Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Reporting Near Miss Incidents - We Can All Learn From Them

On 10/25/12, one of our employees had a near miss incident that could have led to an injury.  A framer advised that he was down on his knees using a hammer to scrape and chisel away the concrete floor to remove nails and debris so they could install bottom track.  He said that there was some yellow plastic embedded in the old concrete floor but it was difficult to make out exactly what the plastic strip was.  As he was chiseling away to get the yellow plastic strip removed from the concrete floor, it blew up.  It happened to be a strip of yellow shot from a fastener gun.  The framer said that gun powder, dust and probably small pieces of concrete debris flew up into his face and his arms.  He said that he was not bleeding and not in actual pain, however, he could feel it on his face and arms where the debris flew into him.  The framer said that thank goodness he was wearing safety glasses because you never know what might have happened.  He said he had dust all over his face except for where the safety glasses were.  The framer said that he would not require medical care, however, he just wanted to report it the incident.

The concrete floor was poured during a previous year’s renovation and the yellow shot strip was left behind embedded in the concrete floor prior to us starting work at this project. 

Moving forward, our employees at the project don’t know if there are anymore live shots in the yellow strip.  We advised our employees to not touch the yellow shot strip any further and that we would notify the general contractor of the incident and ask for them to have the yellow shot strip removed. 

A few hours later, I called the framer back to see how he was doing.  The framer advised that he is fine and that his face and arms feel better than when we talked earlier.  The framer further advised that a laborer from the general contractor removed the embedded yellow shot from the concrete floor so this hazard is over and done. 

What can we take away from the near miss incident?  That wearing safety glasses may have prevented a serious eye injury or at least prevented our employee from needing medical treatment on his eyes.  Anytime an employee is using a tool to chip away at concrete, safety glasses are required to be worn. The positive that came out of this story is a 1st hand account from an employee who was doing the right thing and wearing safety glasses when performing a task that would require them and the safety glasses did their job and protected his eyes.  So if you find yourself using tools to chip away at materials, you need to wear safety glasses.  Also, if you are chipping away at something that you aren’t exactly sure what it is, seek out a 2nd or 3rd opinion before proceeding. 

Thank goodness our employee is o.k. after this incident!