In the world of sports, it has been discussed for years that football players (sorry non-US readers, we’re talking about American Football) take more risks because they feel invincible while wearing pads and their helmet. If football players psychologically convince themselves to take more risks while wearing a helmet, does that mean that others also do? We may now have an answer.
Dr. Ian Walker and Dr. Tim Gamble, researchers from the University of Bath, recently concluded a study of 80 adults, which measured their willingness to engage in risky behavior based upon what they were wearing on their head. The participants were randomly chosen to either wear a baseball cap or a bike helmet and were tasked with playing a gambling game. The game was pretty simple: the participants were asked to inflate a virtual balloon and with each click of the button they earned points, which also increased the chances of the balloon popping and them losing all of their points. Those who chose to inflate the balloon more were considered to be more likely to engage in risky behavior.
The interesting part is that even though the head gear the participants wore had absolutely nothing to do with the risk taking behavior, the researchers concluded that those who wore the bike helmet were more likely to take more risks.
“The practical implication of our findings might be to suggest more extreme unintended consequences of safety equipment in hazardous situations than has previously been thought. Replicated in real-life settings, this could mean that people using protective equipment might take risks against which that protective equipment cannot reasonably be expected to help,” said Dr. Ian Walker, in a statement on the University of Bath’s website.
Obviously, this should not encourage people to stop wearing safety helmets, especially hard hats. Hard hats have prevented countless job site deaths and an even larger amount of injuries. It does, however make a point that safety cannot just stop with wearing PPE while working in construction. We must also appeal to the psychological aspects of our employees and co-workers and instill a culture of safety.
Full story: Helmet wearing increases risk taking and sensation seeking | University of Bath
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.