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2013FallShotcreteEMag

Safety Shooter The Clamp That Failed Job-Site Safety is More Than a Hard-Hat Sticker T wet-mix shotcrete pump during a long day work includes stamped architectural shotcreteregion’s diverse shotcrete needs. Our scope ofsummers ago, I was on break beside the By Derek Pay he shotcrete world can be dangerous. A few training to allow our company to satisfy this of nozzling. It was very hot. As usual, our projects walls, soil nail walls, shoring, underground require layout of a considerable amount of 4 in. parking structure walls, seismic upgrades, shot- (100 mm) steel placement line—a routine task for crete tunnels, canals, and carved rock features. our crew. We know that very high pressures are Our company’s “learning curve” from mainly necessary to convey materials through long place- residential work to larger-scale projects has been ment systems and we prepare them carefully. challenging, and requires us to be compliant with Between loads, the pump operator advanced the all shotcrete safety rules and regulations. We have material a few strokes. The pump strained, and also been subject to specific safety requirements unexpectedly, a large clamp failed, and the system from multiple general contractors. Many of these burst. I had been cleaning my safety glasses and contractors go above and beyond OSHA regulations had no eye protection. I was blasted by shotcrete to maintain a safe working environment for everyone in the face with incredible force and was on the job. It has been a trying task coming from a extremely lucky to not damage my face or eyes. small “Mom and Pop” shop and transitioning into You never know when unforeseen accidents the world of commercial construction. may happen. This was a reminder of the impor- In early 2012, we hired an outside consultant tance of safety requirements. As the proverb goes, to help us refine our shotcrete placement division. “better a thousand times careful then once dead,” After setting up our equipment for a shotcrete and safety doesn’t happen by accident. placement mockup, he noticed safety errors that A little over 3-1/2 years ago, our company could potentially cause damage. He spoke to us acquired a small local shotcrete company from about safety issues and legal ramifications that the Salt Lake City, UT, area to complement our can arise when safety oversights occur. It became shoring division. The acquisition included spe- clear that many accidents are not accidents, but cialty placement equipment to complete smaller preventable, through well-proven safe practices. projects such as swimming pools, small shoring Unfortunately, many of us learn the shotcrete walls, and seismic upgrades. Over time, we have craft through experiences that have provided an invested in more equipment, man power, and acceptable outcome over time. Past employers, coworkers, and outside opinions influence nearly all decisions that must be made by the work crew daily. Many times, critical safety oversights occur Fig. 1: The importance of safety in the shotcrete Fig. 2: Daily checklists are a must in preventing world: a 5 x 4 in. (125 x 100 mm) heavy-duty injuries. Heavy-duty clamp cracked at the reduce fitting with broken heavy-duty ring hinge joint 62 Shotcrete • Fall 2013


2013FallShotcreteEMag
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