3 traps workers may leave behind

by on December 9, 2010 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: Workplace Safety Network

Indiana Jones escaped many booby traps in his travels through exotic temples and dark tunnels. But outside Hollywood, the hero doesn’t always evade the trap. When real-world workers leave snares behind, others can get caught up in them. Here are three to watch out for and what you can do about them:

1. Making small changes
A worker may decide that it would be OK to use a different type of equipment or even just a different type of fastener to get a job done. Example: A worker used deck screws instead of nuts and bolts to secure fall protection anchors. The next worker who attached his lanyard to them fell to his death from a rooftop.

Suggestion: Make sure workers know they should ask you if it’s necessary to “do it another way.”

2. Failing to report malfunctions
Example: A rear view mirror broke off a loader. This created a blind spot for the next driver. He backed up and killed a passing worker.

Suggestion: Workers may not think it’s their job to report malfunctioning equipment or machinery. Make sure workers fill out both post-shift and pre-shift inspections to uncover possible hazards left by a previous operator.

3. Incomplete work
Remind workers to look for traps if they must leave a task unfinished to move on to higher priority work.

Best bet: If they must leave right away, have them assign someone else to make sure the worksite is secure and doesn’t leave hazards behind.

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