Questions and Answers
Need to do a paper on any topics related to safety and health in the construction industry.
The number 1 killer in the construction industry is falls. Nearly 33% of all fatalities are due to a fall from an elevation. I would go to www.osha.gov, check out facts like the most requently cited standards and browse their fatality statistics. You can use their so called e-tools on fall protection to get a lot of information on why fall protection is needed and how it works. If you don't want to talk about falls, scaffolding is another interesting topic or maybe even trenching and excavations. Did you know that only one cubic yard of soil weighs as much as a small car? A fact most people are not aware of and if you get trapped in a cave-in, it can have devastating results.
A. Nearly all accidents take place in trenches that are 5 to 15 feet deep
B. There are usually no warnings before a cave-in
C. Both statements are true about excavation accident.
C is probably the textbook answer. However, a good safety program will catch B before the cave in occurs. You could say a faulty safety program is a warning that a cave in is waiting to happen.
For any excavation to meet OSHA requirements for life safety, most vertical cuts need to be strutted OR the slope needs to be laid back away from the cut at the natural angle of repose of the soil. For deep excavations, the slope method is untenable and wastes a lot of material and construction time. Some trenching and pipeline laying contractors build steel trench boxes that are already strutted and premade to be installed in the trench in the vicinity of the workmen in the trench. When the work moves along the trench, the trench box is lifted and moved with him.
For deep excavations (I am designing one now), you can use soldier piles with horizontal timber lagging between the piles or you can use driven steel sheet piles. The key to the pile design is determining the depth of embedment to keep the soil from crashing in on the workers who would be down in the excavated hole.
Excavation Death Trap: Not Today