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:
Demolitions by implosion seems like the easiest way to knock down a structure, but there is so much preparation that goes into it that even the slightest mistake can have a huge impact. When smokestacks are demolished correctly, it can be a thing of beauty, like when these two silos in Scotland hit each other midair or when this asbestos filled stack was precisely demolished to fall into a pool of water. Things didn’t go so smoothly for demolition crews in Denmark last week, however.
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.
This video is a bit of a throwback, but I recently came across it on the interwebs for the first time and thought it was worth a share.
It’s been a while since we have shared a demolition video on Construction Junkie. We recently discussed a very high profile demolition project, the tallest voluntary demolition on record, which is schedule to start next year and how it is expected to happen, but no videos. Between the cold weather in most of the country and the general lack of interesting demolitions happening, it’s good to finally be back to feeling normal around here.
Last Thursday, every construction professional’s worst nightmare happened. Lives were lost, both construction workers and civilians, by way of the catastrophic collapse of FIU’s under construction pedestrian bridge. We shared what we knew as of late Thursday night, but since this is not only a tragedy directly related to construction, but also a huge learning opportunity for the entire industry, I wanted to make sure we continued to follow and update on the story as it develops.
Terrible tragedy struck Florida International University’s (FIU) campus yesterday when a newly installed pedestrian bridge collapsed onto the road below, killing at least 4 and severely injuring many more.
It’s pretty amazing the work that can get done when a lot of resources and money are thrown at one project. Past examples of this include a gigantic sinkhole that was repaired in Japan in just under a week, the complete emergency rebuild of Atlanta’s I-85 overpass that was completed a month ahead of schedule, and this video of 116 excavators working side by side to demolish a 1,640 foot long overpass overnight.
When anyone sees a hard hat, they typically immediate associate it with construction. It’s the ultimate symbol of safety on the job site. We all know we should wear them, but it’s easy to get annoyed with the minor inconvenience that they cause and forget about the extreme consequences that could result if a falling object catches us when we aren’t wearing one.
Cameras are EVERYWHERE these days. They’re on sites documenting the full construction process of your project, they’re on projects taking 360 degree progress footage, and most importantly, they’re in your pocket on your smartphone. Having a camera in your pocket at all times can be a good or bad thing, especially for employers, because not only can it make lives much easier for communication and documentation purposes, but it also gives people the chance to show the world when things go absolutely terribly.
With cranes being on many construction sites, it’s easy for workers to get complacent. Hundreds or thousands of construction materials can be lifted by cranes throughout the project, but all it takes is one time for a disaster to occur.