When trucks bring steel back from a jobsite, it most often just gets thrown into a laydown area,
or bone yard, with cranes, lifts and welding machines. This can cause a lot of potential hazards,
as improper material storage can cause leg, ankle and/or hand crushes, also known as pinch
All laydown areas are dangerous, not just those on jobsites. They create trip hazards that can
do more damage than just a crushing injury, such as broken bones, caused by a fall.
One of the most important things to have when working in a laydown area is to have a spotter.
A spotter should always make himself/herself seen by the forklift operator, know how to
handle the forks on the lift, and always be on the lookout for damaged dunnage.
When working in a bone yard, remember to watch where you put your hands. The laydown
area can be full of spiders and snakes in addition to the sharp edges. Never go into the bone
yard unprotected. Old cables or chokers can cut you, that’s one of the main reasons they’re in
the bone yard.
There can be many hidden traps, so you must be on the lookout. That means to look under,
around, and beside you, even if you’re just getting one piece out. Always fix the pile when
you’re done. Don’t leave a trap for the next person.
Middle Georgia State University- Environmental Health and Safety manual for pinch points
This Safety Flash was contributed by Dave Schulz of Schulz Iron Works, Inc., in cooperation with
SEAA’s Safety Committee. It is designed to keep members informed about ongoing safety
issues and to provide suggestions for reducing risk. Best practices are gathered from a
variety of sources. They may be more or less stringent than individual corporate policies,
and are not intended to be an official recommendation from SEAA. Always get approval
and direction from your company officers on any new practice or procedure as these best
practices may not work for all situations.
Everyone benefits when a worker avoids injury. Submit your ideas for Safety Flash