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Awareness – Safety Stories | STO Building Group
Safety & Awareness: Constantly evaluate your surroundings and determine for yourself whether a situation is safe.
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Safety Story Aug 0821

A Safety Story from Structure Tone New York Safety Manager, John T. Reilly

On a daily basis, during work hours, the pedestrian traffic in front of Pier 57 along Manhattan’s West Side has been known to reach 800 pedestrians each day. With the opening of the little island, the average has nearly doubled. As our work at Pier 57 started to wind down and we began to prepare for a temporary certificate of occupancy, subs began to demobilize. The route of exit from the project intersects with the pedestrian walkway. As you exit the loading dock on an average day, you will notice people out for a walk, walking their dogs, jogging, riding bicycles, and rollerblading. Therefore, two flaggers are required at all times, one on each side, to control pedestrian traffic and be aware of the surroundings.

The glass installers had two flaggers on each side to direct the scissor lift as it moved off the site. The flaggers checked for pedestrians, and when it was clear, they put up the stop signs and motioned for the operator to proceed. As the operator began to move, one of the flaggers heard a faint shout, “Chico, come back!” If the flagger hadn’t been paying attention to his surroundings, Chico the puppy, who was approximately 30 feet from its owner, would have gotten run over by the scissor lift. The flagger was able to corner the pup as it made a sharp right at the loading dock location. The owner was apologetic and thankful. The good news is that the flagger came by the field office, explained what happened, and said, “I now understand even more why flaggers need to be aware of everything that’s going on and why we are important. Because I would not want someone I love getting hurt.”

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A Safety Story from BCCI Director of Safety, Matty Kernen 

In September, superintendent Salvador Limon was walking the floor of a corporate interiors project he was supervising in a high-rise building when he discovered a serious safety issue with an elevator being serviced by the building. The elevator doors had been left open without any barricades, and the contractor performing service did not notify BCCI or the building of the hazard. The superintendent immediately began looking for the elevator contractor but could not locate him. He then took action, reporting the safety concern to building management, instructing a BCCI laborer foreman to place barricades in front of the open elevator doors and shaft, and notifying all subcontractors of the hazard. The superintendent’s and laborer foreman’s quick thinking protected all workers and consultants onsite and was instrumental in preventing a severe life-threatening accident or death.   

A Safety Story from Structure Tone Philadelphia laborer

When a Structure Tone Philadelphia laborer noticed window washers had tied off to the wrong turrets, he immediately took action. Watch the video to hear him tell his story.

Safety Story Feb 0221

A Safety Story from Pavarini North East’s Safety Manager, Andrew Zeiss

In June of 2017, Pavarini North East was selected to complete an eight-story hotel in the heart of downtown Stamford, CT. The project started three years prior but was shut down mid-construction. The building sits in the very center of our city, so it was known to most as ‘The Eyesore.’ It was a skeleton structure, with all the floors poured, most of the exterior walls framed, and some of the glass mat sheathing installed. Because the project had been abandoned for so long, there were some major obstacles that needed to be sorted out. The bottom track of the interior framing and ductwork needed to be replaced due to rust. Our team had to evaluate both the warrantee of equipment that had been left on site and the integrity of the work in place.

We walked the building to assess what we were getting into and noticed safety had not been a priority for the previous contractor. We encountered wide-open shafts, missing handrails, unprotected window openings, and no toe boards. While there were perimeter cables, someone put their foot on the mid-cable and the cable came loose. After that, we decided to replace all cables and install toe boards throughout the entire building.

Knowing how the site was left, we knew we had to have the roof anchors tested before allowing anyone to tie-off. We brought in an engineering firm to test the 41 anchors. Upon completion, the firm recommended we replace the entire safety fall arrest anchor system. The final tally for making the job safe exceeded $140,000. This is a lesson for everyone to constantly evaluate your surroundings and determine for yourself whether a situation is safe.