Bridge construction involves risk, but the Golden Gate Bridge set a new standard for safe construction practices. Any construction project that involves working at height on scaffolding should incorporate the tightest possible safety measures, and the Golden Gate Bridge construction project set an example that is still relevant today.
Watch this video to learn more about safety procedures followed during construction of the Golden Gate Bridge. This dangerous project had a remarkable safety record, thanks to the efforts of the forward-thinking site manager.
At Scaffold Resource, we’re also committed to job site safety and can assist with everything from project consulting to scaffold rentals in Washington, D.C. Contact us at (301) 924-7223 to learn more.
Working in construction requires the utmost attention to safety. Anything less isn’t just risky—it can be deadly. In California, two recent incidents demonstrate how true that is. Two construction company workers were killed on the job in separate incidents that are tied together by one thing: a lack of proper safety protocols on the site. At Scaffold Resource, we help contractors ensure that their workers are safe with project consultation services. We can help you review your safety protocols and help you make sure you are following appropriate procedures when using scaffolding, shoring, and more. Here is a look at both incidents and how they occurred.
Bay Construction Co.
Bay Construction Co. was working on an underground pump station in Oakland. They assembled a trench box to complete the work, and while a worker was still inside the trench, they began removing the shoring system that was supporting it. The pipes that were used in the shoring included linear rails that weighed 5,000 pounds, and the excavator that was being used to remove the rails was not strong enough to carry that amount of weight. The excavator failed and a 5,000 rail was dropped on a worker inside the trench, killing him. OSHA guidelines prohibit shoring systems from being installed or removed when anyone is inside the trench. Bay Construction Co. was issued nine separate citations and was charged more than $140,000 in penalties.
Empire Equipment Services
Empire Equipment Services was working on a sewer pipe installation project that involved a trench that was 17 feet deep. Before the work began, the soil was not graded, which is required in order to determine if a shoring system is needed. The soil was not stable, but no shoring was used. Further, the soil was not sloped appropriately. As a result, a 30-foot wide section of soil collapsed during the project, trapping and filling a worker inside the trench. The company was fined $66,000.
Don’t put your employees’ safety at risk. Let Scaffold Resource provide safe shoring and scaffolding as well as project consultation support to ensure that your sites are safe. For more information about safe shoring and scaffold rentals in Washington, D.C., call (301) 924-7223.
Serious injuries can occur on construction sites when safety precautions are ignored. It’s the responsibility of the competent person on the jobsite to ensure that every worker is properly trained and outfitted with the necessary safety equipment. The competent person must also ensure that potential safety hazards, such as slipping and tripping hazards on the scaffold, are promptly addressed.
Slipping and Tripping Hazards
The first step in addressing safety concerns is simply to be aware of them. All workers should know about the risks of tripping over accumulated debris on scaffolding and work platforms, such as tools, materials, and equipment. Workers who spill liquids on these platforms should promptly soak up the liquid to eliminate the slipping hazard. The competent person should also inspect the scaffolding daily for mud, grease, snow, and ice buildup.
Construction site workers need the right equipment to do a job as safely as possible. To prevent slips and falls from scaffolds, workers should wear sturdy work shoes or boots with nonskid soles. The competent person should ensure that all necessary fall prevention systems, such as harnesses, are used. A harness might not stop a worker from falling on the scaffold itself, but it will prevent the worker from falling over the edge of the platform.
Working on a scaffold during the winter can be particularly hazardous. Snow and ice cannot be allowed to accumulate on these surfaces. It may be necessary to halt work activities at elevations during active snowstorms. Even after removing snow and ice from the scaffold, the platforms can remain damp and slippery. Safety can be enhanced by installing an abrasive material to the platforms.
Companies who need scaffolding erected near Washington, D.C. choose Scaffold Resource because of our reputation for uncompromising safety protocols and rigorous training programs. Call us today at (301) 924-7223, and find out for yourself why we are an industry leader in construction site safety. Our expert team also provides shoring systems and sidewalk canopies.
Excavations are among the most dangerous activities on any construction site. It’s critically important to erect a safe and code-compliant shoring system before digging too deep. Construction engineers can design an effective shoring system for your site, but it can also be helpful for the onsite supervisor to have a quick reference guide.
Download the Excavations 101 app for instant access to sloping and shoring reference materials. It includes handy tools like the sloping vs. shielding calculator, a trench side slope inclinometer, and an OSHA regulations finder. It also includes important information about soil classifications.
Scaffold Resource in Washington, D.C. is an industry leader in safety, with two million man hours worked without a lost time injury. Call our scaffolding and shoring system company at (301) 924-7223, and inquire about our specialized training programs available for your company.
Thanks to our reputation for excellent work and an enduring commitment to safety, Scaffold Resource is often called upon to engineer and install scaffolding and shoring systems at cultural and historic landmarks. One of the buildings we’ve had the pleasure to work on is the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. One of the most notable features of its architecture is the domed roof, which required assessment and restoration.
The Scaffold Resource team designed and installed a scaffold access system to allow building restoration experts to get the job done. There were a number of unique challenges on this job. No part of the scaffold could physically touch the dome itself. Additionally, the engineer had to distribute the load of the scaffold to the lower structural elements.
Are you interested in finding out how our construction scaffold installation team can help your company? Call Scaffold Resource in Washington, D.C. at (301) 924-7223 to discuss your project.
All worksites in the U.S. are required to be in compliance with all relevant OSHA regulations. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration delivers guidance regarding safety topics, such as the appropriate use of hard hats on scaffolding and when performing shoring erection. Unfortunately, some workers are in the habit of removing hard hats while working. Some common excuses for avoiding hard hat usage include being too warm, never having been hurt before, and disliking the look of hard hats. None of these common excuses justify the removal of hard hats when in an area where a head injury might occur.
The Importance of Hard Hats
Every year in the U.S., thousands of workers sustain head injuries. Some of them do not survive their injuries. Head trauma can result in far worse consequences than being out of work for a while. Some patients may develop long-term complications from severe trauma, such as cognitive, behavioral, and emotional changes. Wearing a hard hat is a simple but effective means of preventing serious head injuries.
The Types of Hard Hats
OSHA requires all acceptable hard hats to have an inner shock-absorbing liner, a hard outer shell, and a headband. An acceptable hard hat will also feature a sticker that labels its class and ANSI designation. Class C conductive helmets are designed for lightweight impacts. Class G general helmets offer better protection. They guard against impacts and penetrations, as well as electrical hazards up to 2,200 volts. Class E electrical helmets should be worn when there is a more significant risk of electrical hazards.
The Care and Keeping of Hard Hats
OSHA recommends that all workers inspect and clean their hard hats every day. Discard hard hats with cracks, perforations, or other signs of damage. Avoid using any cleaning products not recommended by the manufacturer, as these can adversely affect the hard hat’s resistance to electrical hazards or impacts. OSHA also suggests that workers avoid leaving hard hats in direct sunlight, as this can weaken the material over time. Workers should avoid applying new labels to a hard hat.
Sidewalk canopies, shoring systems, and scaffolding are available in Washington, D.C. from Scaffold Resource. Our team regularly reviews OSHA regulations and all local codes to ensure we stay up to date and in full compliance. Call (301) 924-7223 to inquire about your project.
When it comes to workplace fatalities, zero is the only acceptable number. Yet, about 25 workers are killed every year in the U.S. due to trenching activities. Most of those fatalities are due to cave-ins. Others involve electrocutions and struck-by incidents. Given that shoring systems are an effective way of mitigating the risks of trenching activities, there is no excuse for placing construction workers at risk of losing their lives.
OSHA and industry leaders have been hard at work to raise awareness of the dangers of trenching and the necessity of worker protections. In July 2018, OSHA released a free sticker for workers, which reminds them of the three main systems for protecting themselves in trenches:
- Sloping: Angling the trench wall away from the excavation
- Shoring: Erecting supports to prevent a trench collapse
- Shielding: Installing trench boxes to prevent a cave-in
Experts note that, in most cases in which a worker dies or sustains a serious injury, there is either no protective system in place or the shoring system has been improperly constructed. The latter category includes the failure of the contractor to perform a job hazard analysis.
It is the primary responsibility of the construction manager or the competent person to ensure the safety of all workers on site. However, it’s also essential for companies to train their workers in appropriate safety practices. One persistent problem involves workers returning to unprotected trenches when there is no work-related reason for doing so. As an example, one worker lost his life because he returned to an unprotected trench to retrieve a pack of cigarettes that he’d dropped. In that brief time, a fatal cave-in occurred. Workers must be advised and repeatedly reminded of the fact that a cave-in can occur in the blink of an eye. It’s equally as dangerous to return to an unprotected trench for 30 seconds as it is to return to it for 30 minutes or longer.
Maintaining a safe working environment is our top priority here at Scaffold Resource, and one of our specialties is the erection of safe and appropriate shoring systems. You can request information about shoring rentals and installation by calling a knowledgeable staff member at (301) 924-7223. Scaffold Resource, headquartered in Washington, D.C., proudly serves construction companies throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.
It can be tricky to keep track of all of OSHA’S requirements, but you can use technology to make the job of staying in compliance a little easier. This handy app, called OSHA RecordKeeping, is up to date with the latest requirements as of October 2018.
Download this app to your smartphone for a quick and easy reference guide while you’re on the jobsite. You’ll be able to see important information at a glance, such as partial exemptions from recordkeeping requirements, recording criteria for specific types of occupational injuries, and info about the determination of new cases and work-relatedness. You’ll also get access to the requirements pertaining to the retention and updating of old OSHA forms.
Scaffold Resource in Washington, D.C. is a leading provider of construction scaffolding and shoring systems for construction sites in the region. Our scaffolding company prides itself on our superior safety record and commitment to employee health. Call (301) 924-7223.
In construction, lateral and longitudinal stability of structures can be achieved with compliant wall bracing techniques. The series of braces evenly distributes the load of the wall, giving it needed strength. A wall bracing system is just as important in constructing a building as shoring erection is during trenching activities. Here’s a quick look at some of the most commonly asked questions about wall bracing.
What’s the difference between temporary and permanent bracing?
Every building requires a permanent bracing system, which is built right into the walls and sub-floor of the structure. This is left in place permanently, although it will not be visually obvious after the construction process is completed. Temporary wall bracing is needed during the construction process. It holds up the walls until they are ready to stand on their own. Temporary wall bracing systems are removed after the construction process is complete.
Is temporary wall bracing really necessary?
Absolutely. Temporary wall bracing is critically important for the protection of workers and the general public. Without it, there is a risk of a catastrophic wall collapse that may seriously injure or kill bystanders.
What are some of the common hazards that wall bracing protects against?
Buildings under construction are vulnerable to a number of threats. Regarding wall bracing, the most significant concern is the lateral load, rather than the vertical load. The lateral load lies parallel to the ground. For example, wind force exerted against a partially constructed wall can cause the structure to sway, bend, collapse, or occasionally, to roll over if it’s not securely attached to the foundation yet. Another potential threat is seismic activity. Although the Washington, D.C. area is not known for earthquakes, seismic activity is a major concern among construction managers in other parts of the country. Engineers plan for lateral load resistance when designing the wall bracing system to ensure the safety of everyone involved with the construction process.
Scaffold Resource in Washington, D.C. has constructed wall bracing systems at a number of major landmarks, including the Springfield Mall and the Columbus School. We’re also known for shoring systems and dance floor scaffolding. Call (301) 924-7223 to request a quote.
The Pennsylvania State Capitol Building, located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, is a national historic landmark, and an architectural and artistic marvel. It was dedicated in 1906, at which time President Theodore Roosevelt commented on the building’s remarkable beauty and stately design. Scaffold Resource has had the privilege of working on this historic building. When the cluster of sculptures created by George Bernard required restorative work, Scaffold Resource was called in.
Our team of experts designed, furnished, and installed a scaffold access system on the western face of the Capitol. During the process, we overcame a number of formidable challenges, such as the need to design a scaffolding system that would have zero contact with the statue surfaces. And because the construction scaffolding was being erected in close proximity with a priceless national treasure, close attention was paid to the protection of the sculptures and building materials.
Scaffold Resource is a trusted source for construction scaffolding and work platforms in Washington, D.C. Call (301) 924-7223 to request information about our rentals, installations, or engineering services.