Incorporating Safety into Bridge Building Techniques
The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California, is an iconic landmark with a rich and inspiring history. Back when it was officially opened in 1937, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world. In a time when bridge construction projects had a casualty rate of one person per 1 million dollars spent, this bridge had a robust safety record, in spite of the 11 people who lost their lives during the construction (Christopher Klein, History.com, “6 THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE”, 2012). Today, even a single person getting hurt fatally or non-fatally while working is unacceptable. The chances for such happenings have also reduced drastically because of the advancements in construction techniques, equipment, gear and safety protocols. When it comes to bridge building techniques, there are numerous ways in which companies can ensure safety is built into the project, from start to finish. There are two broad areas that must be kept in mind where safety is concerned:
Construction engineers and workers have to be present on site and be actively involved in operating machinery, overseeing various aspects of construction, coordinating, etc. This puts such individuals under a lot of risk from accidents that can be caused due to malfunction of machinery, due to working from heights, due to negligence or oversight, etc. Companies must ensure that bridge launching equipment is well-maintained with regular checks and safety compliance tests. Workers must also be trained well to use equipment correctly and safely. For example, load-bearing machinery must not be overloaded or used for lifting items that it was not built for. With safer bridge building methods such as incremental bridge launching, the construction of bridges becomes safer for workers as the need for workmen to operate from dangerous locations and heights is eliminated (Mike LaViolette HNTB Corporation et al, “BRIDGE CONSTRUCTION PRACTICES USING INCREMENTAL LAUNCHING”, 2007).
The safety of civilians and the general public is another factor that companies need to consider and plan adequately for. Particularly where construction is taking place in populated or publically accessible areas, care must be taken to ensure people are kept out of danger zones. Having secure fences, alert guards and clear safety signs and warnings is important for any construction site. The best way to keep the public safe is to prevent them from entering the construction zone. Even if there are safety instructions posted in clear view, the general populace might not be discerning enough to understand the importance of adhering to these. Hence companies need to hire vigilant security personnel who would operate even during hours when construction is not actively taking place.
Companies can get in touch with construction experts and equipment retailers for more information on safe bridge construction techniques and equipment. Bridge building companies such as Bygging Uddemann, for example, can be contacted for various construction projects. More information can be found on their website.
“The above opinions are purely the reflection of the author’s point of view. They do not reflect the position of Bygging Uddemann.”
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