I was called in for a job site walk-through the other day to look at the firestop, or should I say lack-thereof, at building that was built around World War II. First we met in the warm, safe confines of an office to go over some UL Systems prior to going on site. Upon leaving the office, I asked if I would need my hardhat from the car… I was told “no, don’t worry about it”. So, against my better judgment I went in hat-less. Not only did I almost fall through a hole twice (always look down), but there were no fewer than a half-a-dozen times that I almost hit my head on something that was hanging or dangling.
I started to think about the OSHA 10 course that I recently completed. If you are unaware, the OSHA 10-Hour General Industry is an OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)-Authorized online training course that provides relevant safety material to help workers stay safe on the job. Truth be told, it took me about 18 hours to complete (rookies!), but I learned a ton.
One of the major topics of discussion in the OSHA 10 course is how to recognize requirements for wearing personal protective equipment. A common theme from the OSHA 10 course kept ringing in my ear that “Anyone who comes to work, has a right to go home safely to their family”.
After I was safely in my car, I couldn’t help but to count my blessings that nothing happened to me or anyone that I was with. I was upset with myself that I didn’t trust my intuition or follow the instructions for the OSHA 10 course I just completed. It also made me think about the gentleman who was killed recently while standing next to his semi-tractor trailer when he was struck by a tape measure that fell 50-stories on a construction site here in New Jersey. The construction site safety rules required all personnel on-site to utilize hardhats, among other safety equipment. The gentleman was not wearing the required hardhat and it’s likely that had he been wearing a hardhat he could have survived the accident.
Sadly, this is a common occurrence on construction sites throughout the country, as many delivery drivers fail to observe and comply with the requirement to wear hardhats. Another common risk on construction sites is falling objects from heights. Occupational Health & Safety standards require equipment and materials susceptible to falling to be secured or tethered to prevent such an accident. Additionally, all personnel on construction sites are required to comply with all established safety rules and requirements, such as wearing a hardhat. Especially where the potential of falling objects exists. OSHA is currently investigating the accident.
These types of accidents are more common than most people think. Scores of construction workers and the public are struck by falling objects every year. This is yet another example of why it is important to follow established safety rules and requirements. Protect yourself and your co-workers.
So please remember when you are out in the field; Safety is your right. Participate and save a life… because it could very well be your own!