DESIGN ERRORS: BUILDERS BEWARE!

Safety consultant Robert Tuman has inspected more than 1,000 completed buildings (as well as buildings under construction) during his 30-year career. In a recent article for Property/Casualty360.com, he shared these horror stories of design errors that could easily have resulted in serious injury or death to construction workers:
  • "Case No. 1: On my way to inspecting a roofing client. I found a roof hatch opening only 6 inches from the unprotected roof edge, with no room for a guardrail or any type of protection from a 60-foot fall.
  • Case No. 2: I saw workers walking on glass panels and the metal ribs supporting them in the middle of an all-glass barrel roof 75 feet above a pedestrian atrium in order to replace broken panels.
  • Case No. 3: While inspecting a building under construction, I observed eight shaky frames of occupied pipe staging which were not tied into the building - a clear violation of OSHA rules that requires tying staging into a building at the fourth vertical frame, and then every 26 feet vertically."

To protect your workers from the costly, dangerous - even potentially fatal - risks that can easily arise from flawed building designs, we'd recommend that you hire a consultant to help you develop and implement a comprehensive risk management plan for you and the building owner to sign. This program should include workplace safety rules, corrective actions to take, and a method for providing feedback on unsafe conditions. To get worker buy-in to the plan, stress the fact that they'll be keeping themselves, and their teammates, safe.

As always, our agency's Construction insurance specialists stand ready to offer their advice.

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