Grim Stats re Falling Down OTJ

Work weekend at Whispering Pines Campground was fun and all – but not the same as camping.

Repairing treads on a trail is really just basic carpentry with much bigger nails.

I did more damage to my hands in that weekend than I did all week at work. Speaking of which…

We had a safety seminar on Tuesday. While most of the 3 pages of notes are company specific, I can share a few general facts:

AZ Workman’s Compensation is deliberately set up as a “No Fault” system. That was the compromise with the business community for their mandatory participation.

One of the calculations AZ Workman’s Comp uses to determinethe premium cost is the Experience Modifier, or E-mod which factors the Frequency of injury with the Severity of injury. The baseline for these calculations are based on “industry average” which, in turn, seems to be based on alchemy.

What actually interests me about this is that FrequencyxSeverity is the basic formula I use to calculate development costs for non-tactical powers in my RPG game. Great minds think alike.

The only surprise about all the stats we covered was how few surprises we found in the stats: 23% of injuries are to the hands, 20% occur in the loading dock area, in an industry where 3-5 hour calls are the standard, most injuries happened in the first three hours – I could go on for pages.

What didn’t show up in the stats was sleep deprivation, because there was no way to track how much rest a given stagehand had before reporting to work.

Here’s something to consider for everyone climbing on truss:

OSHA requires a Horizontal lifeline, and a harness wit a zip or screamer extension, a portion bunched together and sewn in place so that it extnds relatively slowly under shock load (like falling) so that the sudden stop at the end of your tether doesn’t crack your pelvis. Both the lifeline and the harness add six feet to your overall falling distance.

So consider:

6′ stagehand falls

6′ to the end of his lanyard and another

3.5 feet for the screamer plus another

6 feet for the stretch in the lifeline (which also has a screamer)

That’s 21.5 feet. If you’re only 18′ above the top of the drum riser – guess what?

Allowing for a 3′ margin of error, that means a truss has to be trimmed at 24′ or higher before your “fall-arrest” will actually arrest your fall

BUT, you’re required to use such a system anyway whenever the truss trims higher than 6′. That’s how the government keeps us safer.

The key, then, is to not fall off the truss.

Finally, inside terminology about freeway design from my new favorite source The Infrastrucurist.

Now You Know

Things to know when working in ceilings

The past few days, my day job has found me crawling through a ceiling space installing permanent hardware (all-thread) into concrete. This combines all the problems of working at height with all the problems of working in confined spaces. However difficult this seems when you first picture it, it’s probably worse than that.

Here’s what we’ve learned:

* Only step on things that you can visibly see are attached to the concrete above you.

*If in doubt, you have to crawl.

* The hardest part will always be turning around. If you can plan a circular route – do that.

* A 5′ 2×4 is the most mobile (and this a relative term) means to span the typical and frequent 4′ gaps of spaces where nothing will hold your weight.

* Don’t wear clothes you care about – or ever want to wear again.

* Have extra batteries for your headlamp.

* Before you move, make sure you have all your tools ready to move with you. OK? Check again. There is little worse than crawling 30 feet inch by inch under conduit and over exposed drywall screws to discover that your wrench is still sitting where you left it.

* We spent the better part of the first day just measuring things – and as a result, we’re ahead of schedule.

* Even with a cap or bandana, you’re going to need to wash the concrete and insulation dust out of your hair every night.

* Unless its an active construction site (and this is not) no one is going to crawl into the ceiling to steal your tools.

* God made cordless Hilti TE6 hammer drills because He loves us, and He wants us to get shit done.

* And if you’re not in shape for this sort of thing, remember that you’re going to wake up 20 years older every morning until the job is done.

(And don’t plan on having energy to blog when you get home…)

Oh – and hey, because some people apparently are not aware of this, Little League Games are not an appropriate venue for drinking beer. Really.

Now you know.