Last week, Fisher Tank Company joined thousands of construction industry professionals in OSHA's National Safety Stand-Down for Fall Protection.
Per OSHA, a Safety Stand-Down is a "voluntary event for employers to talk directly to employees about safety." The 2015 national stand-down, May 4-15, focused on Fall Hazards, and and Fall Prevention.
Today on the Think Tank, we are sharing some moments from our 2015 Safety Stand-Down, captured by members of our field erected tank construction crew on a jobsite in Council Bluffs, Iowa, where we're building a massive chilled water storage tank for a major data center.
Building a storage tank requires a lot more than showing up at a jobsite and welding a few seams on the tank's shell. The entire project requires extensive planning, from the moment engineering begins to the moment the tank is hydrotested. In between, there's a lot of work that takes place in the fabrication shop and on the jobsite, and all of it requires non-stop attention to safety. Nearly every aspect of storage tank construction is potentially dangerous, and some are even potentially deadly, like working at heights. The 2015 National Safety Stand-Down focus on fall hazards/fall protection was a perfect fit with our daily operations. Here's a look at just a few safety tasks performed on our tank construction job site, as captured during our Safety Stand-Down last month:
Scaffolding is a major part of the storage tank erection process. Tanks are built from the ground up, one shell ring at a time, and as the rings go higher, so do the construction crews building the tank. Scaffold safety is a part of every moment on the job. At the Council Bluffs site, Fisher Tank is building a 120' x 40' storage tank. As the 40' tall tank is built, the construction team will be installing scaffolding in order to be able to complete successive shell rings. In this photo, Fisher Tank Company's Nick Phillips is placing locking pins in the safety posts to secure them to the scaffold bracket. The pins are vital to securing the posts to the brackets. Secure posts prevent any potential up-lift.
Inspecting scaffolding regularly is the #1 way to ensure the safety of everyone on the jobsite - those who will go up on scaffolding to weld tank shell seams, and everyone else who will be working around the tank. Scaffolding is inspected daily. Each day a competent person must inspect the scaffolding and sign off on the tag - this lets everyone know it has been inspected and is safe to work on. In this photo, our Phillip McCracken is signing off on the Scaffold Inspection Tag. Notice that the tag is green, green means that it is a complete scaffolding, as opposed to yellow (caution), or red (under construction/not safe)...just a like a stop light.
PPE For Fall Protection
Across the construction industry, PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) prevents injuries and saves lives every day. In our work on huge storage tanks, as in other industries, PPE and Fall Protection go hand in hand. Here, Fisher Tank's Aaron Franklin is outfitted with his harness and all other required PPE. Aaron is picking up a hook ladder to place on the tank shell. Tank builders work off of hook ladders to unhook rigging, access rolling equipment, and to fit/weld vertical seams, etc. All personnel are required to be 100% tied off while on the hook ladder. Falls from height (whether from six feet or 60 feet) continue to be a leading cause of death and injury in the construction industry. Practicing 100% tie off and wearing the appropriate PPE can stop injuries and can prevent fatalities every single day.
The safety moments captured above represent thousands of safety moments on our tank construction projects all over the U.S. For more information about Fisher Tank Company's services and qualifications, please visit us at FisherTank.com.
For more information about OSHA's 2015 Safety Stand-Down, including education and traingin resources, click here.