Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Drivers beware - Construction Zone

Road Work Safety

The article below by Joe Gorman of the Tribune Chronicle relates to the death in a vehicle collision in a Road Work Construction Zone.

This incident didn't directly involve Construction Workers, but did not harm any of the workers on this section of roadway. This involved three vehicles in a "sandwich" incident caused by the third vehicle not anticipating and obeying posted save speed in that zone.

It is VERY IMPORTANT that ALL vehicles obey posted speed limits in areas of long term construction zones as well as to slow down in temporary work zones with only signs and cones.

Come on folks. Slow it down!

Officer: Drivers beware

By JOE GORMAN Tribune Chronicle

Construction zone accidents are all too common, the head of the Trumbull Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol said in the aftermath of a triple fatality on Interstate 80.

Monday's accident in which an SUV was crushed between two tractor-trailers was unusual in that three people were killed, but the crashes themselves are not uncommon, patrol Lt. Michael Orosz said.

Drivers have to be extra alert for sudden stops when they are in a construction zone, he said.

''Be as cautious as you can be,'' Orosz said. ''Sometimes backups happen very abruptly. You just have to be very careful.''

The eastbound lanes of I-80 were closed for about six hours after the accident, which happened about 1:50 p.m. when a FedEx tractor was stopped in front of a Ford Explorer in the right lane not far from a construction site in which traffic lanes had merged. A third vehicle, a tractor-trailer driven by Eugene R. White, 62, of Shiloh, failed to stop and rammed into the Explorer, pushing it into the FedEx trailer.

The driver of the Explorer, Shirley Gilmore, 66, of Warren, was killed, along with her brother and sister, David Westenfelder, 56, and Wendy Frost, 59, both of Surprise, Ariz.

Gilmore and her husband, Larry, own Larry's Super Pawn in Warren. Westenfelder and Frost were in town to help the Gilmores celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.

Employees at the pawn shop declined to comment Tuesday.

Gilmore's daughter is Warren police Capt. Janice Gilmore, a third-generation city police officer. Police Chief Timothy Bowers said he was fielding calls Tuesday from colleagues in law enforcement asking what they can do to help.

''It's a horrible tragedy,'' Bowers said. ''The entire law enforcement community has reached out to her. Anything that we can do for the family, we'll do.

''She always seemed like a sweet person,'' Bowers said of Shirley Gilmore.

Statistics by the Ohio Department of Public Safety show that from 2005 to 2008, 67 people were killed in work zone traffic crashes, with a high of 20 in 2005 and a low of 13 in 2007. Statistics for 2009 have not yet been completed.

Orosz said troopers are investigating and that toxicology tests will be done on White, and his truck also will be examined for any mechanical deficiencies, which is normal in any accident involving a commercial vehicle.

For her part, there was not much Gilmore could have done, Orosz said. Drivers need to be looking in their mirrors for vehicles coming from behind, but there was no place for her to go in the stalled traffic, he said.

There was no special detail to enforce safety regulations at the construction site, but a trooper was working a side job Monday for the construction company, Orosz said. The company was performing resurfacing work and bridge repair on I-80, which goes from Mount Everett Road to the Pennsylvania state line.

Shortly after the crash, the Ohio Department of Transportation detoured vehicles from the site, ODOT District 4 spokesman Justin Chesnic said. However, vehicles caught past an exit ramp were stuck the entire time.

Chesnic said trying to get traffic turned around is often done on a case-by-case basis, and sometimes local emergency management agencies assist, but that was not done Monday.

Monday's accident is the second triple fatality this year in Trumbull County in which a semi was involved.

On March 31, three U.S. Marine recruits were killed at state Route 82 and Burnett Road in Warren Township after a semi driven by Donald Williams of Austintown plowed into the back of the car in which they were traveling.

No charges have been filed yet in the accident that killed Joshua Sherbourne, 21, of Southington, Michael Theodore, 19, of Howland, and Zach Nolen, 19, of Newton Falls, although Trumbull County prosecutors have reviewed the crash report and charges are expected.

The three were heading to Cleveland in a car driven by Marine Sgt. Charles Keene to sign final enlistment papers. Also injured in the accident was Carl McDermott III, 18, of Masury, who suffered two broken bones in his neck.

In that accident, state troopers have said Williams' semi struck the rear of the car carrying the Marines just after a red light changed to green and pushed it through the intersection into the path of several other cars.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Oil Clean Up

OSHA Warns About Oil Spill Cleanup

The following article was posted in the May 4th issue of the Mobile Press-Register. It was written by Jeff Amy, Business Reporter.

It kinda took me by surprise when I noted that OSHA has warned workers of dangers in the Gulf Oil Spill cleanup. However, in thinking about it, it just makes Horse Sense for them to do what they were organized to do - Help Keep Workers Safe On The Jobsite. This is truly a HUGE worksite.

I appreciate the Press-Register passing this warning for all and any persons being cautioned about the perils dealing with the oil.

OSHA - Cleanup Workers Warned
By Jeff Amy
Business Reporter

As temporary labor firms began to recruit workers for oil spill cleanup, the head of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration said the workplace safety agency wants to make sure workers aren't harmed by the oil.

"Our objective is make sure that the cleanup is safe," said David Michaels, the assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health.

Michaels visited Louisiana on Monday, along with other health and safety agencies, to consult with well owner BP PLC about training. BP's Deepwater Horizon well has been leaking for some two weeks since the rig involved exploded and sank.

OSHA warns thta cleanup workers could face hazards from oil byproducts, dispersants, detergents and degreasers, as well as drowning, heat, falls, insects and snakes.

OSHA requires a four-hour training class before people can clean up oil. That class is not required for people who are helping to set floating booms, although BP has been requiring a separate safety class for them.

Although BP is offering to pay all cleanup workers, Michaels said that if volunteers are used, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requires volunteers to receive this same training that OSHA requires.

Michael's visit came as recruitment of workers geared up.

In Alabama, Houston-based Advanced Industrial Services was trying to hire general laborers with port security identification at hourly rates of $10 to $12. The company was also looking for supervisors and safety representatives.

Construct Corps LLC, a construction labor temporary firm, was advertising for general labor in Pascagoula and Gulfport, paying $9 to $10 an hour. The firm, based in Tampa, Fla., also was seeking 200 people with OSHA hazardous waste and emergency response certification.
OSHA oil spill cleanup safety:

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

More Work Zone Safety Tips

Do's and Don'ts In Roadway

Work Zones

The article below from EHS Today by Laura Walter emphasizes some safety "Do's and Don'ts while driving through roadway work zone. This article is based on American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE).

Please read this article closely and put these tips into practice when you enter these zones.

Work Zone Safety Tips

For many workers, such as police officers, sales personnel, utility workers, truck drivers, construction workers, fire fighters and emergency personnel, the “office” is actually a vehicle. To keep these workers and others safe, American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) members have developed safety tips for drivers passing through work zones.

According to ASSE, transportation accidents have been the leading cause of on-the-job deaths in the United States every year since 1992. In 2007 alone, 835 deaths resulted from motor vehicle crashes in U.S. road construction work zones.

Everyone plays a role in maintaining a safe work zone area during roadway construction. To play your part, follow these tips while driving through a work site:


  • Pay attention to the orange diamond-shaped warning signs or electronic message boards posted in advance of a road construction project.
  • Stay alert. Dedicate your full attention to driving.
  • Minimize distractions. Avoid changing radio stations, using a cell phone, etc. while driving in a work zone.
  • Drive carefully and slowly through the construction site; always obey the posted speed limits in the work zone area.
  • Pay close attention and heed directions on work zone warning signs. Signs and work zone flaggers save lives.
  • Watch for stopped or slowing traffic. Do not tailgate.
  • Expect the unexpected. Anticipate potential dangers.
  • Watch how the traffic ahead is flowing.
  • Keep an eye out for construction workers, their equipment and vehicles, as well as the vehicles around you.
  • Use extra caution when driving through a site at night.
  • Watch for detours and lane diversions.


  • Speed up or slow down significantly while going through a work zone.
  • Slow down to look at the construction work being done.
  • Resume normal speed until after you emerge completely out of the work zone area.
  • Tailgate. Most of the accidents within a work zone are rear-end collisions.
  • Change lanes within a work zone.

Most states have instituted new laws regarding work zones; penalties for speeding in these areas are double that of the normal penalties for speeding in a non-work zone stretch of road.

ASSE recently released its “Work Zone Safety for Highway Construction” standard, A10.47-2009. According to the standard Committee Chair Scott Schneider, “Each year, many construction workers are killed in work zones. Their deaths could have been prevented. They were run over by motorists, backed over by construction vehicles and electrocuted by overhead power lines.”

For more information, download ASSE’s “Prevent Roadway Crashes” brochure.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Road Construction Safety - 1

Road Construction Safety

The article below by Misty Maynard of the The Ledger Independent tells of a Safety campaign in Kentucky that makes the average motorists to pay close attention to the warning signs where new roadway work or existing roadway maintenance and repair work is on going.

The week of April 19-23 is
"Roadway Safety Emphasis Week" all over the country.

I commend Ms Maynard on this very informative article. As a Safety Professional, as well as a normal driver that drives the roads of southwest Alabama where quite a number of construction and repaving work is on going, I make it a special emphasis to slow down to below the posted "Safe Speed Limit" in these areas. I urge all readers to adhere to these speed limits no matter how irritated the drivers following you get. I really like the signs spelled out like they are from a child saying, "My Daddy works here, Please Slow Down."

Come on drivers, slow it down in these work areas. Many workers are only protected by safety cones, not heavy concrete barricades.
Those will not keep a vehicle from striking a roadway worker.

Safety campaign looks to curb construction accidents

buy this photo Terry Prather/Staff Workers from the Kentucky Department of Highways had a safety zone set up along Kentucky 11, south of Maysville Monday so that falling rocks and debris could be removed from a ditch line along the roadway. Motorists are urged to use caution while traveling through work zones.

As Michael Hickerson stood in the curve of Kentucky 324 near Wedonia directing traffic through a construction zone recently, he became concerned when an approaching driver did not seem to notice the stop sign on display.

There was oncoming traffic in the open lane and Hickerson feared an accident if he couldn't catch the driver's attention. He pushed the sign out farther and motioned for the driver to stop.

"She finally realized what I was trying to do," Hickerson said. "It could've been very, very bad."

Hickerson, a highway equipment operator with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet's Mason County maintenance crews. said he sees incidences like these far too often. Driver inattention is a major factor in accidents in work zones and puts Hickerson and all other employees of the KYTC at risk.

In 2009, nine people died and 140 were injured in highway construction and maintenance work zones in Kentucky.

Nationally, in 2008 there were 720 work zone fatalities nationwide and more than 40,000 people injured. In the U.S., there is on work zone fatality every 10 hours and one work zone injury every 13 minutes. Eighty-five percent of the fatalities are motorists.

Those statistics are the reason why KYTC designates one week every April to a work zone safety campaign. KYTC is hosting events across the state this week to highlight the safety message.

"Springtime is construction time," said KYTC District 9 spokesman Allen Blair, making April a perfect time for the safety campaign.

Blair said accidents in work zones are easily prevented, if drivers pay attention and proceed cautiously through the zones.

"Minimize your distractions, slow down, expect the unexpected," Blair said.

Hickerson said cell phones in particular are a major distraction. However, crews are at risk by people eating while driving, reading the newspaper, putting on makeup, or any other activity that diverts their attention from the roadway.

District 9, which covers 10 counties including Mason County, has been fortunate, Blair said, with few accidents occurring.

"We've had a lot of close calls," Blair said.

Maintenance crews abide by strict federal guidelines for establishing a work zone and notifying approaching drivers of the work ahead.

Beginning Monday on Kentucky 11, a crew of seven plus a contractor worked to clean a ditch and free loose debris in Maysville. Though the crew only had to close the shoulder, cones were set up at intervals of 20 feet beginning 190 feet before the actual work site to alert drivers of the maintenance.

Blair said projects that close a lane have guidelines for how much advance warning and space is needed to allow drivers to merge into another lane.

In addition to the cones, signs announcing the work site are displayed, there are flashing lights on vehicles and employees wear bright vests, t-shirts, jackets and hats for easy visibility.

The guidelines used for work zones are designed for maximum efficiency and safety, Blair said.

District 9 has several upcoming projects in the area. Time lines for the projects depend on weather.

Included in the projects are:

-- Bridge repairs on Kentucky 111 and Kentucky 3302 in Fleming County, and Kentucky 57 in Lewis County.

-- Safety improvements along 12 miles of U.S. 62 in Mason County including drainage and guardrail repairs.

-- Resurfacing of about 2.7 miles of Kentucky 111 near Grange City in Fleming County and more than 2 miles of Kentucky 8 and Kentucky 2515 in Mason County.

Contact Misty Maynard at or call 606-564-9091, ext. 272.

For more area news, visit

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Patient and Family Fall Prevention
by Providence Hospital - Mobile, AL

Recently, I spent several days in Providence Hospital. In the info package that is issued to all patients was a brochure titled "Patient and Family Fall Prevention."

After reading this publication I feel like this is an item that is appropriate for any hospital, anywhere for Patients, Staff Personnel and Family Members as it just makes Horse Sense.

Personnel at Providence Hospital has graciously agreed with me to post the information in this blog site as it is so applicable to so many people in so many different ways to prevent falls in hospitals.

Providence Hospital

Patient and Family Fall Protection

  • At Providence Hospital We are committed to Providing Education to Our Patients and Family Members to Ensure Safety for All. Thank you for choosing Providence Hospital.

The danger of falling is very real for hospitalized patients. There are several factors that increase this risk; *Current Illness * New and unfamiliar surroundings * Certain medications, such as sleeping aids, pain relievers, water pills, and laxatives * Previous fall history *Shortness of breath, stroke, muscle weakness, unsteady gait (walking), fever, urgent need to use the restroom * New confusion or disorientation from your current illness * Dementia, depression, or psychosis * Sensory impairments, such as numbness in feet; vision or hearing problems * Post treatment procedure/surgery *Medical devices in use.

*Staying with you if necessary *Informing the nurse of any changes they see in your behavior or thinking. *Informing the nurse if you have a history of falls. *Keeping the room free from clutter. *Leaving the bed in lowest position and notify the nurse upon leaving your room.

Tell your nurse if you feel you are at risk to fall due to: *Recent falls. *Periods of dizziness or blurred vision. * Weakness or loss of balance. *Require a walker, crutches, or cane when walking. *Have trouble feeling your feet on the ground. *You just "feel different."

Follow the following guidelines to help prevent falls:
*Refrain from walking without assistance when you must take equipment such as IV poles with you. *Follow the red, yellow, and green precaution signs (posted in your room). *Do not attempt to get up without the nurses assistance.

*Having a higher risk to fall may occur at different times throughout your hospital stay. Your nurse will be accessing your risk to fall each shift. *If a nurse determines that you are at risk to fall or if you or your family feel that you are at risk, we provide a special plan of care to address safety issues and reduce the danger of an accidental fall and injury.

The nurses and nursing assistants develop fall prevention practices based on your individual risk factors. Some of the most common fall prevention practices used at Providence Hospital include; *A fall logo may be placed on your door and on your medical chart to alert other health care workers of your risk to fall. Fall leaves are used in this logo. *A yellow armband may be used to ensure that other health care workers are aware of your risk to fall in case you leave your room. *We may ask you to wear our yellow non-skid slippers when you are out of the bed. *Hourly rounding may be done by staff. This means the staff will come to your room hourly to see if you need any help. If you are sleeping, the staff will be careful not to wake you. This frequent rounding allows us to help you meet your needs. *You will be instructed to use the call light for help getting into and out of your bed or chair to use the urinal or bedpan, walk to the bathroom, or retrieve something out of your reach. *A bed alarm may be used to alert the nurses that you need to get out of bed. *Signs will be used to inform you of how much assistance you need to get out of bed.

Fall Prevention Instructions For Our Patients
*Don't walk with equipment
*Call for nurse assistance when getting up from the bed, chair or bathroom.
*Follow precaution signs:
RED - Don't get up without assistance. YELLOW - Don't get up without a nurse or family member assisting you. GREEN - You may get up without assistance.

While our program is very beneficial in preventing falls, its success depends entirely upon staff, patients, and visitors participating completely in the program.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Gas Line Explosion

High Fines For Explosion

The post below from The Houston Business Journal and shows that some Federal Agencies take incidents that cause fatalities and/or catastrophies are fined with enough impact to let huge corporations do what they wish with disregard to safety procedures spelled out by these Programs.

Most of my posts are referred to OSHA incidents, but other Agencies have rules and seem to be not ashamed to place heavy fines for such incidents.

In reference to OSHA, I have noted in past posts that I feel that their fines are inadequate to cover make a difference to Large Corporations that just pay a small fine and continue to operate unsafely.

It seems that The Department of Transportation has no qualms about issuing penalties that get the attention FINANCIALLY of these large corporations.

The fatality in this incident was only one person. However, this could have easily caused multiple fatalities and huge monetary costs. This person, apparently, had not been advised of the location of the pipe line and while grading for a right of way struck the existing line with his dozer.

El Paso Corp. hit with $2.3M safety penalty

Houston Business Journal

The U.S. Department of Transportation has levied what it calls a record penalty of $2.3 million against gas-pipeline company El Paso Corp. and its subsidiary, Colorado Interstate Gas Co., in connection with a fatal 2006 pipeline explosion in Wyoming.

The civil penalty, for alleged violations of federal pipeline safety regulations, is the largest DOT has ever levied against a pipeline company under its oversight, the agency said.

The penalty is in connection with an explosion in Laramie County, Wyo., in which the Rockies Express Pipeline, a gas pipeline owned by Wyoming Interstate Co. Ltd. and operated by Colorado Interstate Gas Co., both subsidiaries of Houston-based El Paso Corp. (NYSE: EP), was struck by a bulldozer, resulting in the release of natural gas, a subsequent explosion and fire, and the death of the bulldozer’s driver.

The operator was Bobby Ray Owens Jr., 52, of Louisiana, according to news reports. He worked for a construction company, not El Paso.

“At the time of the accident, the bulldozer operator was attempting to grade nearby land to build a right of way for the Rockies Express Pipeline,” DOT said in a statement.

DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, which investigated the incident, “discovered the companies did not comply with federal regulations covering the locating and marking of buried pipeline facilities,” the agency said.

“Federal requirements are in place to provide protections for America’s most important assets, its citizens,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in the statement. “The department will hold pipeline operators accountable for the safety of those who live and work in the vicinity of their systems and negligence will not be tolerated.”

El Paso Corp. and Colorado Springs-based Colorado Interstate Gas also were ordered to take various actions “to ensure compliance with federal pipeline safety regulations.” They include revising corporate procedures for making construction records, maps, and operating history available to operating personnel, and having supervisors to conduct unannounced reviews of work performed by El Paso line locators to ensure applicable procedures are being followed.

In a statement to The Associated Press, an El Paso Corp. spokesman said that the company has improved its procedures, but he also said federal officials should have taken into account what he called errors by the construction company working at the site as well as the complexity of the situation.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

2009 Top Ten Violations

Top Ten Violations - 2009

The article below from Injury, National News Desk featuring Jane Akre lists the top ten Violations for 2009 to date.

See if you, your company or anyone to whom these violations apply are guilty, you should take immediate action to correct the causes of these basic items for Safe Work on your job sites.

Top 10 Safety Violations for 2009
Posted by Chrissie Cole
Tuesday, October 27, 2009 10:24 PM EST
Category: In The Workplace
Tags: OSHA, Safety Violations, Workplace Safety, Construction Safety, Falls


* InjuryBoard Workplace Injury Help Center
* NSC’s Safety+Health Magazine

IMAGE SOURCE: © Wikimedia Commons

The Top 10 workplace violations for 2009 has been released by the U.S. Department of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

The number of top-10 violations have increased nearly 30 percent during the same period since 2008.

Workplace Violations:

10. Machine Guarding - 2,364 violations

Any machine part, function or process that has the ability to cause injury must be safeguarded.

9. Electrical - 2,556 violations

Working with electricity can be particularly dangerous. Engineers, electricians and others work directly with electricity (i.e. circuit assemblies). While others (i.e. sales people) indirectly work with it but may also be exposed to electrical hazards.

8. Powered Industrial Trucks - 2,993 violations

Thousands of injuries occur each year in the US workplace, related to powered industrial trucks or forklifts. Employees can suffer injury when lift trucks drive off loading docks, when they are struck by a lift truck or when they fall while on elevated pallets.

7. Ladders – 3,072 violations

Stairways and ladders are a major source of injuries and fatalities among construction workers.

6. Electrical (Wiring) – 3,079 violations

See electrical above.

5. Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) – 3,321 violations

“Lockout/Tagout” refers to specific practices and procedures to safeguard employees from the unexpected startup of machinery and equipment, or the release of hazardous energy. An estimated 3 million workers service equipment and face the risk of injury if lockout/tagout is not properly implemented.

4. Respiratory Protection – 3,803 violations

Respirators protect workers from insufficient oxygen environments, harmful sprays, gases, vapors, smokes, dusts and fogs. These hazards can cause cancer and other diseases or death.

3. Hazard Communication - 6,378 violations

A written hazard communication program is an essential element for every company. Chemical importers and manufacturers are required to evaluate the hazards of the chemicals they import or produce, and prepare labels and safety data sheets to convey the hazard information to their customers.

2. Fall Protection – 6,771 violations

The majority of falls are from ladders and roofs. Protection must be provided to workers at four feet in general industry, five feet in maritime and six feet in construction.

1. Scaffolding – 9,093 violations

Scaffold accidents are most often attributed to the planking or support giving way, or from the employee slipping or being struck by a falling object.

The findings were presented this week at the NCS’s Annual Congress & Expo. A final report will be published in the December issue of the NSC’s Safety+Health Magazine. #

Read more:

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Confined Space Requirements

The article below shows the necessity of proper training of workers, particularly while working in confined spaces. There are several Safety Training Specialty facilities in the Mobile area that can perform on-site safety analysis, provide safety programs and training for the employees of companies such as the one in the article below.

I can see no excuse for incidents like the ones listed below.

From the Mobile Press-Register, by Connie Baggett, staff reporter, on Thursday, October 8, 2009


Brewton Railcar Repair is Cited

Brewton – A railcar repair company could face some $360,000 in fines after a federal probe into an April incident that left four workers injured, two of them seriously.

Frit Car Inc. spokeswoman Carla Carpenter said the company addressed many of the issues immediately after the accident, and all of the problems are under review.

Carpenter said the company’s employees are its “most valuable asset,” and improvements in safety are ongoing.

A news release from the U.S. Dept. of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration released this week said Frit Car failed to adequately train workers regarding confined space procedures.

The investigation found Frit Car had no training for workers or rescuers on site, as is required.
Workers who can be exposed to potentially deadly gases in confined spaces, such as railcars, are protected by strict guidelines, according to OSHA rules.

Several serious infractions were cited, as well as numerous others, such as the lack of guardrails and adequate shower facilities as well as noise exposure, bad housekeeping and bad record keeping.

The investigation followed an incident April 3 in which two employees were overcome by potentially deadly fumes inside a railcar and had to be taken by helicopter to area hospitals.

Another employee was taken to a hospital by ambulance and a fourth went home to recover.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Farm Incidents Cause High Fatalities

Farm Accidents One of the Most
Dangerous Occupations

The article below from Indiana Prairie Farmer notes that Farming is one of the most dangerous occupations, especially in incidents caused by Tractor Overturns.

Overturns of farm equipment causes many fatalities, however about any type incident that can be thought possible and many thought to be impossible, or at least impractical, causes numerous serious and dismemberment injuries than any other known occupation.

Farms utilize family members in most farm related tasks, many of whom are family members that are not allowable in off the farm industries due to age.

I posted a couple of photos of actual Farm Equipment incidents that can only show a photo of what the result of an incident, but not show where any Horse Sense should have been used to prevent these incidents.

Tractor Overturns Still Lead Farm Fatality Causes
Fatalities higher again in 2008.
Tom Bechman
Published: Sep 24, 2009
The bad news from Bill field, Purdue University safety specialist, is that farm fatalities in Indiana crept back up again in '08, after bottoming at 8 fatalities in '06. It's the second straight year fatalities have been on the increase. Field released official numbers during a press conference at the Indiana Farm Bureau state headquarters in Indianapolis last week;

Last week marked the official observance of National Farm Safety Week. And the Indiana data shows, however, it's important to practice safety every day, not just during one week of the year.

National fatality statistics are based on estimates. Field says the numbers are a guess at best. The Indiana numbers, however, are firm. Field and his staff compile them based upon reports from clipping services and other information. They also cross-check them with information collected at the state level.

"The latest information at the national level says that fatalities in farming are 10 times more common than in industry as a whole," says Gail Deboy, also of Purdue. "For last year the national report listed agriculture as the number one most dangerous occupation in America, ahead of mining and construction."

The best news, perhaps, is that the 30-year trend is still toward far fewer farm fatalities than in the past, especially amongst children. "In 1977 a third of all deaths were children, many of them young children. Riding with dad on the tractor and becoming involved in some sort of accident was a major cause.

While there was no particular pattern to what caused an increase in fatalities last year, Field says tractor overturns remain the single most deadly action on the farm. About 25% of the deaths were due to overturns. Deboy says many times these were people riding older tractors that did not have Rollover Protective Structures (ROPS) installed.

Combine extra riders on tractors with tractor overturns, other tractor-related deaths and entanglements, and it accounts for about 75% of last year's farm fatalities, Field says. Grain bin entrapments get a lot of publicity because they nearly always result in death, but the number of people who die in grain bins each year is still far fewer than the number who die in tractor or implement-related mishaps.

Tractor roadway crash fatalities are also included in the newly-released data, as long as a tractor or farm implement was involved, Field notes. There was a trend toward increasing numbers of farmers dieing in these types of accidents, but it didn't really show up last year, he notes.

Indiana Farm Bureau stepped to the plate and campaigned hard to raise awareness for farmers traveling on roadways with equipment, and also started campaigns to educate the public about the hazards of traveling rule roads. A video was produced with Purdue, that has been widely shown to all types of audiences.

Through August of this year, the unofficial farm fatality total is 10 in Indiana. Deboy hope that number stays lower than the '08 number, That means people must be very attentive during harvest, An unusually high number of fatalities occurred in the fall last year.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Get Away From Unloading/Loading

Stay Well Away From Truck

The article below from 6 points out some of the dangers that occur during loading and unloading, specifically tractor/trailer loads.

However, it holds true for drivers and any other persons in a Non-essential position to clear themselves away from loading and unloading situations whether it be on a construction job site or, in fact at any location.

Many is the time that I've seen drivers stand beside their rigs while their truck is being loaded by heavy equipment such as dirt/rock hauling operations. Several times I've had to seek medical attention to one of these persons. I've also seen drivers hop up on their rigs and loosen the binding chains without assuring that the loads are secured from falling on the person releasing the bindings. Trained professional riggers should be the ones to handle these operations. The driver can go back and stow their rigging and bindins after the load is removed.

Failure to adhere to this simple and safe practice procedure just plain DOES NOT adhere to Horse Sense methods of Safety.

Man Crushed In Construction Accident

A freak accident took the life of a truck driver. Livingston County officials say falling concrete killed a truck driver in Howell Township on East M-59 near Grand River. Construction of a concrete wall came to a crashing halt. That crash killed Richard Browand, a 61-year-old truck driver for Mack Transport. Livingston County Sheriff Bob Bezotte calls it a tragic accident.

Bob Bezotte, Livingston County Sheriff: "He was in the wrong place at the wrong time when they were unloading the cement blocks. He was on the opposite side of the truck and when they took it off, the truck shifted."

A 3,500 pound slab of concrete fell off the truck and crushed him.

Bob Bezotte: "It crushed him in the chest area. He was alive at the scene, and then we got him to the hospital, the internal bleeding and the crush took his life."

Bezotte says construction accidents happen from time to time, but the saddest thing about this one is that it was avoidable.

Bob Bezotte: "When you're unloading a semi, ya know, people standing around a semi need to be back and the truck drivers and anyone else who's not involved with the unloading of the trucks."

It's advice that's too late for Browand. Bezotte says this accident should serve as a wakeup call for all construction workers to put safety first. The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating.