Toolbox Talks are an important part of safety and health programs. They allow employers to
proactively address hazards specific to the jobsite or project, creating awareness of certain risks and how workers should handle them. Perhaps just as important, Toolbox Talks can be used to build trust and boost communication when the tone is one of a safe space for employees to voice any safety concern or suggest ideas they have for improving safety.
Safety is a core value for many construction companies, with many subscribing to the mantra that all workers will return home at the end of the day in the same condition as they left home. But as experienced workers leave the industry, maintaining this goal with workers with less experience creates a new challenge.
In July 2019, 3M issued stop use and product recall notices on two products frequently used by ironworkers in steel erection applications.
The first is 3M™ PROTECTA® Cobra Mobile/Manual Rope Grab AC202D, which is incorrectly stamped for use with 1/2 to 3/4 inch diameter rope on the exterior body of the unit. This Cobra Rope Grab is certified for use ONLY with 5/8 inch diameter polyester or polypropylene rope. All marketing information and the Instructions for Use (IFU) for this rope grab correctly identify the size of rope to be used as 5/8 inch polyester/polypropylene rope.
In the event of a fall from height, a Cobra Rope Grab used with 1/2 inch diameter rope may not arrest the fall and could result in serious injury or death to the worker.
If the adjacent structure is not equipped to provide appropriate fall protection, the Genie® boom may be used as a fall arrest anchor. (Credit: Genie)
It’s not uncommon that a construction worker needs to access an upper elevation using a boom lift, but does not know if in this particular situation it is safe and legal to do. There are legitimate reasons for exiting the platform at height. Sometimes exiting the platform when elevated is simply the safest way to carry out temporary work at height.
Effective February 7, 2019, employers must evaluate crane operators to ensure they are fully qualified to operate the crane, taking into account the size, configuration, environment, and hoisting activities. Operators must demonstrate ability to recognized and avert risk. Employers must document these evaluations, and documentation must be available at the work site.
Certification alone does not qualify an operator to operate cranes. Employers have a responsibility to make sure operators are fully qualified by demonstration of skills and knowledge necessary to operate equipment safely, and be able to recognize and avert risks.