Deadly drops: Collapses aren’t the only source of demolition dangers

The accident: A construction crew working on a rooftop demolition project was making chainsaw cuts to the roof’s planking to ease removal. One of the workers moved to close to an opening, and fell 26 feet to a waste heap below.

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Don’t get burned: Take extra precautions when handling hot asphalt

The accident: A dump truck driver stopped to assist another driver, who was having brake problems. As the first driver examined the disabled truck from underneath, the tailgate opened unexpectedly, covering the driver in 400-degree asphalt.

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SW_Jul_15
Distracted drivers: Take extra precautions in a work zone

The accident: A construction crew was preparing to close one lane of travel on a two-lane highway to repair damaged guardrails. A flagger stepped out into the road with his back to oncoming traffic. The driver, blinded by early morning sun, failed to see the flagger and struck him while traveling approximately 55 mph.

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SW_Jun_15
Trailering tactics: Proper planning and the right equipment ensures safe transport

The accident: A paving company employee was transporting a compactor to a jobsite. After parking the tilt bed trailer, he unloaded the compactor by backing the machine down the ramp. The compactor slid off the edge of the ramp and then tipped over. The driver jumped from the machine, but was struck by the ROPS and pinned to the ground.

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SW_May_15
Logical lifting: Removing a bridge slab calls for caution

The accident: An operator was using a hydraulic excavator with a lifting attachment to remove concrete slabs from a bridge. He raised the arm to clear the guardrail, causing the excavator to become unbalanced, tip to the edge of the bridge deck, fall over the side and land 60 feet below in a river.

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SW_Apr_15
Heavy lifting: Pay attention to an aerial lift’s capacity

The accident: Three construction workers in a scissor lift were shoveling dirt and gravel from a planter box mounted to the exterior wall of a parking deck, in an attempt to make the box lighter prior to removal. When the workers tried to pull the box from the wall, the box struck the lift, knocking it over. One of the workers fell 20 feet to the ground below.

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Shocking situations: Working around electricity is serious business

The accident: Two heavy equipment mechanics were using a service truck with a crane to repair a scraper. The crane’s boom came in contact with a 12,000-volt overhead power line. The mechanics were electrocuted, set on fire and died.

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Paving pitfalls: Workers should be on guard around moving machines

The accident: A skid-steer operator working on a paving project backed into a worker shoveling asphalt, pinning him between the skid steer and a paver, and crushing his legs between the pieces of equipment.

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Excavation obstacles: Watch your back when working around digging equipment

The accident: A backhoe operator was moving fill dirt, after which other workers spread and compacted the fill. The operator positioned his backhoe too close to the edge of the excavation, and his machine toppled over, striking a compactor operator.

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PPE problems: When used incorrectly personal protective equipment can create a hazard

The accident: A backhoe operator jumped off his machine to assist another crewmember. The strap of his fall protection harness became entangled on the control levels, moving the loader bucket. The bucket crushed another worker between the bucket and a concrete building.

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Safety Watch 46
Spotting safety problems: Always know what’s around you

The accident: A dump truck backed onto a site behind a skid steer. The skid steer operator failed to see a worker approaching the dump truck on foot, and backed into him, pinning him against the tailgate.

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Safety Watch 43
Major miscalculations: When felling trees with an excavator, know when and where to dig

The accident: A worker using a hydraulic excavator to remove trees used a bucket to dig away from the base and then push the trunk over. A tree fell onto the excavator’s cab, pinning him inside.

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Safety Watch 42
Treacherous tire repair: Taking shortcuts can lead to disastrous results

The accident: A welder repairing leaks on a skid steer’s rim wheel used a flammable inflation product on the tire. He began to weld holes on the rim wheel, and the wheel exploded.

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Don’t enter unprotected trenches: Following proper procedure minimizes cave-in risk

The accident: An excavator operator removed a trench shield to access broken pipe. The trench wall caved in, burying two workers.

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Hauling headaches: Know your load limits when trailering equipment

The accident: A driver was transporting a wheel loader weighing approximately 65,000 pounds on a lowboy trailer, secured by four 3/8-inch chains…

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One-man machines: The operator should be the only person on a wheel loader

The accident: Crews were working at night to replace aging cast-iron water pipes in an intersection. One worker was standing in the street, guiding the operator of a wheel loader as he backed out into the intersection. After the loader stopped backing up and started moving forward, the worker decided to hitch a ride, and grabbed the loader’s side ladder.

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Drill safe: Preparation is the key to safe horizontal directional drilling

The accident: Crews started working on a gas station renovation in an older residential section of a small town. The plans called for a new water run-off drainage line to be installed from the existing structure to a nearby sewer, but there were no existing prints of the service station’s original utility lines.

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Worth 1,000 words: Acquaint yourself with common safety decals

It has been said a picture is worth a thousand words, but safety decals on construction equipment are worth more than that – they could save your life. Crucial to preventing injury or even death, these often overlooked cautionary reminders take little time and effort to notice and heed. The following safety pictorials are provided by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers.

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