Begin by recognizing that construction is a
dangerous business. The potential for death or serious
injury is present daily on jobsites. Identify very
specifically what hazards could cause death or injury.
One obvious hazard in the pier example is drowning.
Identify Corrective Action
Our primary reference for preventive measures is
the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Safety and Health
Requirements Manual, EM 385-1-1, October 1992.
The table of contents, section 5, addresses work near
water. In chapter 5, specific requirements for work
safety near the water include the following:
A U.S. Coast Guard-approved international
orange personal flotation device (PFD) type III,
type V, or better vest must be provided to and
worn by persons on structures extending over
or adjacent to water unless guardrails or safety
nets are in place.
The PFD must be inspected for defects before
and after each use.
Ring buoys, conforming to 46 CFR 160 (U.S.
Coast Guard-approved), with 90 feet of
3/8-inch solid braid polypropylene (or equal)
attached, must be provided at intervals of not
more than 200 feet on piers extending over or
immediately adjacent to water.
At least one equipped skiff must be
immediately available at locations where
employees are working over or immediately
adjacent to water.
Personnel trained in launching and operating
the skiff must be readily available during
The Ops department and safety office will provide
assistance in obtaining the PFDs, the buoys, and the
skiff. The customer may be persuaded to provide
unavailable equipment, or the equipment will have to
be purchased/rented using project funds. Training for
the crew in operating the skiff maybe required and the
Ops and training departments will assist in setting up
Ensure Personnel Awareness
Use the daily 5-minute stand-up safety lecture to
ensure the crew understands the proper use and
purpose of the safety equipment and the locations of
the buoys and the skiff. Safety lectures must address
all hazards identified on the CAS sheet for work
scheduled that day. Remember to inspect the PFDs
before and after each use.
The crew leader is responsible for ensuring that
personnel wear PFDs at all times while on the pier.
To be sure that an emergency response is not
delayed, the location of the nearest phone, a map
showing the nearest medical facility or first-aid
station, and all emergency phone numbers must be
posted on the jobsite.
Investigate and Report
Any mishap (regardless of how minor) or near
miss must be investigated and documented.
Documentation helps minimize the chance that an
incident will happen again. Figure 2-28 is the form
used for the supervisors report of injury.
The safety responsibilities for various levels in the
chain of command are listed in the NCF Safety
Crew Leaders Responsibilities
Crew leaders and other supervisors are identified
in the NCF Safety Manual as the key people in a
successful and aggressive safety program. The NCF
Safety Manual lists but is not limited to the following
Being familiar with safety rules and regulations
for jobs and facilities in his/her area, and acting
in a safe manner.
Enforcing safety rules and correcting unsafe
Inspecting jobs and work areas for hazards and
taking corrective action.