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Incident Prevention Magazine

Bob Dunderdale, CUSP

Invest in Safety – You Can’t Afford Not To

The fact that you are reading this Tailgate Topic indicates that you probably spend considerable energy working to keep yourself and others safe. And all of us together, as an industry, dedicate vast sums of money and countless hours to this cause. Is it worth it?

While many metrics have been developed to measure safety results, it is nearly impossible to prove a negative – that something could or would have happened but didn’t. We cannot state with certainty that a particular lineworker would have been badly burned had that extra piece of line hose not been installed at the insistence of the foreman who just attended a seminar on cover-up.

Perhaps the return on the cost of safety, then, can best be determined by examining the cost of ignoring it. For this, we can look to empirical data as well as the human costs associated with traumatic workplace injuries.

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Bob Dunderdale, CUSP

Work-Site Safety: Get in on the Ground Level

When we think of line work, our thoughts often go directly to the action overhead that’s performed in hooks or from buckets. Upon further consideration, however, we realize a great deal of line work takes place at ground level. That’s also where many hazards present themselves and where we often assign our least experienced workers. In this installation of “Tailgate Topics,” let’s take a closer look at these ground-level hazards as well as some ways we can identify and mitigate them.

Walking/Working Surfaces
In response to injuries resulting from trips, slips and falls, OSHA recently released new rules for walking/working surfaces. Along with falls from higher elevations, falls from working surfaces (i.e., ground level) are the leading cause of workplace injuries and deaths. These types of injuries can be avoided by keeping walking/working surfaces clear of trip hazards, such as tools, materials, ice, snow and workplace debris. Be aware that fallen snow or leaves can obscure obstacles like open excavations and uneven surfaces. In addition, be mindful that ice or snow on plywood or other discarded building materials can be extremely slippery. 

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