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Who Is Responsible for Public Safety on the Worksite?

Safety is simply about reducing the risk of injury to yourself, co-workers, and the public.  To many times I pass by a worksite and find the public at risk to injury.  The person on the street is usually clueless about the hazards that can cause them injury and it is the employer and employees of the work site who must take responsibility to mitigate the risk of injury.

In the picture you see in this blog, the track-hoe does not have a barrier around it to keep the public from entering the swing area, step-potential area, pinch hazards, etc.  This is the responsibility of the operator of the machine first.  This happens many times at worksites where the public has access.  Utility companies providing services such as; electric, gas, water, and sewer must take this as a serious hazard.  It may be easy to assume that people will stay away, but that is not the case.

Every year people are injured, maimed, or killed on worksites in the United States.  Hundreds of these injuries are people who are passing by, or watching the work that is being performed.  Sufficient physical barriers must be employed to keep people and animals out of the worksite.  Simply put, “They can’t get hurt, if they are outside of the worksite(zone).”  It seems crazy that you have to put up a fence, but it is true.

A fence must also be marked in such a way that anyone can understand the signage.  KEEP OUT, NO TRESPASS, with a THIS MEANS YOU!, and three strands of barbed wire added to the top.  Work zone protection is the responsibility of each and every employee at the site.  Daily inspections should ensure that the worksite remains clearly marked with the proper signage and that all barriers for entry are sufficient and in good repair.

Think of it this way…

Don’t you hope that workers near your home will ensure that you children, and or grand children are safe and not at risk of being injured in the worksite?

Be Safe!

Carl Potter


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