OT - Highway Worker Safety: Not In This Case

They are working on the support structures for a couple of roads that go over a highway near my house. Under normal circumstances, one support structure uses a metal guard rail to prevent vehicles in the left lane from hitting the supports, the other one uses concrete barriers. In other words, the guardrail and concrete barriers were not added as part of the construction project, they are always there. OK, got the picture?
Now, at the job site with the metal guard rails, they added some concrete barriers in the left lane and instituted a lane shift to move the vehicles towards the right, away from the support structure. They then built a platform that extends from the bridge support structure to the original guardrail for the workers to stand on. There is no railing around the platform, so a worker could theoretically fall off of the platform, but he would land between the guardrail and the temporary concrete barriers, still protected from the left lane traffic.
However, at the other job site, the one with the existing concrete barriers, they did things differently. Once again they added concrete barriers in the left lane and painted lane shift markings to move the traffic to the right, but the way they installed the platform baffles me. In this case, the platforms extends to _second_ set of concrete barriers, the ones marking the edge of the shifted left lane. Once again there is no railing, meaning that if a worker were to fall off of the platform, they would land in the left lane with no protection from traffic.
The first day I drove by in the left lane, I was shocked to see 4 workers on the platform within a few feet of cars going by at 65 MPH. From then on, I've been moving over to the middle lane in that area because I don't want to be the one responsible for killing the worker who happens to fall off the platform.
I'm very surprised that this is allowed, but it's been that way all week, with workers on the platform each day.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
DerbyDad03 posted for all of us...
And I know how to SNIP

Doesn't sound good. I've seen contractors put up temporary handrails on the bridge construction around here. Even have to have handrail around openings in home construction. I would call the local DOT and / or OSHA and rat them out. They may be wearing fall prevention but? This isn't PennDot is it?
--
Tekkie

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 12 Jun 2014 19:52:29 +0000 (UTC), DerbyDad03

I don't know the details of the rules but if they are above a certain height above the ground and within a certain distance of the edge of whatever they are standing on there is supposed to be a guardrail along the edge. So it's possible that they made the platform on the one setup wider so it was wide enough that IF THEY STAYED X FEET FROM THE EDGE, the platform didn't need the guardrail. One the other setup, perhaps it's not high enough off the ground to require guardrails. We had to install guardrails along parts of the edge of the roof of a two story building because the AC units were too close to the edge to allow the AC guy to service them without the guardrails there to meet OSHA. Sometimes the OSHA rules are just plain asinine. Another time we had to install thousands of feet of guardrail along the top of retaining walls because of the shrubbery on top of the dirt behind the walls. The landscapers, who were up there very rarely to either trim or replace sprinkler heads, had to have the guardrail per OSHA. The distance is something like 16 feet (just a guess from my poor memory), if your workers can get closer then 16 feet to the edge of a wall then you have to have guardrail.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.