Red Horse lists Top Hazard Mitigations on Construction Sites, cont'd.
A construction site is a very dynamic place to work. The work environment can change on a daily basis, and sometimes that environment can change within a single work shift. Air Force Red Horse work sites are no different.
Staff Sergeant Marcus Mirabal from the 210th Red Horse Squadron, New Mexico Air National Guard states that, “The main safety hazards we face are lack of situational awareness and miscommunication between Airmen.”
A safety incident occurred when one airman sprained their wrist while putting up a tent. A second Airman, on the other side of the tent, pulled the rope the first was hanging onto, without letting others know what they were doing, resulting in the sprain.
In a separate incident, an Airman tripped on a divot on a job-site causing a sprained ankle. Tire tracks and other gouges in the ground are common in construction sites. Workers must be mindful of the changing terrain. This is also true when rain or snow puddles form, altering the walking surface.
SSgt Mirabal recalls a mishap he witnessed on the job site. “A young airman was not paying attention to a small pool of hydraulic fluid that had formed at his feet while he was working a piece of equipment. As he was trying to break a bolt loose he shifted his weight and slipped. Fortunately, the Airman was not injured, but the event could have been much worse if there were moving fans, hydraulics, or exposed electrical components.”
To reduce the frequency, and impact, of safety incidents, the 210th Red Horse Squadron has implemented weekly safety briefings within their each of their shops. Additionally, as new tasks are introduced, safety briefings are held to highlight the new task’s potential hazards.
As these mishaps indicate, situational awareness of the ever-changing work environment and constant communication between co-workers and supervisors can lead to a safer work environment. SSgt Mirabal sums it up this way, “With proper situational awareness we can eliminate most of the common mishaps that we face each and every day, as well as enabling our Airmen to function at a higher level both on and off duty.”