid unnecessary injuries.

Communication Will Help

If there is no communication between you and the subcontracting crew, it will be hard to execute the job. Let them know how your crew works and what is expected. Make them aware of the hazards that can come up and what to do when it does.

Talk to them about the safety precautions that are in place. Safety precautions are going to vary depending on the work getting done. The subcontractors can’t follow them if they are not made aware of them.

Stop Work For Hazards

When a hazard has been brought to attention, all work needs to stop. This way the issue can be safely taken care of. You always want to avoid injuries to crew members at all costs.

Get Their Point Of View As Well

Talk to the subcontractor and see how they normally work. Figure out what their expectations are and how they execute their jobs. This way you can work together and make a plan to work for both people.

Delegate Work Area Limits

If you have several workers present in one area, it will become a hazard. Too many workers in one area at the same time becomes a safety hazard. Talk with the subcontractor and make a plan for your crews. Have designated times that each task is to be executed to avoid injuries.

concrete subcontractors.


Subcontractors are needed to finish many jobs when it comes to construction work. This is a common practice that is done in this field. It will increase the hazards of the site due to having extra bodies present.

That is why communicating with each other is so important. All aspects should be talked about. Not once, but throughout the entire project. Take time to discuss the project with subcontractors before they begin their work. Discuss topics such as:

  • Concerns

  • Hazards

  • Plans

  • Mitigation

Safety Rules On A Construction Site

Safety rules are put into place to protect everyone who is present on a construction site. That includes any subcontractors who are working on your property. It is the duty of all workers to follow safety guidelines. To better protect themselves and those around them.

Regular inspection of tasks should be done to make sure rules are being followed. It is easy for workers to get comfortable and start to relax on the protocols. This should not happen though. Some of the main safety guidelines are explained below.


Heavy equipment is a necessary part of many construction sites. It's used to move items from one location to another, dig trenches, and many more tasks. It's important that every crew member knows proper safety precautions for heavy equipment. Such as:

  • Be cautious when getting on and off the equipment

  • Check for muddy areas on boots and steps

  • Use the step ladder to avoid falling

Congested Work Areas

Areas that have too many workers present at one time is a hazard. Only the designated workers who have a job to complete at that time should be present. This will help cut down on injuries and fatalities while working.

High Elevations

There are many instances that you will need to work at high elevations. The correct method of standing, climbing, and walking at these heights needs to be used. You do not want to balance yourself on a beam or other area, there is too much of a risk of falling. Some safety guidelines that should be followed are:

  • Wear harnesses

  • Use ladders and ramps

  • Make sure all surfaces are stable

  • Keep surfaces dry and clean

  • Use machinery for lifts and elevators when you can

  • Choose the proper height ladder

Loading and Unloading

When loading or unloading a truck, there are some safety precautions that apply. Check that the ramp that’s used to unload is level. This is going to avoid slipping or tripping over happening during the process.

If you are unloading or loading a piece of heavy equipment, make sure you are wearing proper PPE. That may include a hard hat, safety vest, or more. Keep a safe distance between you, the load, and where the load is going. Pay close attention that the individual who is driving the equipment can always see you.

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