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Construction Safety

On the New Yankee Workshop, Norm Abrams always talked about safety when using power tools, yet I don't believe I have ever seen anyone wearing any type of safety equipment, hard hats, glasses or even gloves, on TOH. Especially during demolition which has got to be the most dangerous part of construction.

Isn't this required even for residential work in some states?

A. Spruce
Re: Construction Safety

I'm in one of the most litigious states and in most residential rehab situations, hard hats are not a requirement. Tract homes, at least the initial phases, and commercial or government work it is a far bigger concern, mostly because of larger crews and more things going on that can be dangerous. A lot of it also has to do with company size and specialty.

Re: Construction Safety

7,8,9,10. Yep I still have all my fingers intact. Safety equipment is smart but not always required. I knew a backhoe operator who was fined and then fired for not wearing a hard hat while digging in an open field. The machine had a roll bar and roof and there was nothing but blue sky above- but rules are rules, even stupid ones. In residential work there is very lax enforcement of workplace safety rules unless the general contractor makes it their business to do that. Commercial and industrial work, being much more dangerous, gets the scrutiny.

One can work very safely without always needing every protection available, and sometimes certain "safety" items can actually make certain operations more dangerous, though eye protection is always a must. The TOH guys are not working unsafely just because they are not always using every piece of safety equipment there is, their experience leads them to knowing how to work safely as you see them and using what is needed when that experience deems it necessary. I'd work around or with them anytime ;)


Re: Construction Safety


My suggestion to you: follow all your local safety rules, regardless what you see on TV.

Safety rules are there for a reason and following them is not that difficult. Follow them and you'll be able to count "7,8,9, and 10"...

Mr. Burke
Re: Construction Safety

As an OSHA Trainer at a VOC High School, I can tell you that OSHA Federal laws state, that all employees or students must wear PPE when working with or near power tools,and if a potential hazard exists. This still is not the culture of the residential trades.
This is a simple fact of LACK OF TRAINING. Hard-hats, eye wear,
dust masks, hearing protection, and other PPE Personal protection equipment is inexpensive,and easy to get use to. In fact once you've been trained and practice safe work habits working without them becomes uncomfortable....Real men wear PPE

A. Spruce
Re: Construction Safety
Mr. Burke wrote:

As an OSHA Trainer at a VOC High School, I can tell you that OSHA Federal laws state, that all employees or students must wear PPE when working with or near power tools,and if a potential hazard exists. This still is not the culture of the residential trades.
This is a simple fact of LACK OF TRAINING. ....Real men wear PPE

The thing is, safety is between the ears of the worker and absolutely no amount of training, disaster preparedness, or anything else is going to replace personal awareness and personal responsibility. Accidents, unfortunately, can actually happen regardless of the layers of PPE applied, company training, safety courses, certified safety officers on site, or anything else.

When I hurt myself I see it as ME having a stupid moment and having made choices to use or not use PPE, as well as a host of other factors that may have lead up to the accident.

Don't get me wrong, I am actually a proponent of safety equipment and advocate its use, however, there are a great number of instances where PPE is actually MORE dangerous than not. There are a great number of instances, as noted by Mastercarpentry, where PPE regulations just don't apply to the situation.

Herein lies the rub between catering to the lowest common denominator who isn't smart enough to know better, and those of us who actually have more than two brain cells to rub together. Laws in general are for those who cannot think for themselves, thereby overly regulating those of us who can.

Let me give you a real world scenario that I was personally involve in. I once fell off the side of a truck while trying to tie a load down. Was it:
A - My fault for working in the manner I was working.
B - The company's fault for not replacing worn ropes on the truck I was driving.
C - The owner of the property who's driveway I cracked my head on, thereby receiving a concussion.

What was the proper course of action in the above instance?
A - Sue my employer and property owner for damages and unsafe work environment
B - File a grievance with the union that my employer was making me do the work I was hired to do.
C - Realize that my own actions in the incident may have lead to the inevitable fall and injury.

Go ahead and discuss the options amongst yourselves.

Re: Construction Safety

Spruce, concussion for real?

A and C.

A. Spruce
Re: Construction Safety
dj1 wrote:

A and C.

We have a winner!!!!!!!!

And yes, a concussion. I won't divulge the graphic details, but I will say that the incident happened in the morning and I worked the day to completion. I didn't run home to mommy, I didn't cry to the union, I picked myself up and I went on with my day as usual.

Re: Construction Safety

If a firefighter falls through the roof of a burning building, it's his own fault, then?
You can always play "what if" post-incident and come up with a million ways it could have been avoided. The hard part is recognizing the risk before the incident. So, a trained and experienced worker should be the safer worker than the newb.
If you want to get into designing in safety features into tools, look how jointer head design was improved to make them somewhat safer (less likely to remove entire hands).

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