Safety Hazards Caused by Other Workers
One of the four components of the workplace is people. This includes the public that may be walking by, visitors to the site, delivery drivers dropping off material, and the workers that are there. When you are on a project site, you are never alone. People will be travelling through your work area, and you will be travelling through their area. You need to be aware of the safety hazards caused by other workers.
Part of this article comes from personal experience. I remember two construction sites where I saw firsthand how other workers can create hazards from their actions. The first, I was giving a tool box talk to my work crew when we heard a crunching sound. A worker on a zoom boom had run over a pallet not far from where we were standing. We found out after that he had very little experience operating this type of machinery. The other incident, a co-worker and I were standing in an open hallway near a staircase waiting for the rest of the crew to meet us to have our tool box meeting. A worker carrying a piece of wood turned near where we were standing and almost hit both of us.
When you are on a site, you need to watch what is happening all around you. You also need to ask questions about the workers working nearby: Are they new to the job? Have they used that piece of equipment that they are working with before? Is the driver of the forklift going slow enough that he can react to any situation? Does the operator of the piece of heavy equipment see you before you walk behind or in front of him/her?
These are some of the issues that can come up from other workers. While you can tell sometimes if a new worker is on the site (some industries require new workers to wear a green or orange hard hat to distinguish them from workers who are familiar with the site), there is a chance, you can’t always be sure that they are watching everyone around them. Remember to aware that there are safety hazards caused by other workers and treat them as another safety priority that is part of your job.