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Over 80% of all workplace injury arises from worker behavior. We make mistakes, errors in judgment or
simply do not have our full attention on the job and something happens. There is also a tendency to get so
focused on getting the job done that we do not recognize the obvious.

A few years ago in the main shops there was an incident where a fairly new worker fell into a hole in the floor
and required several stitches in his leg. The opening was well flagged off and the whole affair seemed a
mystery. The post incident interview went something like this: So, you saw the caution tape? "Yes". And you
do understand what caution tape means? "Oh, yes." And you stepped over the caution tape and fell into the
hole? "Yes, that is pretty much what happened." Either this guy was a complete moron or there was some
other explanation.

On further questioning, it turned out that he was on the end of a tag line at the time. He was so focused on
keeping the plate steady that the consequences of stepping over the caution tape did not register. At first
this seemed unbelievable. However, some recent research on workplace injury confirmed that focused
concentration on a task reduces the capacity to recognize obvious hazards. And a significant number of
workplace injuries result from this kind of inattention.

This applies directly to vehicle operation such as forklifts or even pickup trucks. There is a felt sense of
pressure to get something done, we are driving totally wrapped up in the job and do not even seen the
person walking in the path of travel. Every year there are countless incidents like this.

Are there pressures and intense focus in our jobs? You bet. But it is how we deal with the pressure, how we
handle the intense focus that is important. Now and again we have talked about the four second reset as a
way of attuning ourselves to the hazards around us. Sometimes all it takes is a big breath when we sit
behind the wheel of a vehicle. In truth, it is some conscious act of getting outside of the pressure or job
focus that prevents this type of incident. How we do this is our individual preference or way of psychologically
handling the job demands here.

There is an old story about a man who is riding a very fast horse. As he gallops past a bystander the person
shouts, "Where are you going in such a hurry?" The man answers, "I don't know. Ask the horse." The very
same situation happens with many of us at work. We get caught up in the busy day. Direct the horse once in
a while and you won't ride over one of your co-workers or fall into a hole.

Pre-task Planning (STA) is a great way to focus your team. The STA is a living document that helps everyone
to focus on their tasks for the day. Here are a few things to keep in mind when using this tool:

  1. Everyone has input
  2. Done in your work area by individual crews
  3. Identify your task for the day
  4. Identify what hazards you see with those hazards no matter how trivial they may seem
  5. Identify other trades working around you and ask the question “Can I safely work around them?”
  6. Identify how to abate the hazards you identified by asking yourself “Do I have the right training,
    equipment and or material?”
  7. If you job task changes then start over with the STA and ask yourself these simple questions

The piece of paper you are writing the information down on will not save your life, but the focus you are
placing on your work will. We never know what we have prevented only what we didn’t prevent.

Portland cement is a light gray or white powder. When in contact with moisture in eyes or on skin, or when mixed with water, portland cement becomes highly caustic (pH > 12) and will damage or burn (as severely as third-degree) the eyes or skin.

The pH scale is logarithmic. That means each change of one in pH value is 10 times more acidic. Therefore, a substance with a pH of 2 is 1000 times more acidic than one with a pH of 5!

The pH values of some common substances are given in the table below.

It is important to know the pH of substances because they may be corrosive or react with incompatible materials. For example acids and bases should not be stored or used near each other as their accidental combination could generate a huge amount of heat and energy, possibly resulting in an explosion.

pH is also important to know in case you spill the material on your skin or eyes. Whenever a substance enters the eye, flush with water for 15 minutes and get prompt medical attention.

(Acute/Chronic) Exposure to airborne dust may cause immediate or delayed irritation or inflammation of the cornea. Eye contact by larger amounts of dry powder or splashes of wet portland cement may cause effects ranging from moderate eye irritation to chemical burns and blindness.

METHODS OF PROTECTION - When engaged in activities where portland cement dust or wet portland cement or concrete could contact the eye, wear goggles or safety glasses with side-shields. In extremely dusty environments and unpredictable environments, wear unvented or indirectly vented goggles to avoid eye irritation or injury. Contact lenses should not be worn when working with portland cement or wet portland cement products.

FIRST AID - Immediately flush eye thoroughly with water. Continue flushing eye for at least 15 minutes, including under lids, to remove all particles. Call physician immediately.


Check out our progress on The Standard project in Charlottesville, VA. The $3.8 million concrete project consists of apartments and a 6-level precast parking structure. Donley’s scope includes approximately 406,000 sq. ft. of slab finish area in 6 levels of steel construction.

10 Jul

DCG Project Win!

posted by: Admin (0)

Congrats to Donley's Concrete Group on a recent project win! Last month we were awarded the Virginia War Memorial concrete project in Richmond Va. The $4.8 million project starts in Sept 2017 and is part of the DVS office and parking expansion.

The average bolt of lightning carries over 100,000,000 volts and can reach out over 100 miles. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), lightning is one of the leading weather-related causes of death and injury in the United States. It is estimated that the Earth id struck by lightning 100 times every second and the odds of being struck by lightning over your lifetime is 1 in 3,000. Thunderstorms and lightning are most likely to develop on hot, humid days and can be very dangerous is a person is outdoors without the proper protection.


  1. There are 5 ways in which lightning can severely injure or kill people or animals.
  2. A direct strike usually results in cardiac arrest and/or stoppage of breathing
    A side flash may occur when the body of a person provides an alternate or parallel path for the current. This means the person may be another way for the current to reach the ground. If the current passes through the head or heart, death may occur.
  3. Conducted current from a lightning flash may range from a tingling shock to a massive current diverted from a poorly grounded electric power pole through the wiring system.
  4. Step voltage radiates out through the ground from a struck tree or pole. This results in many livestock deaths every year.
  5. Fires, fallen trees, crushed cars. These are secondary effects. Injuries that occur from these are an
    indirect result of lightning.

There are several things one can do if caught outdoors when a lightning storm strikes. Take shelter inside a building or car and close the windows and doors. Get off equipment immediately. Get out of the water if you are swimming or boating and get away from it. If boating stay low and avoid contact with the water.

Do not take refuge under any tall, isolated object, such as a tree. Standing under a group of trees shorter than others in the area is better than being in the open. Avoid electric fences, clothes lines, metal pipes, rails, telephone poles and any other conductor. Put down any object that might conduct electricity, such as a rake, hoe or shovel. If you are outside with no protection get to a low spot, make your body as low to the ground as possible but do not lay flat on the earth. Curl on your side or drop to your knees and bend forward putting your hands on your knees. If there is a group of people, spread out. If someone feels there hairs stand on end, it may mean lightning is about to strike.

Stay calm and keep low.

If someone is struck by lightning, they do not contain and electrical charge. Provide first aid immediately for any injury that is visible, and be prepared to provide CPR. Immediately call 9-1-1.

Rubber-soled shoes provide absolutely no protection from lightning.

If you can hear thunder, you are within 10 miles of a storm and are within reach of lightning.

An automobile can offer protection by acting like a Faraday cage, provided that the occupants do not touch the metal of the care while inside.


  • High temperature and humidity;
  • Direct sun or heat;
  • Limited air movement;
  • Physical exertion;
  • Poor physical condition;
  • Some medicines;
  • Inadequate tolerance for hot workplaces; and
  • Insufficient water intake can all lead to heat stress.

Heat Stroke
is the most serious heat related disorder and occurs when the body's temperature regulation fails and body temperature rises to critical levels. It is a medical emergency that may result in death. The primary signs and symptoms of heat stroke are confusion; irrational behavior; loss of consciousness; convulsions; a lack of sweating (usually); hot, dry skin; and an abnormally high body temperature. If a worker shows signs of possible heat stroke, professional medical treatment should be obtained immediately. Until professional medical treatment is available, the worker should be placed in a shady, cool area and the outer clothing should be removed. Douse the worker with cool water and circulate air to improve evaporative cooling. Provide the worker fluids (preferably water) as soon as possible.

Heat Exhaustion is only partly due to exhaustion; it is a result of the combination of excessive heat and dehydration. Signs and symptoms are headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, thirst, and giddiness. Fainting or heat collapse is often associated with heat exhaustion. Workers suffering from heat exhaustion should be removed from the hot environment and given fluid replacement. They should also be encouraged to get adequate rest, and when possible, ice packs should be applied.

Heat Cramps are usually caused by performing hard physical labor in a hot environment. Heat cramps have been attributed to an electrolyte imbalance caused by sweating and are normally caused by the lack of water replenishment. It is imperative that workers in hot environments drink water every 15 to 20 minutes and also drink carbohydrate-electrolyte replacement liquids (e.g., sports drinks) to help minimize physiological disturbances during recovery.


  • Acclimatize workers
  • Replace fluids
  • Reduce the physical demands
  • Provide recovery areas
  • Reschedule hot jobs for the cooler part of the day
  • Monitor workers


  • Reflective clothing, worn as loosely as possible, can minimize heat stress hazards.
  • Wetted clothing, such as terry cloth coveralls or two-piece, whole-body cotton suits are another simple and inexpensive personal cooling technique. It is effective when reflective or other impermeable protective clothing is worn.
  • Water-cooled garments range from a hood, which cools only the head, to vests and "long johns," which offer partial or complete body cooling. Use of this equipment requires a battery-driven circulating pump, liquid-ice coolant, and a container.


There are a couple of frequently used sayings concerning this type of behavior, such as, “Haste Makes Waste” and “The Hurrier I Go, the Behinder I Get.” Another one which is more closely associated with safety on the job is, “Hurrying-Up Can Hurt.”

These types of accidents are easy to identify, but there are others resulting from being in a hurry that we should consider for a moment. For instance:

  • Using the wrong ladder for the job just because it is closer than the one that is the right height.
  • Not wearing safety glasses because the job will only take a second.
  • Not taking time to properly lock-out and tag machinery you want to make repairs on.
  • Carrying a heavy object without first planning a safe route.
  • Leaving water or oil on the floor for someone else to wipe up—probably with the seat of their pants.

Sometime, think back to an incident when you nearly got hurt. When you review the circumstances of the near-miss, there is a good chance that hurrying was part of your difficulty. If you took a shortcut, you probably realize, as most of us do sooner or later, the shortcut really didn’t save any time and was not worth the risk involved.

However, it should be pointed out that while hurrying unnecessarily is frowned upon, faster ways of doing things may be beneficial at times. If you think that there is a better way of doing a certain job, by all means bring it to the attention of your Supervisor. But do not proceed to use the new method or make any changes without first getting them approved.

One of the safest means of speeding up operations is through experience. As we become more familiar with our jobs, our efficiency and speed increase. But this is taken into consideration in planning jobs and how they should be handled; and then, of course, we all reach a point where increased speed through experience becomes negligible, and the danger of not remaining alert on the job grows.

Obviously, accidents cost money. So if you think that meeting the cost of living is rough now, just imagine what it would be like if you had to face expenses without a full paycheck because of a work injury. So, both physically and financially, hurrying can hurt.


Each time someone is injured, we need to ask ourselves “how did it happen?” Accidents just don’t happen, they are caused. Accidents are usually a result of someone not paying attention or knowing how to recognize a job (or home or automobile) safety hazard. Jobs with effective safety attitudes have about a fifth as many injuries compared to those without the safety attitude. Today we will discuss some general rules to follow and the four hazard avoidance rules.

General Rules

  • Learn the safe way to do your job.
  • Don’t jump from one elevation to another.
  • Don’t work under suspended loads.
  • Remove protruding nails or bend them over.
  • Keep the work area clear of debris.
  • Use the personal protective equipment required for the job.
  • Treat all electrical wires as being “live.”
  • Use the right tool for the right job.
  • Be sure all tools are in good shape.

Four Hazard Avoidance Rules

  • Know the safe way to work, and then follow the safe way all the time.
  • Maintain safe working conditions – for yourself and others around you.
  • Work safely, setting the example, and encourage others to do so.
  • Report all accidents and near misses.

Additional Discussion Notes:

  • Keep scaffolds free of excess weight.
  • Other ways to avoid hazards.
  • Report accidents and near misses to Employer.

Remember: Remember to ask yourself if you are following the basic common sense rules? If you aren’t following them, then take the chance and you will have or cause an accident. Keep asking yourself “how can I make my work safer?” Doing so and you’ll probably not have a serious accident, and help prevent a serious accident for a fellow worker.

June is National Safety Month. The National Safety Council and thousands of organizations across the country work to raise awareness of what it takes to Keep Each Other Safe. This annual event focuses on reducing leading causes of injury and death at work, on the road, and in our homes and communities.

Last Monday kicked off Safe+Sound Week, a nationwide event led by OSHA. It is meant to raise awareness and understanding of the value of safety and health programs that include management leadership, worker participation, and a systematic approach to finding and fixing hazards in workplaces. The NSC encourages organizations to participate and showcase their commitment to safety. #SafeAndSound.

Below are some images and a short video of John Clark speaking at the Health Education Campus (HEC) huddle about the pledge.