August 2012: From the Editor

Words: Dan Kamys From the Editor

Remember the 1982 classic movie, The Year of Living Dangerously? A young Australian reporter (Mel Gibson) tries to navigate the political turmoil of Indonesia during the rule of President Sukarno with the help of a diminutive photographer (Linda Hunt). And a young Sigourney Weaver played Jill Bryant, a British Embassy officer. Deliberately putting themselves in harm’s way made a fantastic premise for a movie. But, obviously, it’s not how we should live day to day.

Recently, the International Powered Access Federation’s (IPAF) accident database reported 17 fatal accidents involving aerial work platforms, worldwide, during only the first half of 2012. Seventeen may not sound like a terribly high number, until you take into account the 17 crews who most likely saw their coworkers die, 17 families who planned and attended funerals, and – let’s be honest – 17 legal battles that most likely will ensue (if they haven’t already) for the construction companies afterward. Oh, and let’s not forget the 17 fines that undoubtedly were issued by OSHA.

The Year of Living DangerouslyHere is the breakdown of those 17 fatal accidents:

  • The causes of these accidents were fairly evenly spread: four electrocutions, four overturns, four that were mechanically related, four falls from platforms, and one entrapment.
  • Seven accidents involved vehicle mounts, six involved booms, and three involved scissor lifts. In one accident, the machine type was unknown.
  • Of these accidents, 11 occurred in the United States, two occurred in the United Kingdom, and one each occurred in Australia, the Netherlands, Singapore and Spain.

Presenting these findings, the IPAF stressed that the results are preliminary, meaning there may be more to come. You can read more about this by visiting www.ipaf.org/accident.

I write about safety a lot. I know this. And that’s ok, because if a gentle reminder keeps safety top-of-mind for even one reader, I have done my job of educating you about the continuing importance of safety on the jobsite. Be safe out there!

Return to Table of Contents

Comparison of Laying Brick Versus Block

Brick and CMU (Concrete Masonry Unit) are two commonly used materials in masonry. As a mason, it is important to understand the similarities, differences, pros, and cons of both materials, as well as the variations in layout and measurement techniques, mo

Westlake Royal Building Products™ to Showcase Be Boundless™ Campaign, Top Industry Trends and New Product Innovations at Pacific Coast Builders Conference (PCBC)

HOUSTON (June 18, 2024) — Westlake Royal Building Products™ (Westlake Royal), a Westlake company (NYSE:WLK), will showcase its Be Boundless™ campaign, top industry trends and new product innovations at the Pacific Coast Builders Conference (PCBC) in Anahe

Bringing Bricks Back To Life with BrickRecyc

BrickRecyc, a machine that removes old mortar from bricks, was invented by three entrepreneurs from Quebec in 2021. Tommy Bouillon, David Dufour, and Hugo Cartier were the innovation's source. The invention emerged out of necessity. Tommy Bouillon, head o

Are Your Employees Safe While Working In Hot Weather?

As the temperatures rise outside during summer months, so do the risks that employees working in hot conditions may be harmed by the dangerous effects it can have. Exposure to high temperatures can be deadly. It’s your responsibility as a business owner