The first Harris County Commissioners Court meeting of 2023 takes place on Tuesday, and while Judge Lina Hidalgo will not be in attendance due to her leave of absence, that does not mean the work stops.
One of the votes taking place on Tuesday aims to make Harris County construction sites safer.
County attorney Christian Menefee said this policy, if voted into effect, would punish construction companies who have a disregard for employee safety. He emphasized that construction workers are humans and deserve safe job sites, so he hopes certain policies get passed.
One policy he is pushing for would require all employees and managers overseeing Harris County construction sites to undergo OSHA Safety Training that the company, not the employee, must pay for.
It would also temporarily ban companies from working on county projects that have poor track records of employee safety. That could be everything from companies penalized or legally held responsible for jobsite deaths to showing up on OSHA’s worst of the worst list.
Menefee worked on this policy with various unions in the area, and said it’s main point is simply to return family members to their loved ones at the end of each day.
“No one should have to worry that when they go to work, or they go to work in the morning, that they may not return home to their family in the evening, or that when they do return home, they’re going to be severely injured,” Menefee said.
Menefee added that this program gives Harris County a way for construction companies to incentivize a culture of safety on their projects.