Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Washed A-Shore

Enjoy this guest post from Roy Poteete.

Ever since the building boom of the housing industry since the 1980's and the ever increasing regulations of putting electrical water and sewer lines undergound for added safety we foregot one thing and it is TRENCH WORKER SAFETY AND TRECH COLLAPSE.

Having taken a Trench Collapse Rescue Course thru Missouri Fire Rescue Training Institute, ColumbiaMO; we learned one major thing.......the weight of the dirt is enough to crush your body at 5' depth and a 16" wide hole.

As a firefighter do you know the weight of a cubic yard of dirt? if not you need to do some research and learn this answer.

So why are the Fire Departments not inspecting these operations and putting in place along with the City and or County Councils to ensure worker safety with a regulation such as:

"TRENCH WORKER SAFETY, INSPECTIONS AND WORK PERMIT

Q: So should Trench Work be inspected daily by the fire department and or the local building inspectors?
A: YES! By not having this you are only creating a problem for workers. You may have a mom and pop plumbing company that has to replace a sewer line like above. If the trench would of collapsed with the worker inside the trench it would of cost them their business and a huge fine from OSHA. 

By mandating in a regualiton that all TRENCH WORK must have a permit and the operations while in the trench has the proper shoring equipment in place while working will save the oeprations money in fines and death benefits. 

Q: So why are not Fire Departments and local building codes not enforcing this issue?
A: Money, staffing/manpower; and local mom & pop plumbing business.

Mandating a Regualtions and a permit fee you can offset the cost of manpower to inspect these work sites.

Q: What if a mom & pop does not have the money to purchase the equipment (Shoring)?
A: They can rent them from local equipment rental supply companies. 

Understanding the importance of shoring properly, using fans to help circulate air to prevent methan gas explosions in the trench and or methane gas back up and other gases. These gases are Deadly and they have no smell. 

Q: Should Fire Department give a Trench Worker Safety Class?
A: Yes, most fire departments has a training officer. He/She can be used to teach this class. Most constuction companies do not work in the cold/snowy months. This is the best time to give these classes. Go to the companies and offer the class. Use the training officer to aid in promoting your department. That is there job. To train. Yes, to train the fire department but expand your area of training to include construction workers. Go to the Union Halls. Most unions mandate some sort of training requirments for the workers. This is your time to shine and show your department off and cross train with them.

Got you interested in something about this blogspot? Then go learn TRENCH COLLAPSE RESCUE and teach the workers that are inside this potential DEATH TRAPS.