1. Thank you for visiting HeavyEquipmentForums.com! Our objective is to provide industry professionals a place to gather to exchange questions, answers and ideas. We welcome you to register using the "Register" icon at the top of the page. We'd appreciate any help you can offer in spreading the word of our new site. The more members that join, the bigger resource for all to enjoy. Thank you!
  2. ALL NEW MEMBERS READ THIS FIRST!! Thank you for joining Heavy Equipment Forums! If you are new to forums we communicate with "Threads", please search our threads to see if your topic may have already been answered and if not then click "Post New Thread" in the appropriate forum. This will allow all of our members to see your question and give you the best chance to be answered. After you've made a number of posts you will graduate to Full Member status where you'll see a few more privileges. Following these guidelines will help make this the best resource for heavy equipment on the net. Thanks for joining us and I hope you enjoy your stay!!

Future of workplace safety

Discussion in 'Safety Issues' started by MadMitch, Aug 4, 2013.

  1. MadMitch

    MadMitch Active Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2013
    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Hey guys. Am I the only one around that thinks workplace safety is getting beyond ridiculous. I currently work on the railways in AUS operating plant and labouring and ever new job I go to seems to have these stupid new safety rules. Things that are actually becoming a hazard themselves and slowing the job down.

    Now I'm not talking about saftey devices that actually protect people, but the ones that are dreamed up by the uni or grad students in offices pushing pens all day trying to make a "zero incident" environment.

    My opinion is that half of those people haven't even worked on a worksite let alone don some work
    Boots.

    What are your thoughts ?
     
  2. kshansen

    kshansen Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2012
    Messages:
    7,821
    Occupation:
    Retired Mechanic in Stone Quarry
    Location:
    Central New York, USA
    We have a new company policy that all vehicles must have wheel chocks in front and in back of one wheel when parked. This is even if parked on level ground with parking brake on and dozer blade or loader bucket on ground. The thing that really gets me about this is they don't care if the chocks in any way could hold the machine from moving. You know those rubber triangle chocks that are maybe 8 inches on a side? You can imagine how effective they are when used on a Cat 988H or 769D haul truck or a D7 dozer. But that keeps the white shirts happy! And this does not even talk about what happens in freezing weather, how are you going to remove them after sitting in the frozen mud all night?
     
  3. oldtanker

    oldtanker Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2010
    Messages:
    454
    Occupation:
    Ret
    Location:
    vining mn
    Lot of the time that isn't from the company office, it's from whoever the insurer is. Do this and we will drop your rates.

    Rick
     
  4. billythebairn

    billythebairn Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2013
    Messages:
    41
    Occupation:
    engineer
    Location:
    scotland
    Hi, totally agree with you, used to work offshore and had a risk assessment in place for not banging your head while getting out of bunk beds! now u can see this type of nonsense creeping into the construction industry ie, you can only wear lace up boots on site for ankle support{no riggers** but u can happily wear wellington boots with absolutely no support, as you say 95% of this type of these rules are made up by people who have no experience.
     
  5. Scrub Puller

    Scrub Puller Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Messages:
    3,480
    Location:
    Gladstone Queensland Australia
    Yair . . . I worked in an era before the safety Gestapo ruled in work places. I always took safety very seriously and never had a major accident on a jobsite.

    We are all human and accidents will happen but incidents can be minimised by a few basic rules, conditioning, and a bit of common sense.

    I believe the most potentially dangerous job I did was long distance trucking.

    This was before the era of JIT ordering and I was the one who decided when to pull up and roll the swag out under the trailer and get a bit of kip . . . the truck owner or the owners of the freight had no say and that's the way it should be. If a driver is tired, he/she is tired and if a bit of bloody freight is a few hours late into the depot bad luck.

    On a different note I copped a well meaning lecture from a well meaning brainwashed young boilermaker a couple of years back . . . he took issue with the four-inch grinders on my work bench and pointed out they would not be allowed on any work-site without the wheel guards.

    Apparently he had never used a little grinder bare wheel and was unaware as to how much more versatile the little machines were when you ditch the guard . . . I have been using them that way for over fifty years and I'm not about to change on my home turf.

    Yes, things can bite but hey that's life, no amount of Nanny State rules can cover all the risks.

    Cheers
     
  6. MadMitch

    MadMitch Active Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2013
    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Exactly ! Most of our chosen professions are danerous and that's the end. We have a thing called mission zero. Have to attend a day induction lecture on how important saftey is etc which is fine and all good because some of the stuff is really useful. When it comes to things like wheel chocks we have similar issues. One of our problems is on the rail we are operating our machines and working in close vicinity of each other. Sometimes less than 10m so we need to be in constant communication with each other to ensure we don't have a accident. Know the students in the white suits and ties think that we would all be far safer if we had a plant co-ordernator. Great idea. Except now we aren't allowed to talk directly to each operator because it is unsafe. Where is the logic ? We have to ask the plant co to relay the message and so on.

    These mission zero guys are doings pretty much everything except wrap us up in bubble wrap to keep us safe. Some sites we even have to wear hard hats, saftey glasses and gloves while operating a machine and doing paperwork ! Where's the end ?

    When can we do our job the most efficient and safely without having some power happy suit and tie breathing down our neck telling us what we can and can't do....
     
  7. briscoetab

    briscoetab Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2013
    Messages:
    56
    Occupation:
    Mechanic Formen and Equipment operator
    Location:
    West Texas
    Ohhh do not get me started on this subject. I get so tired of this safety stuff. Now I am not stupid and I know there is a reason for safety but it is getting extremely ridiculous. It’s almost impossible for small companies to afford all the different safety training and safety devices you have to have. I really think this safety stuff is becoming almost a scam for people to make money.

    Let me explain what I mean. Where I work you have to be certified by some safety organization to work for company "A". Then you want to go do some work for company "B" and they only allow contractors who work for them be certified by another safety organization. Now you have to go get all your employees certified by this other safety organization. Now you get to the jobsite. Every piece of lifting equipment you have has to have a lifting capacity tag on it that is readable. Every time one of this tags get torn up you have to get another lifting device, even though you have an identical lifting device with the tag on it. On top of this every piece of lifting equipment you have has to be engineered certified, no matter how much weight you are lifting or the fact that there isn't anything out there that is premade to lift what you have the way it needs to be lifted.

    Now you have been certified by your safety organizations but the pipeline you are working on is a DOT pipeline, now you have to fly someone out to where you live or take all your employees to the closest certifying person which is pretty far away for us. Well this one won't be cheap just like every other type of certification. Now we are DOT certified but we have to get our operators certified on cranes, manlifts, forklift and whatever else. Now we have to do the monthly and yearly safety stuff. Also have to do all the drug testing. Now we have to have fit check and respiratory check (whatever this is called) to use berating equipment is H2S environment.

    Ok now we got all that done but wait not done yet. Our certification for crane operator isn't good for the other company now we have to go get certified by another crane operator certifying organization. Ok now our cane has to be inspected, then the boom broken down every five years and inspected. All the fire extinguisher has to be inspected. Have to have personal H2S monitors for everyone and FR clothing. Have to keep records of all repairs on on-road equipment for DOT, plus yearly physical. Plus have to keep records for repairs on all equipment for OSHA. Now you can hardly pull a trailer on a pickup without having a CDL and the truck under all DOT regs.

    Wow, now we got all that done and guess what it’s been a year and it’s time to do all the recertification stuff. On top of this everything that you have to buy that is safety related is outrageously expensive.

    Like I said I'm not stupid, I know some of this stuff is necessary but the problem is it is no longer about safety it is about people trying to make money. I think originally all the safety certifications and safety devices were about safety but now it’s more about making money.

    The last thing I have to say is these safety analysis when an accident happens. These too I think were originally formed for a good purpose but now it is a way to put the blame on someone and have deniability that it was not the companies fault, heaven forbid that an accident was just an accident. The mindset that accidents don’t happen is ludicrous. Accidents do happen but I do believe they can be minimized just never eliminated.

    I also agree that sometimes all of the safety regulations and safety equipment can cause accidents because people get more worried about following proper safety protocols than actually paying attention to what they are doing.

    Sorry to keep rambling but this is one of the topics that get me going.
     
  8. MadMitch

    MadMitch Active Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2013
    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Briscos, I'm 100% with you on that. Don't be sorry that's why I stated this thread. Give us a place to vent it out.

    I do agree it is more of a money making scheme.

    In my opinion, saftey inspections should be carried out by veteran or at least an operator that understands how the job actually gets done and how the machines operate. These students straight out of a university or saftey course wouldn't know the difference between a quick hitch or a manual hitch. (In short no idea about anything to do with the machinery or the job) so how is it they can decide on all of the rules and regs that we have to work by.

    What also bugs me is these big companies puttin pressure on us sub contractors to keep up the safe working style which takes a lot of time to carry out but still putting the pressure on us to get the job carried out as quickly as possible. Yet when we do everything according to code, they complain that the job is taking far to long.

    For example at the moment on rail, the excavators need to Stop completely with buckets/attachments on the ground when any labourer or on foot personell sets foot within the danger zone. Now that doesn't sound so bad ?

    What radius would you guess the "danger zone" would be ? It's sure isint the capable swing of the machine. It's almost 3x that. Now everytime someone comes close the whole fleet of machines on the job have to stop dead. This is taking up hours out of a day where the machines and person could work together safely.

    Now the company is complaining that we are holding up the job ! What do we do. It seems like you can't win !

    Abit of common sense wouldn't hurt some people. It seems like if you have a near miss or minor incident, you get treated worse than a bloke that commits murder!
     
  9. clintm

    clintm Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Messages:
    974
    Occupation:
    trucking,concrete recycling,grading, demolition
    Location:
    charlotte nc
    I all ways wonder how long it would take to build the Interstate system and projects like the hoover dam with todays rules and regs and lacking workforce. no cabs cable blade straight drive no brakes no gps the real meaning of get err done
     
  10. oceanobob

    oceanobob Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    663
    Occupation:
    general contractor
    Location:
    oceano california
    If the sum total of all the workers are competent perhaps less rules would be required.
    One of the labor vendors saved their company from huge losses by applying a 40 question test multiple choice test about 'attitude' and 'how to react to others such as managers/foremen'....not one question about guards, ladder safety, etc.
    Those who failed the test were listed as ineligible for rehire for one year....they were amazed how their claims fell to a minimal level.
    The question is: should we encourage industry to lower the bar to include lesser qualified folks and protect them from others and themselves, or should we look into some stringency on hiring as a preventive measure?
    It seems unwise to adversely affect the production of experienced workers with procedures that are overly directed at assuring inexperienced workers safety.
     
  11. briscoetab

    briscoetab Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2013
    Messages:
    56
    Occupation:
    Mechanic Formen and Equipment operator
    Location:
    West Texas
    I agree competent workers are helpful but I don't think that is going to help as far as rules are concerned. I think the rules and regulations are here to stay and are only going to get worst. That was the point I was making earlier, the rules and regulations are not to offset incompetent workers, they are there so companies are not liable if an employee gets hurt and so safety companies or safety people can make money. I’m not saying that all companies are trying to get out of being liable for injuries but many are.

    Last year we had an employee get injured and it was a lost time accident. We were sub-contracting for another company here and we do a lot of sub-contract work for them. The employee got his finger smashed between two pipe flanges and had to have surgery. The initial finding was the employee was not wearing gloves and this was the cause for him having to have surgery, they were saying if he would of had gloves on the injury would have been less severe maybe even prevented. They pushed our company hard to do something about it and were saying the accident was our companies fault because we did not make him wear his gloves.

    They did a safety analysis meeting and the only issue there company brought up was about our employee not having gloves on. Well, there employee was the one overseeing the job and was also the one operating the truck mounted crane. He was lifting the pipe that was stuck and had quite a bit of pressure on it when it broke loose. Luckily our boss brought this up and pushed the issue. Finally they did say it was there companies fault because there guy was over the job and was responsible for the guys working for him. He also had no training or any kind of certification to operate the crane, which was overlooked till brought up by us. There employee did not suffer any consequence from this, nor did their company implement any kind of program because of this; like they wanted us to do. They still do not train their employees on crane operation or safety.
     
  12. MadMitch

    MadMitch Active Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2013
    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Yeah I also agree. Most of these rules have been created to protect the stupid and ones with no common sense. However if they did have a test like the one you mentioned, I could only see the unemployment rate going up a whole lot. That creates even more drama !

    Things like wearing gloves isint going to protect you from a lot. Sure it will protect you from some cuts and burns but no glove is going to protect you from a potential crushed hand or broken fingers. Similar to a hard hat. A hard hat isint going to stop an excavator bucket to the chin or side of your head. Sure it might fend off a shovel handle to the noggin but that's about it. And that's if the bloody things stay on your head long enough.

    If I could see into the future, I would say we will all be dressed up like nfl players wearing scuba gear, and probably wrapped in cotton wool and maybe for the big corporations a bubble like bubble boy. But hey, if I could see into the future I would avoid the potential incident anyway.
     
  13. his1911

    his1911 Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2013
    Messages:
    40
    Occupation:
    field service mechanic
    Location:
    homer, ga
    Oh trying juggling the differing interpretation of rules between osha/ msha / dot...... grrrrrr!
     
  14. Showpony

    Showpony Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2009
    Messages:
    193
    Location:
    Canterbury New Zealand
    remember, idiots know how to make it safe for idiots
     
  15. his1911

    his1911 Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2013
    Messages:
    40
    Occupation:
    field service mechanic
    Location:
    homer, ga
    I love it when safety trainers, take a high and mighty tone, and spout none of you have ever been taught that injuries are acceptable!
    I laugh and tell them they need to do a hitch on the service!
     
  16. Nige

    Nige Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    Messages:
    13,906
    Location:
    G..G..G..Granville...........!!
    Battling the idiocy of safety germs is a daily battle in my business.

    My signature line below was a result of one of my frequent run-ins with the Safety Dept.
     
  17. Scrub Puller

    Scrub Puller Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Messages:
    3,480
    Location:
    Gladstone Queensland Australia
    Yair . . . Nige. I noted the changed tag line and thought there may be a story. (he grins)

    Cheers.
     
  18. Plant Fitter

    Plant Fitter Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2012
    Messages:
    327
    Location:
    Australia
    What came first?

    Clothing manufacturers making high visibility clothing and then convincing companies that it was essential to make people wear it?

    Or

    Companies deciding that it was essential that people wear high visibility clothing and getting clothing manufacturers to make it?

    The same could be said for bollards, star picket caps, reflective tape, barrier tape, glove clips, auto retracting knives, VRD welders, etc............


    It's a whole industry that feeds itself and in order to keep expanding each new addition must be more ridiculous than the last.
     
  19. Nige

    Nige Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    Messages:
    13,906
    Location:
    G..G..G..Granville...........!!
    Don't even get me started on Global Warming, sorry, Climate Change ........... :mad::mad:

    Can anyone remember back to 1999 and the "Millenium Bug"..? How many "consultants" made sh1tloads of money out of that..? THe environmental/safety bandwagon is just the same IMHO..... :eek:
     
  20. Nige

    Nige Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    Messages:
    13,906
    Location:
    G..G..G..Granville...........!!
    Maybe it's time this photo got another airing. It looks so like our manager (an ex-Safety germ himself) that they could be brothers ......

    Safety Officer.jpg