Ross Electric - Celebrating 40 Years of Continuous Quality in Colorado


        (Safety Topic for June 21, 1999)

You are in danger every minute of every day that you spend working on steel. In about 90% of injury cases, the accident was caused, at least in part, by the actions or inactions of the victim. This fact is important because it means that nine times out of ten, you can prevent your own accident and injury. You are in control of your own safety. Pay close attention during the next few minutes and learn some ways to keep yourself out of the hospital.

We've established that you control your safety; but to control it, you have to be in control - of yourself. Make sure you are really fit for work when you arrive. It may not be safe for you to work with a bad cold, severe allergies, a hangover, while taking prescription medications, or even if you are just too tired. Making a mistake, even a small one, when working on steel can get someone killed. Don't take the chance!

Wear the right clothes and use the right equipment. Always wear your hard hat! Wear sturdy footwear that provides good traction. Wear pants or coveralls without cuffs. If the cuff unfolds or gets caught on something, it can cause you to trip, and that's not good when you're forty feet in the air. Check the fall protection requirements for your jobsite; and wear a safety harness whenever necessary. Some contractors and developers have 100% tie-off requirements regardless of state or federal regulations.

As always, keep your tools in good condition and stored securely. If you are welding or cutting, always keep a fire extinguisher close at hand. Check your hoses, gauges, and tanks. If a special wrench is needed to turn the valve off, always keep that wrench with the tank. Don't forget to inspect ladders and scaffolds on a regular basis.

Steel erection is rarely accomplished without the help of a crane. Only one worker should signal the crane operator; make sure that person knows how to signal properly. Keep an eye on the rigging to make sure that your rigger is doing his job right. Don't put any part of your body between a suspended load and any fixed object. You or your hand could be crushed easily and quickly if the load moves unexpectedly. Use hand lines and drift pins for positioning.

Report unsafe acts, conditions, or operations whenever you encounter them. Sometimes the rules are a royal pain, but living by the rules will help keep you living longer.

SAFETY REMINDER If you remove a barricade, cover, plank, or warning line - replace it immediately.

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