Lack of Training threatens Safety
Photographs taken on the morning of Wednesday 20th November by a concerned citizen show a serious and potentially life-threatening situation involving the City Department of Public Works – director Councilman Kevin Troup.
Workers can be clearly seen, in flagrant violation of OSHA safety regulations, standing in a front loader bucket hanging garlands from lampposts. Why is this so dangerous? If the machine’s engine stalled, or simply ran out of fuel, the hydraulic pressure would fail instantly, and the heavy bucket would fall like a stone, throwing anyone within out onto the road. It could also do some serious damage to any vehicles parked underneath where they were working.
Did they cordon off the sidewalk before commencing work? Did they ask owners to move their cars before commencing work? Was anyone even delegated to stop passers-by from walking underneath the bucket or coming too close to the machine? In one safety bulletin, John Deere recommends that nobody apart from the driver should be within 30 feet when such a machine is being operated.
Does anyone in the City Public Works Department even realize about the potential hazards and dangers of this practice? Have they bothered to read the OSHA accident reports – there are plenty of them out there – about workers and others being crushed, maimed, crippled or even killed in similar circumstances, or about cars being seriously damaged. Does anyone actually care?
When was the last time that the City DPW employees had any safety instruction? Have they ever had any safety instruction? This should be their director’s responsibility. Are they even covered under City insurance in the event of an accident, or would such an irrefutable act of negligence invalidate any claim? We are sure that OSHA will want to look into this very closely.
As a final point, this work, blocking one side of Market Street, was being performed during the morning rush hour. This in itself shows a complete lack of consideration for others on the part of those in charge.