PLH GROUP NEWS
Handling Materials & Equipment
Date: December 10, 2021
Snelson employees mitigate potential hazards associated with their professional delivery of pipeline services.
Move materials and equipment from one spot to another. Sounds simple enough, right? Not necessarily. PLH Group teams discuss appropriate ways to handle materials and equipment, ensuring the safety of themselves and others throughout the job site.
Potential hazards exist when handling materials and equipment, including pinch points and caught-ins (or caught-betweens). In fact the risk of a caught-in or -between is so significant that Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA) named it a Construction Focus Four Hazard, meaning it is a leading cause of injury on construction sites.
Employees of Edison Power Constructors are trained to avoid pinch points and caught-ins and -betweens while completing energy-focused construction services.
“As a top energy-focused construction contractor, we always have a lot going on throughout our project sites. With work conditions and environmental surroundings constantly changing, close attention to work is required, as well as a duty to follow processes and procedures for the safety of the entire job site,” said Safety, Health, and Environmental Vice President Elsie Bentley. “We thoroughly train our workforce before they begin work. When it comes to handling equipment and materials, our employees are careful to avoid pinch points and caught-betweens.”
According to OSHA, a pinch point is any point other than the point of operation at which it is possible for a part of the body to be caught between moving parts, a moving and a stationary part, or the material and a moving part of equipment. To mitigate a pinch point incident:
- Diligently survey changing conditions of the task and work environment.
- Follow lockout/tagout (LOTO)
- Use machine guards.
- Practice healthy habits. These include avoiding alcohol and other mood-altering substances, eating healthy meals and snacks, getting plenty of sleep, and exercising regularly.
- Talk to a supervisor if you feel you or a teammate are not fit for duty.
- Avoid placing hands in pinch point areas, even if the likelihood of injury appears low.
Caught-in / Caught-between
OSHA defines a caught-in or -between as an injury resulting from a person being squeezed, caught, crushed, pinched, or compressed between two or more objects, or between parts of an object. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 120 workers suffered fatal injuries from caught-in or -between incidents in 2019 alone. The three most common causes of these OSHA Construction Focus-Four Hazard injuries are machinery with unguarded moving parts, buried in or by, and pinned between.
To protect yourself and other workers from caught-in or -between injuries, OSHA recommends the following:
- Equipment and machinery safe guards must be in place and in working condition.
- Load must be sufficiently supported and secured.
- Operation of equipment is only for those with authorization to use it.
- Employees must be thoroughly trained on the task before starting work.
For over a decade, PLH Group has delivered safe, quality pipeline and power line work. They earned a reputation of being an industry leader, partly due to their unwavering commitment to safety. The company continually advances this commitment through their team approach of identifying and mitigating potential safety hazards, like those associated with handling equipment and materials.
PLH Group is a leading full-service construction and specialty contractor that serves the electric power and pipeline markets. PLH Group has assembled a North American team of top-quality companies that deliver services covering the broad range of needs of its customers – from pipeline construction and related directional drilling to electric transmission, distribution and substation construction, including specialized foundations and helicopter airborne operations. Safety, expertise, and collaboration distinguish PLH Group’s diversified infrastructure service solutions.