FLAGGER SAFETY

Flaggers are critical to work zone safety. Their position on the front lines requires them to possess a specific skill set.

FLAGGER SAFETY DOs & DON’Ts

  • Wear ANSI Class 2 or Class 3 high visibility apparel.
  • Always be visible to traffic.
  • Follow the traffic control plan.
  • Always use approved stop/slow paddles.
  • Communicate specific instructions to motorists.
  • Respond in an emergency.
  • Allow time and distance for drivers to react.
  • Coordinate with other flaggers.
  • Maintain good approach sight distance.
  • Never stand in a moving traffic lane.
  • Always have an escape route.
  • Remove signs if you’re not flagging.
  • Stand alone on the shoulder in clear view.
  • Never stand in the open traffic lane.
  • Warn others in a work zone of dangerous situations.
  • Allow reaction distance from signs – the flagger station should be the same distance in advance of the work zone as the buffer length.
  • Never turn your back on traffic.
  • Do not stand where you can be struck by construction equipment.
  • Do not stand in the shade, over the crest of a hill or around a sharp curve where you can’t be seen.
  • Do not use your cell phone.
  • Do not listen to music or use earphones.
  • Do not leave your position until you are properly relieved.

Download a printable PDF and recording form here.

Members can download the audio version of this toolbox talk soon.

JACKHAMMER & CHIPPING HAMMER SAFETY

Chipping and hammering for concrete removal are common work activities in bridge work and repair. Workers use compact pneumatic chipping hammers and jackhammers to do the job. These compact battering rams pack a lot of punch, and they can be dangerous if you don’t use them properly. Here are some common-sense tips provided by tool manufacturers.

WEAR THE CORRECT PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT

  • Safety glasses.
  • Face shield.
  • Hearing protection.
  • Hard hat.
  • Gloves.
  • Durable work boots with protective toes.
  • N95 or greater respiratory protection unless you’re using water for silica dust control.

INSPECT BEFORE USING

  • Inspect the jackhammer or chipping hammer for damage and make sure all controls and safety interlocks work properly.
  • Check all couplings and accessories on all compressors and ensure that only correct, compatible couplings are in place.
  • Make sure safety or holding pins used on all hose connections are in place.
  • Inspect the safety clip or tool retainer for proper operation. This prevents you from unintentionally shooting the chisel or tool from the barrel.

BEWARE OF AIR UNDER PRESSURE

  • Never exceed the tool’s designated operating pressure.
  • Never point a compressed air hose at yourself or anyone else.
  • Never use compressed air to blow dirt or debris from your clothes.
  • Always disconnect the tool when you’re not using it or when you are changing accessories.

PROCEED WITH CAUTION

  • Make sure that loose clothing doesn’t get caught in the equipment.
  • Verify that workers won’t encounter electrical or gas lines while performing the work.
  • Keep both hands on the tool.
  • Watch for excess lengths of the air hose, which can cause a tripping hazard.
  • Properly position your body while moving and using the equipment.
  • Allow the tool to do the work by using a grip light enough to maintain control.
  • Discontinue use if numbness, tingling, pain or discoloration of the skin occurs.
  • Always follow any manufacturer special instructions.

Download a printable PDF and recording form here.

Members can download the audio version of this toolbox talk here.

SAFE FUELING PROCEDURES

Fuels can be highly flammable and, if handled incorrectly, these substances can make fueling equipment a dangerous task. Be aware of the hazards and follow proper prevention steps to avoid an accident.

  • NO SMOKING! A burning cigarette can ignite flammable vapors that are produced from the liquid fuel, causing a flash fire or explosion. Ensure there are no other potential sources of ignition, such as open flames or spark-producing equipment operating in the area.
  • Don’t use a cell phone or other electronic device use while fueling equipment.
  • Turn off the equipment or vehicle’s engine when you’re fueling it.
  • Only use DOT-approved safety cans for transporting and transferring fuels.
  • Never dispense fuel into a can or other portable container while it is sitting in your vehicle, truck or truck bed. This allows hazardous static electricity to build up.
  • Before dispensing fuel into your vehicle or equipment, physically touch a metal part away from the fuel tank on your vehicle or equipment to dissipate any static build-up on your body created when you slid out of your vehicle.
  • To prevent hazardous static electricity building up, make contact between the fuel dispenser nozzle or hose to the fill tube on the fuel tank before you start to add fuel to the tank, and keep it in contact throughout the entire refueling process.
  • Maintain a spill kit in your vehicle or near the fueling area.
  • Maintain at least one portable fire extinguisher rated not less than 20-B units located not less than 25 feet and not more than 75 feet, from any flammable liquid storage area located outside.
  • Regularly inspect hoses and pumps for deterioration or damage.
  • Clean up spills immediately using a spill kit and remove any clothing that has absorbed the fuel.
  • In the fueling area, maintain emergency response procedures and a list of company and local emergency contacts for prompt response in the event of an accident.

Download a printable PDF and recording form here.

Members can download the audio version of this toolbox talk here.

FOCUS FOUR HAZARDS

According to OSHA, of the 4,779 worker fatalities in private industry in calendar year 2018, 1,008 or 21.1% were in construction — that is, one in five worker deaths were in construction. The leading causes of private sector worker deaths in the construction industry were falls, followed by struck by object, electrocution and caught-in/between. These “Fatal Four” were responsible for more than half (58.6%) the construction worker deaths in 2018.

Fall fatalities – 33.5%
Struck-by object fatalities – 11.1%
Electrocution fatalities – 8.5%
Caught-in/between fatalities – 5.5%

FALL PREVENTION

  • Correctly install and use personal fall arrest equipment.
  • Install and maintain guard rails and perimeter protection.
  • Cover and secure floor openings and label floor opening covers.
  • Inspect and use ladders and scaffolds correctly.

STRUCK-BY PREVENTION

  • Do not place yourself between moving equipment and fixed objects.
  • Wear and maintain high-visibility clothes.
  • Use tag lines when moving suspended loads.
  • Inspect and use powered equipment correctly.
  • Use proper rigging techniques.

CAUGHT-IN/CAUGHT BETWEEN PREVENTION

  • Properly slope or implement trench protection for excavations five feet or deeper.
  • Ensure guards are in place and in good condition on powered tools and equipment.

ELECTROCUTION PREVENTION

  • Locate and identify utilities before starting work.
  • Look for overhead power lines when operating any equipment.
  • Maintain minimum approach distance from power lines.
  • Use GFCI on all portable electric tools.
  • Be alert to electrical hazards when working with ladders, scaffolds or other platforms.

Download a printable PDF and recording form here.

Members can download the audio version of this toolbox talk here.

CONSTRUCTION & ENERGIZED ELECTRICAL UTILITIES

OSHA has included electrocutions as part of the Focus Four Hazards for construction because of the persistence and significance of this hazard. The Focus Four Hazards represent the causes of nearly 60% of all construction fatalities each year.

Electrocution caused by contact with energized power lines is a significant cause of fatalities in construction. Some examples of equipment that could contact power lines are cranes, pile drivers, guardrail drilling rigs, backhoes, excavators, front-end loaders, trenching machines, dump trucks and concrete pumping trucks.

Keep in mind on every construction project:

  • Survey the site, identify overhead power lines and post DANGER signs and visible barriers at all potentially dangerous locations.
  • Maintain at least 10 feet of clearance between equipment and power lines energized with less than 50,000 volts. For power lines carrying more energy, increase the distance by one foot for every 30,000 volts.
  • If you must operate equipment close to the power line, use a spotter to identify when you’re nearing the minimum approach distance limit.
  • Before beginning paving or any other road work activity, survey the area for any power lines that cross over the roadway, post DANGER signage notifying dump truck drivers to lower their beds before traveling under overhead power lines and bridges.
  • If you must work close to a power line, consider calling the responsible utility to have the line protected during the operation.
  • Before beginning ANY work activity in which you will penetrate the ground, call Indiana Underground Plant Protection Services (Indiana 811) at 811 or 800-382-5544 at least two full working days before you begin the work activity and have them locate the underground utilities. Do not begin work until this has been done.
  • Once the locate service has marked the location of the buried utility, pothole/daylight to positively identify and expose the buried utility.
  • Maintain a clearance of not less than two feet around the diameter of the buried utility with all mechanized equipment.
  • Protect all underground utility markers from damage and replace them as needed.
  • Situate jobsite unloading and storage areas in open areas away from overhead power lines.

Download a printable PDF and recording form here.

Members can download the audio version of this toolbox talk here.

DETECTING A STROKE

A construction project can be hectic place with a high level of activity. Contractors and equipment move about, with everyone focused on the task at hand. In this environment, it’s easy to miss the signs and symptoms of a serious health situation, like a stroke. Early detection is critical to saving a life.

A stroke happens quickly. If a victim is treated within the first three hours of its onset, some effects of a stroke can be reversed.

The following are the most common symptoms of stroke. However, individuals may experience symptoms differently or at different times. Don’t ignore any of the symptoms, even if they go away.

  • Sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arms or legs, especially on one side of the body.
  • Sudden confusion or difficulty speaking or understanding.
  • Sudden problems with vision such as dimness or loss of vision in one or both eyes.
  • Sudden dizziness or problems with balance or coordination.
  • Sudden problems with movement or walking.
  • Sudden severe headaches with no other known cause.

The first three letters in the word stroke can help you determine if a person is having a stroke. Ask the individual to:

  • S – Smile.
  • T – Talk – Get them to speak a simple sentence, coherently, such as “It is sunny out today.”
  • R – Raise both arms.

Another method for remembering what symptoms to look for is the acronym FAST. The letters remind you to look for:

  • F – Facial weakness – Can the person smile? Are their mouth or eyes drooping?
  • A – Arm weakness – Can the person raise both arms and hold them parallel?
  • S – Speech problems – Can the person speak clearly and understand what you say?
  • T – Time is critical – Contact your supervisor immediately and consider calling 911.

Also, if you ask the person to stick out their tongue and, when they do, it is crooked or goes to one side or the other, there is a great likelihood that this person is having a stroke.

No matter the method you use to detect the signs and symptoms of a stroke, remember to seek immediate medical attention. Even if you are not sure, it is always best to err on the side of safety.

Download a printable PDF and recording form here.

Members can download the audio version of this toolbox talk here.