Archive for the Category Construction Safety


Learn How To Properly Operate a Pallet Truck

If your worksite uses a pallet truck, then you might take a look at some of the safety tips included in a new report out of the United Kingdom.  Even slight mishandling of such a device can lead to a potential tragedy, and it’s essential that you not make a mistake with long-lasting consequences.  First, always follow the manufacturer’s usage recommendations, especially in regards to the weight limit.  Overloading a pallet can cause a potentially injurious malfunction.  Caution also needs to be taken while moving on a slope.  You should move uphill when possible so that you can maintain control of the load.  If on a flat area, though, pulling is acceptable.  Limit your speed, especially if people are around and your particular unit does not contain a hand brake.

For more tips, click here.

AAA Survey Details Prevalence of Distraction in Construction Zones

A survey of 900 drivers traveling through a particularly troubled construction corridor in Virginia shows that texting and driving is still rampant, even in areas where workers might be present.  AAA released the results of the survey as part of their “Orange Cones, No Phones” campaign, which places a particular focus on eliminating distracted driving in construction zones.  Of those surveyed, one out of every five admitted that some type of distraction almost led them to be involved in an accident.  27 respondents actually did end up succumbing to an accident.  Perhaps nowhere is eliminating this trend as important as it is in and around construction zones, where defenseless workers are present.  Drivers must take steps to keep such persons safe, and that means putting down the phone.

For more information, follow this link.

OSHA and NIOSH Make Bid To Prevent Falls on Worksites

Two safety organizations have partnered to get employers to do more to limit a workers’ exposure to the types of circumstances which could lead to a dangerous fall.  The fall prevention campaign has been (re)launched by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration with the goal of getting employers to do a better job training their workers to avoid falls and installing the equipment necessary to mitigate many of the most common threats.  The issue has reportedly become particularly important thanks to the improvement of the economy, which heralds an uptick in construction and thus exposes more people to falls.  Estimates peg falls as accounting for 35% of fatalities in the private construction industry.

For more information, follow this link.

Alberta Considering Strict Workplace Fines, But Opposition is Strong

Alberta, Canada might soon implement a law that would impose fines of as much as $10,000 upon employers that have collected repeated violations of workplace safety ordinances.  However, the potential law is not without its detractors, as the Alberta Construction Association has come out in opposition to the measure, saying that the efficacy of the law is questionable and the law is too vague in and of itself.  A separate ticketing system is also being considered by the government; that system has also caught flak, though, because employees could potentially be the ones receiving a citation costing hundreds of dollars.

Follow this link for more information.

Construction May Compromise Safety at Ohio State

A variety of construction projects that have gone past the timetable originally set have led to widespread worries about pedestrian safety at Ohio State.  With bicyclists, pedestrians, and motor vehicles all sharing the same roads, the disruption to traffic caused by various construction initiatives cannot be underestimated.  A spokesperson for the administration said that everyone in the area must work together to stay safe.  However, some students says the university could do a better job of letting students know what’s happening with construction at any given time.

For more information, follow this link.

Report Highlights The Need for Safety Around Forklifts

A new column discusses the danger that forklifts can pose to any pedestrians nearby, and offers tips designed to curtail the risk.  The author says one of the simplest things that can be done, yet that has a huge impact, is for a company to enact a detailed safety program and for the facility itself to promote a culture of safety.  Examples of highway safety measures are given.  Things like crosswalks and pedestrian alertness should be common in warehouses just as they are on the highway.

For more information, follow this link.

Fork Lift Truck Association Urges Companies to Take Safety Test

The United Kingdom’s Fork Lift Truck Association is hoping that businesses will submit to a test geared toward fork lift safety called “Go for Gold.”  An estimated 100,000 companies use fork lifts, and with this being National Fork Lift Safety Week, the FLTA hopes that companies will comply with their request to take the test.  A score of 80% will earn a special certificate.  The challenge only takes about 20 minutes.

Click here to learn more about this test.

Public Citizen Report Details Maryland Construction Injury Costs

A nonprofit group called Public Citizen has just released a report detailing the cost of various construction injuries and deaths that have occurred in the state of Maryland.  From 2008 to 2010, Maryland lost $700 million due to these types of injuries.  The report also strongly recommends a system wherein contracts are awarded to those construction firms who demonstrate a track record of safety.  Currently, no such valuation is given to such a track record.  It should be noted that if Maryland did make such a move, it would be the first and only state to do so.

For more information, click here.

New York “Move Over Law” Gets Support From CSEA Union

New York’s CSEA union is working to promote its “Don’t Zone Out” campaign against distracted driving. Its new goal is to bring attention to New York’s “move over law,” which helps keep road workers, police, and emergency workers safe by requiring drivers to give a lane’s berth to not only red and blue flashing lights, but also the amber ones that could signify a construction zone or a road assistance vehicle.

Follow this link to learn more about this campaign.

Alabama Texting Ban To Be Put Into Action On August 1

Alabama’s ban on text messaging while driving that the governor signed a couple months ago will go into effect in a month. Fines start at $25 and increase by $25 up to $75 for the third offense. This new law allows police to pull someone over just for text messaging while driving; previous laws instituted by certain counties in Alabama only allowed police to give tickets for texting if they had another reason to pull the driver over.

Follow this link to learn more about the new law.

Virginia Educates Drivers With Orange Cones No Phones Campaign

There are many car accidents that occur in construction zones, and distracted drivers on their smart phones are increasing the rates of these accidents. Across the country, there were 40,000 injuries and 576 deaths from car accidents in construction zones in 2010. Virginia has started a campaign called “Orange Cones No Phones” to raise awareness about the dangers of being on your phone in construction zones. The NTSB recommends that the use of electronic devices, such as cell phones and tablets, be banned while driving, but until then, awareness of the danger will have to do.

To learn more about safety efforts, click here.

Utah Engineer Develops Better Road Crew Visibility Clothing

A Utah man has taken it upon himself to design clothing that construction workers can wear to better distinguish themselves from their surroundings at night.

The new clothing concept was developed by an engineer with the Utah Department of Transportation.  This individual designed the new outerwear so that drivers can tell the difference between construction workers and traffic cones and other safety devices.  Currently, such workers are required to wear clothing that has horizontal and vertical retroflective bars, but this can supposedly make workers look too similar to stationary barrels and cones, especially at night.

The engineer’s solution is to forego the stripes entirely and instead focus on hexagons.  These hexagons would be placed over the typical orange-colored clothing items.  Not only would light be retroflected as with the current clothing, but it would reduce the possibility that a worker will look barrel chested.  The engineer made his point by taking photos of workers with each version of the clothing side by side with one another, showcasing the difference between the shirts.

Fabricators believe that it would be relatively simple to put the designs into production, but there’s still a hurdle before that can happen.  The new clothing will have to be reviewed by local officials, and only upon approval will the hexagonal patterns become the norm across the state.