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DHR - SAFETY ALERT MEMO 99-06
INCIDENT TYPE: Fall
LOCATION: District 4
TYPE OF WORK ACTIVITY: Bridge seismic retrofit project
THE INCIDENT: On October 19, 1999, a laborer working for the main contractor on the Benicia/Martinez Bridge lost his balance and fell backward while using a rope to lower a portable restroom. His fall protection saved his life. He was not injured and did not need medical attention, so he continued his work at the same location.
CONCLUSIONS: Year after year, falls are the leading cause of death to employees working in the construction industry. This is a good example of how important it is to use the proper personal protective equipment. If this employee did not use the supplied equipment, did not take the time to inspect it to ensure it was not defective, or had not been trained in its use, he might not be alive today.
RECOMMENDATIONS: It is the Supervisors responsibility to ensure employees are provided the required personal protective equipment, are trained in its use, and follow the policies listed in Chapter 12 of the Caltrans Safety Manual.
Dont cut corners! It is important to use the necessary PPE, and to take the time to discuss the hazards of each work activity at a tailgate safety meeting.
HEADQUARTERS OFFICE OF SAFETY AND HEALTH (916) 227-2640