March 2004

A checklist for safety | Safe Solutions

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A checklist for safety

by Harry Dietz
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The spring day broke clear and mild as Jeff gently turned his truck onto the interstate heading toward a new job site. It was the start of his first week as safety manager for Big Valley Roofing, and his mind was churning as he went through a mental list of items for a large warehouse reroofing project.

Jeff was confident the prejob meetings he attended with Big Valley Roofing's owner, superintendent and foremen had completely addressed some complicated fall-protection issues at the site. As he approached the warehouse entry gate, he saw warning lines already had been established around the roof perimeter and guardrails were set up by the debris-chute opening.

His initial comfort level suffered a severe jolt as he drove closer to the warehouse. Placed a couple of feet off the main drive were three liquid propane gas (LPG) cylinders with "Big Valley Roofing" stenciled on them. And a nearby kettle already was fired up, but no fire extinguisher was in sight.

As Jeff pulled into a parking spot, he noticed the crane Big Valley Roofing had leased was operating with the boom too close to the service drop that supplied power to the warehouse. He immediately warned the crane operator to cease operation and move the crane back—Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations require a minimum distance of 10 feet (3 m) from any part of a crane or load to an...

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