The following is an excerpt from the Anderson Engineering Safety Meeting. The topic of discussion was Stop Work.
On a dark and dreary day high in the mountains of Colorado a lone worker entered a mine shaft with the expectation of another standard day at work. It wasn’t long before the worker found himself sprinting out of the shaft his skin burning. Earlier that day a crew was working on a pump system but ran into some complications. Rather than stopping work to reevaluate the situation and prevent a possible safety hazard, the crew gave the okay for work to continue, resulting in a coworker injured.
Steve Anderson shared this experience to Anderson Employees during this month’s safety meeting as an illustration of the importance of the Stop Work ADP. Steve began his discussion by defining stop work, “When a person identifies an unsafe condition, error, confusion, or lack of understanding that could result in harm to persons, the environment, or property, he or she shall immediately initiate a stop work command.” Steve further explained that an intervention of stop work can be as simple as noticing your shoelace has come untied.
“Often time weather can and should be the reason to initiate a stop work. Down in Louisiana and out around Kennecott lighting storms can move in very quickly. You should be able to swiftly recognize or carry with you a lighting meter to ensure your safety from these storms.”
Rex Ausburn further reinforced Steve’s point by sharing his experience in Louisiana where strict adherence has been placed on stopping work at the first sign of lighting and remaining in shelter for 30 minutes beyond the last sound of thunder as defined in the Anderson Define Practices.
Steve also shared a recent experience of Anderson Employees working in North Salt Lake who properly stopped work when conditions became unknown and potentially dangerous. While Ryan Anderson, Leigh Beem, Rob Holfeltz, Carma Scott, Daniel Smith, and Christian Sudol were conducting exploratory water sampling, the presence of a potentially harmful airborne chemical exceeded expectations. Foreseeing the potential for a serious injury the team halted the work until proper equipment and conditions could be met.
“Stopping work can often take courage to stand up and speak up about something that maybe unsafe or confusing. But, safety is the number one priority at Anderson and keeping yourself and all those around you safe requires individuals to be alert, recognize, and speak up when something doesn’t seem right”