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
Hurricane Irma ripped through the Caribbean and landed in South Florida a little over a week ago, sadly killing at least 50 people in Florida and causing plenty of property damage. High winds that accompanied the storm also caused the collapse of 3 construction cranes – two in Miami and one more in Fort Lauderdale. The crane in Fort Lauderdale was recently dismantled and the action was caught on video.
Video feeds on a construction site are not only great for timelapse videos, they can potentially help stop intruders who enter your site.
As if the high winds and heavy rains weren’t enough of a safety hazard for the people of Florida, citizens who are staying in the area also need to be concerned about the dozens of tower cranes that are still erected throughout downtown.
In June, we shared that OSHA was planning to extend the deadline for crane operator certification requirements until November 10, 2018. Last week, on August 30, OSHA made that official and issues a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.
OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) has formally been around since 1982, when the first site was approved for the program. In short, the VPP is a partnership between OSHA, Management of the Employer, and laborers, with the intent of making jobsites safer for everyone involved. Employers seeking to participate in the VPP must first apply to the program and then undergo a “rigorous onsite evaluation by a team of safety and health professionals” in order to be accepted.
Two construction workers in Santa Barbara, California, both in their 20’s, were injured during the installation of a CMU retaining wall when it partially collapsed on Monday.
Falls from height is one of the leading causes of death among construction workers and ladders are a major contributor to that number. According to the CDC, falls from ladders caused 64 fatalities and 11,500 injuries in the construction industry alone in 2011. There are many things ladder users can do to make their work safer, like setting it at proper angles on level ground, checking for damage, and maintaining 3 points of contact, among others. One technology company is trying to take some of the thinking out of ladder set up.
Tool box safety talks are super important, but sometimes they can be pretty dry. In order to keep people engaged and committed to jobsite safety, sometimes you have to mix it up a little bit. A construction company in New Zealand has an aspiring rapper on their team and they decided to enlist his help for a safety talk and it’s pretty entertaining. This company isn’t the first company to use rap music to send a message, as Caterpillar also released a rap about their bulldozers.
Communication is key to a safe and productive construction environment. One of the biggest challenges of effective communication on job sites is the complexity and size of the project, which inhibits being able to contact the correct people in a timely manner. Tracking devices have been a hot button issue in construction news for the last few years. Some examples include RFID tag sensors in hard hats, such as the one being used on certain job sites in Washington DC and time sheet applications, which allow employers to track their employee’s locations using the GPS on their phone’s or tablets.
Construction crews in Parma, Idaho were busy working onmulti-story onion shed, when the under construction structure collapsed, sending some that were on the roof down with it. 14 crew members were either on the structure or around it at the time of collapse, but 6 of them were transported to the hospital. First responders on the scene explained that it was lucky that only 6 were injured.