Ah safety, one of my favorite things to rant about. I’m all for actual safety measures that keep us from dying on the job – I tend to hire friends and I really like the people I’ve got working for me, so I’d be very upset if they were seriously injured on the job. But sometimes I want to stab myself in the eye, if only I could hold anything in my safety gloves, or poke through my safety glasses in order to do it.
Our latest safety headache involves the shoring we use to line the large excavation areas – it keeps things from burying us head-to-toe and helps keep our lovely walls from giving out before we have a chance to excavate them. We’ve been shoring since we started doing deep excavations last year and we’ve had plenty of small and moderate collapses (it’s sand, what do you expect?) and not once have I had someone in peril due to the a sand-slide.
However, this time around the client has prompted us towards bigger and better shoring! (More expensive and time-consuming shoring!). Our biggest problem seemed to be that no one quite knew how to interpret the Occupational Health and Safety regulations on shoring in sand – we had 3 different safety departments telling us what we should be doing (with our infinite supply of materials, labor and strength with which to lift said shoring into place, of course).
In the end, we are using 2 x 10 pieces of wood and are basically doing the equivalent of framing a house, a really sturdy, sometimes sloping house. We have a dedicated team of shoring masters that keep us boxed in and haul the 80 – 100 lb pieces around the sites. We both love them and fear them with their power tools.