A lot of safety discussions center around how to keep yourself from falling off or being launched from lifts, but not many safety discussions involve how to get off of them when you’re in danger. Just recently, two construction workers in Boise, Idaho had to make some quick decisions as their welding blanket caught fire while they were in the lift.
At the time of the fire, the boom lift was extended roughly 60 feet in the air and they were too far away from the building to be able to jump to safety. Worse yet, the control board on the basket no longer was disabled due to the fire. As the flames started to get larger, quick thinking workers on ground level were able to swing the basket towards the building, which allowed the two men to jump to a ledge on the sixth floor. The two men were able to get away with only minor burns and were treated for smoke inhalation and KBOI in Boise reports they are doing well.
I’m not sure there are many situations than being trapped by a fire, but these two aren’t the first to have to jump to safety to avoid being badly injured. Dramatic footage of a construction worker trapped on a 5th floor balcony of a $50 million Houston apartment complex engulfed in flames was caught on video in 2014. In the video, you can see the worker lowering himself down the fifth floor balcony and swinging onto the fourth floor balcony, where he was rescued by a team of firemen. That building, which was nearing completion, was completely destroyed by the fire.
Luckily for the crew at the recent Boise job site, the fire was able to be contained within the basket of the lift. It’s a sobering reminder that job sites can and do catch fire and split second decisions need to be made in order to save lives when it happens.
Below is the raw video footage of the men jumping off of the lift:
Below is the full news story from KBOI:
If this video of construction worker’s chasing down an alleged tool thief and hanging onto the hood of his car wasn’t enough to convince you to not mess with construction worker’s things, then maybe this new video will be. Construction worker’s tools and trucks are their livelihoods, and they don’t take too kindly to people who don’t understand that.
Directional boring, or horizontal directional drilling, is a common method for installing underground pipe and conduits, among others. Its main benefit is that it minimally disturbs the areas around where your pipe or cable needs to be installed. Instead of cutting concrete, asphalt, or ripping up landscaping, the boring machine digs a tunnel underground and the installing material slides in after it’s complete.
That’s what it’s SUPPOSED to do anyway.
You may remember a story we shared at the end of June about a rescue of a construction worker who was dangling from a suspended scaffold 15 stories in the air. The Sarasota County Fire Department completed a very skilled rescue, in which one firefighter scaled down the side of the building to the trapped worker, attached him to a harness, and both men were hoisted back up to the roof. The cause of that failure was a snapped line. At that time, the fire chief mentioned that he rarely sees events like this and that only 5 or 6 rescues like this have happened in his 29 year career.
Smoke stack demolitions are always fun to watch because they typically stand much taller than the buildings surrounding them, giving cameras great views of the carnage. They don’t always go well, like when a 2.6 million pound brick stack fell directly on top of an excavator (the operator was fine, by the way), but they’re always dramatic.
Buildings are demolished all the time in order to make way for new construction. The buildings that are demolished have usually lived out their useful life and are no longer functional. Recently a demolition video resurfaced, which shows a 27 story building in China being imploded. The strange thing is that, since it was finished in 1999, the building had never even been used.
There are a lot of people that would be pretty unhappy with whoever tears down a 98 foot tall, 105 year old tree to make room for a building expansion. In order for most projects to work financially, however, many trees are uprooted and replaced with smaller trees. That’s not what happened with what is believed to be the state of Idaho’s largest sequoia tree, however.
As recently highlighted by several multi-story building fires, contractors should always be prepared in the event a fire starts on a job site. There have been dozens multi-story building fires in the past few years and many were started when the building was topped out. In most cases, the project was completely destroyed, leaving developers and owners to deal with years of delays from insurance claims. A massive five-alarm fire at an Oakland construction site is one of the more recent examples.
Two construction workers in Sarasota, Florida were recently trapped 15 stories in the air after one of the lines on their suspended scaffolding snapped. One of the two men was able to be pulled to safety by some co-workers on site, but the second was stuck on the scaffold for an hour before the fire department could rescue him.
Since it opened its doors in 2010, the Burj Khalifa has been the world’s tallest building, one of the most coveted titles in all of the construction industry. If all goes according to plan, the Burj’s reign at the top will come to an end when Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah Tower is completed in 2020.