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'Andyman 09-12-2005 01:09 PM

Construction safety nightmare
Hi all,

I watched a TV show called ďFlip this houseĒ. It was about buying fixer up properties, renovating and reselling hopefully to make a nice profit. Maybe some of the other members know the show.

The one I watched took place in Charleston, SC and what astounded me was although the contractor had permits, he deviated drastically from the original plan, none of which was on paper in the way of drawings, and the lack of safety on the job site. The crew were wearing no eye protection or safety boots and the interior designer was walking around with open toed sandals.

Iím enjoying this reno show and the Engineer in me comes out again. The foreman in charge decides that the large second floor room overlooking the ocean needs a cathedral ceiling so down comes the flat ceiling and the joists exposing the rafters. With no consultation, he orders this 40 ft. long wooden beam weighing 1500 lbs. and procedes to install it.

This is when the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. He has 10 guys, 12 at the most and they manage to get this beam on their shoulders. Credit where credit is due, the foreman is one of them. Then each guy starts to climb a wooden step ladder to get this beam to an 11 ft. elevation. Thatís when the Engineer in me starts to sweat. Iím thinking each guy, maybe 200 lbs, plus his share of the load standing on a wooden rung. And, every time they climb another rung, the load is increased momentarily by propelling themselves and the beam up. If any of those rungs let go, one guy drops and increases the load on all the other rungsÖ.aahhhh! No kidding though, this beam, if dropped, would have gone through the floor and taken all those guys with it. Actually, the foreman lost his grip, fell off the ladder and broke his hand.

The questions I pondered were, are there no safety regs in some states that even apply to private construction sites and why show something as dangerous as this being done by professionals. The funny thing was that a cop showed up, put the roof lights on an gave two short blasts with the siren, then stressed the importance of the by-law that said construction can only be done between the hours of 7:00 am and 6:pm Monday to Friday and at no time on weekends. Has this city got itís priorities mixed up or what?

Humble Abode 09-12-2005 11:41 PM


Originally Posted by 'Andyman
Actually, the foreman lost his grip, fell off the ladder and broke his hand.

What WON'T they put on TV these days?
It's shows like this that teach the american populous that they can do anything...

K2eoj 09-13-2005 11:20 AM

I've heard that osha regs are not enforced on private residences but don't know that for a fact. I heard that from a roofing contractor who would have high exposure. I follow my own rules on a private residence and have a pretty good record. Driving to work is the dangerous part. i feel pretty safe once i get there. HS

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