Prior to watching any videos or reading about OSHA I wrote up a list of the safety concerns I thought essential to be aware of on a construction site. In no particular order I wrote:
- Being hit by heavy equipment (driving)
- Being hit by moving material, such as a crane moving a beam
- Traffic (in roadside construction)
- Falls, trips, and slips
- Burns (perhaps from welds or machinery engines)
- Pinches or cuts from placing heavy materials
- Material dropping from an elevated height
- Structural failures
Most of these accidents that I came up with involve heavy stuff moving, and a person being in unsafe proximity.
After watching the OSHA information videos, I was most struck by the case of an individual being struck and caught by the weight of a crane. This seemed completely preventable, if the truck driver had been aware of the counterweight. I understand that he probably could not hear the crane’s movement, since he was standing right next to it, but I believe some common sense could have gone a long way in this situation.
A topic that I did not include in my list of hazards is electrocution from power lines. I have never worked near electrical wire, so it is not something that initially comes to mind when I think of occupational safety. That being said, I steer clear of electrical by a pretty wide margin.
I also did not include sprains and strains because I also consider this common sense, not a construction specific injury.
From the reading I include most of the categories of injury, except for the Environmental factors, such as dust, heat, cold, radiation, and hazardous materials. When I think of an accident I usually think of a situation where an action takes place that is unsafe. These environmental factors are caused by just being on the site, which I did not initially think of.
One thing I have noticed is that in construction safety is the very first thing that is talked about, it can get old when it is the same safety concerns every day, but it is essential to refresh on what factors are still a danger or are new. I have come to expect safety being the very first thing that is talked about in a new situation. On those lines, I wonder how it would go to have these OSHA requirements near the beginning of the semester. I’m not sure if it is really the most engaging material to start the semester with, but it is a thought.