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
Last November, OSHA issued a final rule that would finally allow them to enforce language, which has been in their standards since 2010, requiring construction crane operators to be formally qualified to operate the equipment. The first day of enforcement for that rule had been set for November 10, 2018, but the agency has recently proposed a new rule that would pull back some of the initial requirements.
Finding enough labor to complete jobs has been a problem for many companies in the construction industry over the past few years. Amid a construction “boom” in many areas, general and subcontractors are accepting jobs without enough people to work them, so some have turned to hiring “subs of subs” to supplement their work, a report published by The Tennessean says.
In March, OSHA announced that they would be enforcing their previously delayed beryllium exposure limit for the construction industry on May 11, 2018. The agency has recently confirmed that enforcement date in a memorandum on May 9, 2018.
OSHA newer and more stringent regulations regarding employee’s exposure to respirable crystalline silica officially went into effect on September 23, 2017. The new reduced the permissible exposure limit of the substance, which is found mostly in products containing sand (like concrete, mortar, and brick), from 250 micrograms per cubic meter of air down to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air averaged over an 8 hour shift.
For the third time in a year, construction workers have had to be rescued while dangling mid-air by fire rescue teams in Southern Florida. Last year, there were two incidents in Sarasota, Florida that involved failed suspended scaffolding in as many months. Just last week, another incident in Palmetto Bay required the Fire Department to intervene.
The construction industry has never been one to freely share information without charging a fee. That’s changed slightly recently, with some major players willing to provide useful tools and information to help us become better. For instance, we recently shared that Procore has released hundreds of free continuing education courses on their education platform. Another useful site we’ve found recently has shared dozens of toolbox talks to help your team on the jobsite learn about safety.
[guest post] The reality is that construction workers, who already face hundreds of hazards just by working in the industry, are also often at risk for becoming injured or ill due to contact with wildlife.
It should be obvious that formal safety training is extremely important to running a successful safety program on any construction site. The most common route for construction employers to train their staff is through OSHA 10 and OSHA 30 courses, but, in the past, it was pretty confusing to determine who was actually authorized to teach the courses and where to find them.
[guest post] Spring is here and before we know it, summer will follow. In both seasons, weather conditions can present dangers to construction workers. Without education and preparation, workers may find that they are seriously ill or injured during work.
Crane collapses on construction jobsites are usually pretty terrifying, especially when the jobsite is full of workers. A construction site in St. Petersburg, Florida got extremely lucky when a large construction crane collapsed and narrowly missed several running workers.