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”
While traveling to work on a vehicle congested overpass Tuesday morning, I witnessed an explosion of small black streaks coming from a car two lanes over. Immediately, I noticed that this explosion was the from the vehicle’s front left tire which had blown out while traveling somewhere around 70 MPH. I imagined what kinda of anxiety the driver must be feeling as black shards of rubber flew in the air all around him. As I passed by I was surprised and impressed to see, what at least appeared to be, a calm and controlled young man handling an obviously stressful situation remarkably well. Through my review mirror I noticed him as he continued driving until he was able to quickly, but safely, pull off onto the highway shoulder.
Impressed by the composure of this young man I thought about how he must have had a good understanding of what to do when your vehicle’s tire blows out. This is a situation that all of us have the opportunity to encounter, which made me think it maybe good for a quick refresher on WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR VEHICLE HAS A TIRE BLOWOUT.
The first step, like always, is prevention and planning.
PREVENTION: Blowouts are the result of air escaping from the tire — slowly or all at once — leaving it with less air pressure than needed to support your car’s weight. Not having enough pressure in your tires forces the rubber to work harder than it’s built to. Working past the limits of its design causes the tire to get too hot, which breaks down its internal structure and, ultimately, causes a blowout.
Before taking your vehicle out for a drive you should always inspect your tires for these potential dangerous issues:
- Cracking or bulging treads or sidewalls that may mean there is wear or weakness
- Anything that’s poking into the tire (nails, screws, glass)
- Tread pulling away from the body of the tire Worn treads. Stick a Lincoln penny in the tread, top first. If the tread doesn’t touch Lincoln’s head, your tires are worn.
ACTIONS: When your tire blows the first thing your will notice is your vehicle slowing down and pulling in the direction of the blow out.
To get safely to the shoulder during a blowout, you first need to avoid swerving into another lane or grinding to a dangerously slow speed. Do this by:
- Keeping pressure on the accelerator so your vehicle maintains its forward momentum.
- Steer in the opposite direction of where the vehicle is pulling. For example, if the vehicle is pulling left, steer right.
Once you have the vehicle under control, you can pull to the shoulder or another safe location.
And as one final reminder, if you are changing a full size tire to a donut spare, the spare should only be placed on a rear wheel as to not damage your vehicles alignment. It may take some extra time to rotate a rear full sized tire to the front, but it will be safer and cheaper in the long run.
Imformaiton sourced from NTB. Why You Shouldn’t Brake During a Tire Blowout. National Tire and Brake. NTB.com, 23 July. 2013. ‹http://www.ntb.com/tires/Tire-Blowout-Education.j›