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#4726091 - 04/13/18 07:15 PM Jobsite Safety
Stelth Offline


Registered: 02/24/11
Posts: 2034
Loc: California
Hey guys and gals, just wanted to touch on the subject of jobsite safety for a moment. It's a big deal these days, I think mostly to keep workers comp rates down, and also because there are fewer and fewer skilled laborers available. I took OSHA 30 last year, and it was more interesting than I expected it to be. Lots of reasons why regulations exist, and also, lots of genuine information about staying safe. At the company where I work, things really hit the fan last year, with two guys burned, and some back and ankle injuries. More recently some portable band saw injuries.

I've had to do some soul-searching to see what I really think of all this. Unfortunately, there are currently too many rules and regulations for anyone to really follow. I think that the spirit is often lost in the letter. I'm nearing 60 years old, and I still have all of my fingers, and both eyes, due to a combination of being careful and being lucky. Having had some minor (but painful) accidents, I understand that jobsite safety (and workshop safety and so on) is vitally important. However, one needs to understand what is important, and what is just rules for the sake of rules.

For instance, on the jobsite, we must wear hard hats, boots, long pants, reflective vests, and gloves. So far, so good. Also, every employer must provide adequate drinking water. Also good. Most large general contractors now require every sub to submit a daily safety plan, detailing what work is to be done, and what safety measures are to be taken. This I have mixed emotions about. If it's taken seriously, and people really do try to plan ahead and make sure safety precautions are in place, it's a good thing. If it's just another piece of paper to fill out, and there are many, then it's ineffective.

Regarding the aforementioned soul-searching, what I've come up with is this: everyone must take responsibility for their own safety. If an unsafe situation exists, YOU must be the one who refuses to work in those conditions. If you think something is going to collapse, YOU get out from under it, whether everyone says it's safe or not. If some of the guys aren't wearing safety glasses, wear yours. They're your eyes. If someone is using a chemical that is making you dizzy, YOU leave the area and get the SDS from the contractor that's using it, or from the general contractor. By doing these things, you help to insure the safety of others, for example, if the SDS says the chemical is dangerous if inhaled, then everyone else must clear the area, and the people using it must use proper ventilation or breathing equipment.

In the current environment, the successful crane company is the one who can submit all required insurance, weight ratings, and engineering reports to the contractor. The successful subcontractor is the one who can submit a current safety plan, and verify that proper safety equipment is available and ready for use.

As a foreman, I'm called upon to do "tailgate" safety meetings from time to time. What I try to impress on my guys is that if there are bee-ess rules (and there are), you have to live with it. You are the person who is responsible for getting yourself home in one piece. Just because someone may make a stupid rule, don't ignore the idea of doing a job safely. One of my nephews nearly cut his left thumb off with a circular saw when it kicked back. Without having seen the accident, I can tell you that if his left hand hadn't been behind that saw, he could have saved himself a lot of grief. Fortunately, now that he's had several surgeries and physical therapy, he's pretty much OK. This is why you learn the rules for safely handling a circular saw, and follow them.
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#4726098 - 04/13/18 07:18 PM Re: Jobsite Safety [Re: Stelth]
Mr Nice Offline


Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 21352
Loc: Orlando, FL
Complacency leads to job related injuries and death.

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#4726100 - 04/13/18 07:20 PM Re: Jobsite Safety [Re: Stelth]
maxdustington Offline


Registered: 01/21/17
Posts: 878
Loc: Toronna
Most dangerous tool on the jobsite is a new pair of boots.
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#4726139 - 04/13/18 07:42 PM Re: Jobsite Safety [Re: Stelth]
KD0AXS Offline


Registered: 11/13/12
Posts: 2444
Loc: Nowthen, MN
Iv'e been going to jobsites as part of work for about 15 years now. When I started, there was very little use of PPE at most jobsites I went to. Now every jobsite requires hard hat, High visibility vest, safety glasses, safety toe boots, and gloves at all times, no exceptions.

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#4726140 - 04/13/18 07:42 PM Re: Jobsite Safety [Re: Stelth]
Shannow Online   content


Registered: 12/12/02
Posts: 40166
Loc: 'Stralia
Sure reduced premiums are AN outcome, but it's still about keeping people safe...

Societal and workplace impacts of people getting hurt make the effort worth it.

Regulations are like the finger in the dyke, a response to a failure...being written by self serving bureaucrats means that the regulation doesn't often tell you what they were trying to circumvent.

That being said, you don't have to be an expert in the legislation to run a safe site.

One of my roles is to investigate breaches of the Power station's Safety Rules System...normally the breaches are oversights and mistakes...what scares me is that in the last year, the number of willful short circuits has hit probably 30%. People willfully and knowingly breaking the rules.

Under Oz rules, the employee "shares" the result of their actions. If injury X is worth $100k, and they contributed 30% towards recieving that injury, they get $70k

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#4726144 - 04/13/18 07:46 PM Re: Jobsite Safety [Re: maxdustington]
michaelluscher Offline


Registered: 10/07/12
Posts: 2438
Loc: Staten Island, NY
Originally Posted By: maxdustington
Most dangerous tool on the jobsite is a new pair of boots.


Ehh...

That kind of attitude is part of the problem

It's good to see that people are taking OSHA requirements seriously

Company policy can play a part

If I'm caught not working safely, I can and will be suspended for it
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#4726171 - 04/13/18 08:06 PM Re: Jobsite Safety [Re: KD0AXS]
4WD Online   confused


Registered: 09/21/10
Posts: 6538
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: KD0AXS
Iv'e been going to jobsites as part of work for about 15 years now. When I started, there was very little use of PPE at most jobsites I went to. Now every jobsite requires hard hat, High visibility vest, safety glasses, safety toe boots, and gloves at all times, no exceptions.


PPE is going well for us but is considered the last line of defense behind process safety and behavior based safety culture …. Binders of rules can be broken down into check lists to review during the Job Safety Analysis … or shift change check lists. We keep JSA’s electronically so that if someone on the crew has a nice addition … or if a stop the job (time out for safety) looks to be a near miss … then the JSA is modified to reflect the discovery (new potential) …
All things (near miss, small cuts etc) will be investigated and improvements documented/shared based on the severity potential

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#4726198 - 04/13/18 08:26 PM Re: Jobsite Safety [Re: Stelth]
Kage860 Offline


Registered: 04/17/17
Posts: 88
Loc: NY
Ehhh, I believe in safety but I feel like the industry as a whole cares more about the appearance of safety rather than real world safety. Theres dummy managers all over that care about guys wearing hardhats but dont understand things like electrical hazards. In NY we have an OSHA 10 but thats more about keeping out of towners and day laborers off union worksites in my opinion.
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#4726211 - 04/13/18 08:35 PM Re: Jobsite Safety [Re: Stelth]
AZjeff Offline


Registered: 01/14/11
Posts: 2731
Loc: PV Az
I'm the "safety guy" at the small manufacturing company where I'm employed. I consider OSHA rules to be the minimum acceptable level of safety, like a base model car. As someone already said rules are made in response to things (injuries/death) that have already happened. Not everyone has the same level of personal safety awareness and not every company has the same determination to keep workers safe. We're lucky, we use dangerous tools and chemicals and have had very few incidents in spite of a casual safety culture. Here there is no penalty for workers who repeatedly forget their PPE or decide they don't need it for the task. Hard to enforce rules.

I see it as trying to keep people from doing things to hurt themselves at the same time keeping the company from asking or allowing employees to do things that may be unsafe. If your work has an active safety program be thankful.
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#4726216 - 04/13/18 08:37 PM Re: Jobsite Safety [Re: Stelth]
BlueOvalFitter Offline


Registered: 02/28/03
Posts: 6003
Loc: Cajun Country, La.
The small town (village) I live in would be buried in fines if OSHA were ever to visit. They use the front bucket of their backhoe as a lift for the workers to put out the holiday ornaments on the light polls. They ride on an open tailgate around the town when going from job to job. They wear shorts, muscle shirts and tennis shoes during the summer. And, tennis shoes during winter as well. I saw them cutting a section of sidewalk a few months ago and no one had safety glasses on. When they have to remove dirt from the ditches with a wide ditch bucketed track hoe, there are no MEN WORKING signs put out, and no flag persons at all. They have been doing things their own way here for so long they don't know any other way. SMH!

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#4726228 - 04/13/18 08:44 PM Re: Jobsite Safety [Re: Stelth]
skyactiv Offline


Registered: 03/02/13
Posts: 4500
Loc: The Midwest
I'm just going to throw this out there, I think non union labor in the construction industry is a safety issue. Those in the union go through an apprenticeship program and tend to be safer workers. https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2015/09/04/unions-keep-construction-workers-safer-study-shows.html
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#4726237 - 04/13/18 08:52 PM Re: Jobsite Safety [Re: BlueOvalFitter]
4WD Online   confused


Registered: 09/21/10
Posts: 6538
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: BlueOvalFitter
The small town (village) I live in would be buried in fines if OSHA were ever to visit. They use the front bucket of their backhoe as a lift for the workers to put out the holiday ornaments on the light polls. They ride on an open tailgate around the town when going from job to job. They wear shorts, muscle shirts and tennis shoes during the summer. And, tennis shoes during winter as well. I saw them cutting a section of sidewalk a few months ago and no one had safety glasses on. When they have to remove dirt from the ditches with a wide ditch bucketed track hoe, there are no MEN WORKING signs put out, and no flag persons at all. They have been doing things their own way here for so long they don't know any other way. SMH!


We see it too … kid maybe 10 was running a weed eater (vertical) around a flower bed with pea gravel … nothing on his eyes…I had some brand new safety glasses and rolled down the window and flagged him over.
I drove on and he was just smiling and waving with those glasses on … classic …

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#4726242 - 04/13/18 09:04 PM Re: Jobsite Safety [Re: skyactiv]
BlueOvalFitter Offline


Registered: 02/28/03
Posts: 6003
Loc: Cajun Country, La.
Originally Posted By: skyactiv
I'm just going to throw this out there, I think non union labor in the construction industry is a safety issue. Those in the union go through an apprenticeship program and tend to be safer workers. https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2015/09/04/unions-keep-construction-workers-safer-study-shows.html

I have to agree with you, somewhat. I have been on both sides of the fence. I did my pipe fitter apprenticeship program through LOCAL 198 in Baton Rouge, La. When I first moved to FL. I took my 6G 6" SCH. 80-SCH.40 welding test on site at TRPOICANA in Bradenton, FL. I also worked at COCA-COLA in Apopka, FL. and took my Tungsten 6G 2" SCH. 80 SS test on site. I went to TRANE UNIVERSITY in LaCrosse, WI. for 3 weeks to learn about HVAC chilled water systems. I finished at Tamp Bay Trane, Tampa, FL. All of the above had/were union ties. It was some of the best education I could receive in my field of work.
The last 6 years of my 35 year career was an ABC pipe fitter instructor at Local 123 Pipe Fitters union in Dover, FL. (Outskirts of Tampa).

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#4726271 - 04/13/18 09:32 PM Re: Jobsite Safety [Re: skyactiv]
Mr Nice Offline


Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 21352
Loc: Orlando, FL
Originally Posted By: skyactiv
I'm just going to throw this out there, I think non union labor in the construction industry is a safety issue. Those in the union go through an apprenticeship program and tend to be safer workers. https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2015/09/04/unions-keep-construction-workers-safer-study-shows.html


Unsafe working conditions, union folks immediately stop working.

Unsafe working conditions, non union folks told to keep working or get fired.

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#4726291 - 04/13/18 09:51 PM Re: Jobsite Safety [Re: Stelth]
BlueOvalFitter Offline


Registered: 02/28/03
Posts: 6003
Loc: Cajun Country, La.
Does anyone know what a RAIN TURTLE is? grin

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