Surveying (Construction) Safety Talk
Surveying is a relatively repetitive and low-hazard task on its own. However, surveyors on construction sites face many different hazards while completing their work. It is important to evaluate the work environment and eliminate as many hazards as possible prior to beginning surveying activities onsite.
Surveying on a Construction Site Hazards
There is a lot of activity going on at any construction site. Site-wide operations cannot be shut down for surveying or any other single work tasks to be completed for the most part. Instead, hazards need to be considered and safeguards need to be put into place to ensure the task can be completed safely.
Some hazards to consider:
- Struck-by or caught in between incidents. The major hazard for surveyors on a construction site is moving equipment.
- Dropped objects. Personnel working below higher work areas are put a risk for dropped object-related injuries.
- Slips, trips, falls. Uneven ground and objects create a situation where a surveyor can be easily injured during their work.
- Hand injuries. Surveyors who utilize stakes have the hazard of injuries of hands or fingers while hammering in stakes.
- Eye injuries. Dust and flying debris create a major hazard for eye injuries when walking around a construction site.
Best Practices When Surveying
- When possible, have equipment stop when it is required to survey close to moving equipment. Plan out work tasks so they do not interfere with one another. For example, survey when operators are on lunch or break.
- Always communicate in morning meetings or tailgate meetings about the plans for surveying that day when other work tasks are being completed in the area. Communication allows for planning as well as awareness between workgroups of other people entering a work area. Make contact with operators when entering a work area.
- Never walk under suspended loads or put yourself in the line of fire from higher work levels. Objects on higher work levels need to be secured and proper guardrail systems with toe boards need put into place to protect personnel below.
- To prevent slip, trip, and fall injuries, practice good housekeeping. Eliminate as many of these hazards as possible instead of just walking around them. For muddy work areas, have a dozer or maintainer dress up the area instead of facing difficult working conditions when surveying.
- Eliminate dust by using water to suppress it. Avoid working downwind from moving equipment to avoid eye injuries. Wear proper safety glasses with side shields. Never rub your eye if you get dust in it. Notify a supervisor and rinse the eye with the proper eyewash solution.
While the actual task of surveying is not very hazardous on its own, the tasks going on at a construction site create many hazards for surveyors. It is important to give proper attention to these types of work tasks to avoid injuries. Always preplan work tasks, evaluate the work environment for additional hazards, and stop work when needed to adjust plans to make the work task safer.