We Don’t Drop the Ball on Falling Objects

 |  Safety
2018-05-09 15_12_45-Windows Media Player
A bolt strikes a hard hat during a presentation about the dangers of falling objects.

Everyone who walks on to one of our active job sites must wear personal protective equipment. That gear is, of course, topped off by a hard hat.

Our crew at the GO 10 project in El Paso got a first-hand look this week at why they always wear protective gear on their heads. As part of National Safety Week, they took part in demonstrations on site that showed the damage falling objects can cause.

Bolts and a 2×4 piece of wood were dropped through a tube from 20 feet high on to a hard hat. While the hat was damaged during the process, it fared much better than a watermelon that wasn’t covered in a separate drop. When the bolt landed on the melon, the plant split open, simulating what could happen if someone wasn’t wearing a hard hat.

According to OSHA statistics, falling objects caused 9.4 percent of deaths on job sites in 2016. While hard hats are necessary and helpful, we also employ a number of other methods to keep craft professionals safe. Our workers tie off when working at heights and their tools are protected from falling by using tethers or lanyards. We raise guardrail heights when work occurs above a standard height and set up barricades under areas where overhead work is being done in case something falls. Barricades are also established in areas where crane lifting operations take place. We ensure loads being lifting are secured and we maintain clean work areas to keep items from falling to a lower level.

Here’s a look at some of the other activities that have occurred at our job sites this week.

Ina/I-10: Eight employees took part in a demonstration to show how quickly they could perform everyday tasks with one hand. They were asked to put on a shirt, tie a shoe, open a bag of chips and a cup of yogurt only using their non-dominant hand. The exhibition was designed to show how tough the easiest activities are to complete when you have a hand injury.

Signal Butte: The team welcomed a 3M representative to discuss respiratory protection, including respirator selection and proper use and maintenance of the equipment.

Sacramento State Science II: Acme Safety Supply and Dewalt Tools made presentations on silica prevention and awareness and fall prevention. Demonstrations and giveaways were followed by small group discussions and questions.

Truckee High School and Truckee Elementary: The team focused on slips, trips and falls and fall protection equipment training. In 2016, 39 percent of construction deaths were caused by falls.