Sonic Drilling and Safety: Something to Consider
Sometimes, unthinkable tragedies occur, and one of the best ways to pay tribute to the victims is to think about how similar tragedies can be prevented in the future. Such a tragedy happened in Brooklyn on October 11, 2016. A construction worker named Paul Kennedy was killed when a metal hook attached to a crane, which was positioned five stories high, crushed him as it inexplicably fell. Kennedy had stepped out in front of his equipment, which he was using to drill piles, when the accident occurred.
There is not enough known information about the case yet to determine why the equipment failure happened, why Kennedy had to step out in front of his equipment, or whether any other types of equipment could have helped prevent the tragedy. OSHA is investigating, and a report will be made public in the weeks to come. The accident took place during the same week as the annual Deep Foundation Institute (DFI) conference in New York City.
Construction of building foundations is always dangerous work and involves the use of heavy equipment and machinery. Most contractors have robust safety programs and OSHA requires
initial and periodic training
for all construction workers. However, even dangerous jobs like foundation drilling can become routine, and it can become easy to ignore the usual safety procedures. There are several techniques and safety alerts to bear in mind to help prevent unnecessary tragedies.