Social media. A global pandemic. Complacency. Mobile communication. Urgent deadlines. National crises. Demanding schedules. Workers are facing increasing distractions that compete for attention while hindering situational awareness. Though distractions will always be present, they must be minimized, especially within the gates of the worksite.
The nation’s pipeline system is complex and demands heightened attention. Spanning from border to border and coast to coast, these distribution and transmission pipeline systems further energy reliability throughout the nation. In an industry where it is imperative to prioritize health and safety, pipeline construction companies must maintain vigilant awareness throughout the workday. This is exponentially more difficult if worksite distractions are not minimized.
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A distractionis anything that diverts or disturbs the attention or concentration. Jobsite distractions include any object, action, or situation that keeps workers from identifying potential hazards or risks.
It is impossible to completely eliminate all distractions on the worksite. However, actions can be taken to minimize distractions, allowing workers to maintain focus and proactively identify potential hazards. These actions include:
Conduct comprehensive pre-job briefs. Thoroughly preparing employees for work mitigates surprises and allows teams to identify potential hazards before work begins.
Avoid complacency. When workers are complacent, they are more likely to allow their mind to wander away from the task. Remind them of the significant potential for injury with high-risk tasks.
Identify workers not fit for duty. Managers, supervisors, and peers should be able to visually identify and evaluate distracted workers, as well as understand the appropriate response to ensure safe work.
Minimize worksite stress and deadline pressure. Workers may become so focused on meeting deadlines that they lose situational awareness and curtail important process details.
Limit electronic devices. Not only is the accessibility of an electronic device a distraction, but sound from the device could also be a potential hazard if it masks sounds that may otherwise alert workers to an issue or nearby hazard.
Require safe cellphone use. Workers should always stop walking or working if using their cellphones.
Take frequent breaks. Small breaks throughout the shift give workers the opportunity to address physical and mental distractions, as well as provide workers time to refresh.
Eliminate known hazards. If specific hazards are continually identified, fix them at the source so they do not cause a repetitive distraction.
Clearly communicate. Unanticipated events, like the COVID-19 pandemic, often require altered or additional policies and procedures. These response plan changes may create uncertainty or confusion if not clearly communicated.
Jobsite distractions can differ for each employee and fluctuate day to day. These often-unseen hazards are always present and must be actively minimized to ensure worker safety.
Safety and protection are first and foremost at PLH Group. It is a value ingrained in the way we conduct our business and live our lives, and it is supported by our proprietary PREVENT® System, a collection of tools designed to integrate safe construction practices into every step of the task. Used companywide, the system compels employees to “pause and review” prior to critical steps at the jobsite to avoid accidents.
PLH Group’s pipeline construction division is comprised of four highly experienced entities that safely and efficiently provide comprehensive pipeline services throughout North America: Energy Services South, Pipeworx, Snelson Companies, and Southeast Directional Drilling.
Professional services offered by these companies include pipeline construction and installation, station and facility construction, pipeline maintenance and upgrade services, system integrity services, project and construction management services, pipelining, horizontal directional drilling, and other oil and natural gas pipeline services. With a diligence and commitment to safety and environmental considerations, PLH Group companies have successfully installed more than a thousand miles of gas and liquid pipeline and worked with some of the largest utilities and pipeline companies in the United States and Canada.
Learn more about the industry-leading work of PLH Group companies at www.plhgroupinc.com or by calling 214-272-0500.