The key role of Safety Officers

The key role of safety officers

Safety Officers and Their Functions:

Safety officer… Brrrrrr.… Just the mere words alone are enough to send cold shivers down any foreman’s spine.
This important professional can close down a construction site within an hour if proper safety and precaution measures are not adhered to.
They do, however, form probably the most vital part of the whole operation – And that is ensuring the safety of all personnel on site.

We all know how quickly and easily accidents can happen, especially on a dangerous construction site, where accidents are almost inevitable. These officers detailed, pedantic and precautionary planning is an essential part of ensuring the safety of everyone involved in the project.

 

Not to mention the financial losses that are incurred with the insurance claims which lead to more financial losses caused by delays and it just grows exponentially worse from there.

 

Reputations can be tested and destroyed, and the hardest hitting reality of it all…

People can die!

Remember the bridge that fell down over Grayston Drive in Sandton, Johannesburg, not that long ago? The first point of contact for the investigation was the Safety Officer!

Not sticking to the safety regulations is simply a lose-lose situation.

OK, now that I have scared everyone and put you all in a sombre mood, let’s get serious and highlight just some of the important functions of a Safety Officer.

1. Creating and Implementing Safety Policies:
The Safety Officer with the assistance of managers and construction workers determine what policies are needed to help employers reduce the accident-related costs and prevent losses
due to any decline in productivity. They then finalize these policies and are responsible for alerting workers about any changes and monitoring of compliance.

2. Workplace Inspections:
Safety Officers are responsible for inspecting the interior and exterior work areas to determine if there are any safety hazards. In these inspections, they look for any broken equipment, damaged or unstable equipment, slip-and-fall hazards and any other potential hazards. They also observe workers to ensure that the required personal protective equipment (PPE) is being worn and machinery is operated in the correct manner and that the employees themselves are adhering to the company’s safety policies.

3. Accident Investigations:
Should a workplace accident occur, a Safety Officer will conduct the investigation to determine why and how the accident happened. This includes questioning witnesses, accident site inspection and pictures may be taken of the scene for the comprehensive report he or she must write. They also then provide recommendations to prevent future accidents.

4. Training and Coaching:
Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) requires employers to provide training on multitudes of safety topics, ranging from fire prevention plans, hazardous materials handling to machine operations. Safety Officers need to identify training needs, develop the correct programs and then deliver these programs to the employees.

5. Last, but not least… Regulatory Compliance:
These standards have already been put in place by OSHA and Occupational Safety Agencies, and are a necessity on construction sites. This involves reviewing these already set out standards, implementing plans to meet those standards and follow all of the correct record keeping procedures.

So as you can clearly see, these professionals play an integral part of keeping you and your workers safe.

Their job is your well-being!

 

 

 

Sources:
http://work.chron.com/duties-safety-officers-13515.html
https://www.aiha.org/get-involved/…/IPRWG-SafetyOfficerResponsibilities.doc
http://www.claybrick.org/what-are-duties-construction-health-safety-officer
https://resources.workable.com/safety-officer-job-description
http://fspbusiness.co.za/articles/hse-representatives/your-health-and-safety-officer-has-seven-essential-responsibilities-are-you-familiar-with-them-7081.html
https://www.thebalance.com/what-is-a-construction-safety-officer-844595

 

If you are interested in becoming one of our subscribers, please visit our website.
To view notes with screenshots on how to use our website, please visit our Wiki site.
To view more articles, please visit our blog.

 

About Nikki Blake

I am an Account Executive in our Gauteng branch. I have been with L2B for almost a year now and it has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I am so passionate about people and being able to assist them grow their business with the use of our amazing system. It has not only given me an overwhelming sense of self fulfilment, but has also become my motivation to be the best person I can be each day. Thank you L2B and to all of our awesome clients!

L2B Blog: History of Hard Hats

.History of Hard Hats

History of Hard Hats

Hard Hats; a common symbol of the Construction Industry, but have you ever stopped to wonder about the History behind this safety accessory?

History

According to Prescot Valley Tribune, “The Hard Hat originated with Edward Bullard, a WWI veteran. He brought a steel helmet home after the war. This metal headgear was the inspiration to revolutionize industrial safety. Bullard’s father worked in the industrial safety business for 20 years and sold protective hats, but they were made of leather.

Construction of the Hoover Dam, which began in 1931 was the first project in which construction workers were required to wear Hard Hats. Later, in 1933, the construction site of the Golden Gate Bridge became America’s first “Hard Hat Area”.”

The first Hard Hats were made from:

  • Leather
  • Canvas
  • Steel
  • Aluminum
  • Fibreglass
  • Plastic
  • and finally today’s High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE).
Functionality

The function of the Hard Hat is pretty obvious. If worn and fitted correctly it provides limited safety from shock, perforation, fire, water and heat.

Hard Hats also provide a form of identification.

A wearer can use colour coded Hard Hats to differentiate between job titles/responsibilities:

  • White – Managers, Engineers, Supervisors/Foremen
  • Blue – Electricians, Carpenters and other technical operators (besides civil workers)
  • Green – Safety Officers
  • Red – Fire Fighters
  • Yellow – Labourers
  • Brown – Welders and workers with high heat application
  • Grey – Site Visitors

These colour codes are general and could change according to the Project.

Over time Hard Hats, like most things also need replacing. As a wearer, you should inspect your Hard Hats before each use.  Your support strap should also be replaced annually and the entire hat every five years. Hard Hats may also allow for the attachment of safety accessories; most noteworthy are face shields, respirators, hearing protection and work lamps.

Future

Today’s Hard Hat hasn’t changed much since the 1960’s and has become a staple of safety, but they may be getting an upgrade in the future.

According to Sourceable, “In Australia, RMIT has developed a system whereby sensors can be embedded onto safety glasses, helmets or boots and can monitor and inform workers of impending danger…”
Sounds really interesting, after all, technology is a part of our every day lives and why not safety too.
Industry leaders can achieve much by ‘upgrading’ the Hard Hat. For example, by monitoring and assessing stats you can take precautions; not only in the present but also in the future through behavior analysis. But this may also present issues; like how much monitoring is too much when it comes to privacy and tracking? What are your thoughts?

In conclusion, the future sure looks safe when it comes to Hard Hats. The History of Hard Hats was certainly an interesting topic to research and blog.

Finally

Do you have any Hard Hat stories or facts you’d like to share? Or do you frequently use one?

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_hat

https://www.pvtrib.com/news/2018/jan/26/ask-contractor-history-hat-protects-workers/

https://www.thenbs.com/knowledge/what-colours-are-safety-helmets-hard-hats-on-construction-sites

http://www.civilology.com/helmet-color-code-construction/

https://sourceable.net/smart-hard-hats-next-trend-construction-safety/

 

If you are interested in becoming one of our subscribers, please visit our website.
To view notes with screenshots on how to use our website, please visit our Wiki site.
To view more articles, please visit our blog.

About Sasha Anderson

Millennial Mom + wife living the hash-tag life

Leads 2 Business : Construction Safety

Safety in Construction

posted in: Safety 0

 

 

Construction is a dangerous, high hazard industry that includes a wide range of activities involving construction, alterations, repairs, additions, building and renovations. These also include residential construction, bridges, roadway paving, excavations and demolitions. Yep, and blasting with explosives, working with huge machinery and dangerous electrical equipment.

Construction safety is very important to prevent fatal and non-fatal injuries as well as many other different illnesses. Workers in the construction sector have greater exposure to biological, chemical and ergonomic risk factors as well as noise and extreme temperatures. It is also one of the most physically demanding sectors.

Serious potential hazards are:

– Falling from heights / rooftops
– Unguarded machinery
– Being struck by heavy construction equipment
– Scaffold collapse
– Electric shock
– Trench collapse
– Failure to use proper protection
– Repetitive motion injuries
– Silica dust and asbestos

Nearly 6.5 million people work at approximately 252,000 construction sites across South Africa on any given day.

Things to look out for regarding your personal safety:

* aerial lifts (take the stairs, although those are hazardous for me as I keep tripping down them!)
* arc welding
* electrical and fire hazards
* bio-hazard safety (I am always spilling stuff!)
* boom collapsing (one has collapsed on my head in a parking area!)
* carbon monoxide poisoning
* carpal tunnel syndrome
* electric cord safety (don’t ever want to be shocked in that way!)
* falling objects (wear your helmet)
* eye protection (not just a fashion statement!)
* ladders (not just for the superstitious, these can really be dangerous!)
* protective clothing such as helmets, gloves, shoes, etc
* nail guns (ouch….hurts just to say it).
* power lines (not something you want to drill into, could be a shocking experience)
* power saws (turning an ordinary day into something from a scary movie)
* roof collapse
* trench safety (you don’t want to dig your own grave)

Safety Tips:

1. Use the proper tool for the designated task.
2. Frequent use of inadequate or poorly designed equipment will eventually lead to health hazards, for example tendinitis, trigger finger, white finger, carpal tunnel syndrome.
3. Protect your ears and eyes from intense noises and vibrations; opt for power tools with lower vibrations, muffled noises, and longer trigger tools.
4. Maintain good posture and balance the tools in correct alignment to your body at all times.
5. Always be aware of your surroundings. Look out for overhead lines, obstructions, low clearances, underground utilities, and other such obstacles that could prove to be a nuisance or a lethal hazard.
6. Know, understand, and follow your work space’s comprehensive safety program issued for that specific workspace, job position, and / or task at hand.
7. Don’t use damaged tools – examine each one before its use to ensure that it is in proper working condition. Maintain tools in good, clean working order
8. Never use a damaged or in any way weakened scaffold and don’t use in bad weather especially if covered with snow or ice
9. Don’t leave materials or debris abandoned or blocking exits
10. Keep tools in your belt to keep your hands free while climbing and descending.
11. Never touch a chemical spill
12. Always wear appropriate clothing and shoes respective to your job.
13. Fire extinguishers and First Aid kits must be available and readily attainable.
14. Never remove or tamper with safety devices.
15. A hard hat will protect you if there’s a risk of falling objects, as well steel-toed boots.
16. Wear gloves if you’re handling sharp objects or toxic substances.
17. Wear goggles if your work poses a hazard to your eyes.
18. Wear safety harnesses if you’re working from an elevated location and there’s the risk of falling. (If you are anything like me, you can trip and fall over literally anything. So having a guardrail or something to grab onto is really a life saver).
19. Wear a breathing mask at all times, especially if you deal with dangerous or toxic chemicals or fumes or there is poor ventilation or your workspace has debris, dust, and other flying particles.

20. Equipment onsite should have lights and reflectors. Especially when working at night, this is to see and to be seen.

 

All employees should be trained to understand the proper way of identifying possible hazards and understanding on how to avoid dangerous situations. They also need to be made aware of the correct procedures to follow should something happen.
The contractor is responsible for providing a safe work environment for employees and pedestrians.

Although the construction industry is dangerous, construction conditions have improved over the years. As technology increases, so do the safety and working conditions.

Knowledge is power and in this case, without knowledge that power could kill you 😉 Rather be safe than sorry and watch where you are walking 🙂

 

 

https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3252/3252.html
https://www.osha.gov/doc/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Construction_site_safety
http://ehstoday.com/construction/news/work-zone-safety-tips-5432\
http://civilengineerblog.com/construction-site-safety-tips-will-reduce-hazards-work/

About Michelle Hosford

I work full time, study part time and now am the proud owner of the cutest puppy. Sleep...? What is that?