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 working hours.
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 this training.
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.
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 supervisor's report of injury.
The safety responsibilities for various levels in the chain of command are listed in the NCF Safety Manual.
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 responsibilities:
- 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 acts.
- Inspecting jobs and work areas for hazards and taking corrective action.Continue Reading