OSHA requires fire extinguisher on all construction sites. One 2A fire extinguisher for every 3,000 square feet and a 10B within 50 feet of fuel storage. Additionally, a 2A is required next to stair cases on multi-level projects. On large jobs, it is easy to see how this can become a major expense.
One of the major issues on any construction site for the project manager is how to pay for all of these fire extinguishers. Many PMs look at buying the fire extinguishers that will be turned over to the owner at the end of the project, which are almost always ABC fire extinguishers. The only problem with this is that, during the course of construction, the majority of these fire extinguishers will be damaged, discharged (usually just for fun), painted by the workers just for the heck of it, or stolen from the job site. So, if you go this route, you are looking at purchasing more fire extinguishers than you need and also replacing a good amount of the extinguishers due to damage and vandalism. The ones that you can salvage to turn over to the owner will all need to be recharged and inspected.
What seems like a good money saving idea up front can turn into a major expense.
There is, however, a different solution to this problem. OSHA only requires a type A extinguisher on the jobsite. There is a product called a Stored Pressure Water Fire Extinguishers, which meet OSHA 2A requirements, and can be recharged and re-pressurized on the job site without the additional cost of having them serviced by a third party. These Fire Extinguishers can be purchased for around $100 (like this one here), versus what is typically found on the job site, the ABC 10lb which goes for anywhere between $60 - $120. That cost is before you include all of the hidden cost to recharge and re-certify the chemical fire extinguishers. To recharge a stored pressure water fire extinguisher,on the other hand, is very simple. You add regular water from a hose and then pressurize using an air compressor, both of which are on every construction site anyways.
On top of the maintenance benefits, these extinguishers can continue to be used on all of your future projects. So this type of fire extinguisher is a great one time expense. They also deter vandalism because they are less exciting to discharge, and because it is just plain water so the clean up is non existent.
If this is still too expensive for your job site, then you could always use the other option OSHA has available, which is to cut the top off of a 55 gallon drum fill it with water and have two fire pails. However, this might be a bit of a pain to have every 3,000 square feet.
Scissor lifts are on most typical construction job sites and they’re an often overlooked hazard. Too often, liberties are taken with the lifts that create unsafe conditions, which can cause injuries and deaths. OSHA recently released the results of their investigation of 10 fatalities and 20 injuries involving scissor lifts and released their findings in what the organization refers to as a “Hazard Alert.”
If you’re into heights, then China may be the place you need to be. The country recently unveiled the world’s highest and longest glass bridge and, as scary as many tourists may find that, it was way more dangerous while it was under construction. New footage of another construction site in the Laowang Monutains is giving that bridge a run for it’s money.
Since Construction Junkie was conceived in 2015, we’ve seen a lot of construction equipment flip for some really stupid reasons. Like this crane, this other crane, and this third crane dropping a bulldozer. Those are just some of the ones caught on video and they should be enough to convince you not to go out of your way to do dangerous things with a crane.
A portion of the Skagit River Bridge, located in Mount Vernon, Washington catastrophically collapsed into the water below after a semi hauling an oversized load clipped a cross beam in 2013. Luckily and amazingly, no one was killed by the incident, but 3 people were taken to the hospital for minor injuries as several cars fell into the river. It took over 3 years to determine a cause and the report states that there were several causes. First, below is security camera footage of the collapse, uploaded to Youtube by newschannel500, in which you can see just how quickly the collapse happened.
Cranes are a staple of many construction sites throughout the world, but they’re susceptible to damage caused by sudden bursts of high wind. Winds were blamed for the collapse of the New York City crane collapse that killed one man and injured 3 others in 2016 and again for the devastating crane collapse in Mecca, which killed over 100.
Much like the stories above, a crane collapsed last week in Dubai, UAE, after sudden heavy winds burst through town.
Tragedy struck a Florida construction company last week after 3 construction workers passed away while working underground below a newly paved road. Another volunteer firefighter is in critical condition, and possibly in a coma according to WSVN Miami, after entering the manhole trying to save the victims.
No matter how fun demolitions and demolition videos might be, there’s an inherent danger to performing them that cannot be overlooked. Just last year, a different parking garage collapsed during a demolition in Houston, Texas, which landed on one of the excavators performing the work. Thankfully, no one was injured in that collapse, but it could have been much worse.
The following is a guest post written by David B. Lever.
When construction sites are safer, then productivity increases as well as profits. More construction safety means less time lost due to accidents, lower insurance premiums, and less money spent repairing damaged equipment.
Jobsite pressures, such as time crunches and monetary issues can quickly tempt otherwise good people into making some pretty poor decisions. There are also others who use their construction business as a front for other illegal activities. Many people were arrested for a variety of reasons in 2016 and the list below should serve as both a reminder and a warning for those considering making bad decisions.