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Safety Concepts for Workers from an OSHA Perspective
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  • Abstract:
    Highway construction and maintenance workers face numerous hazards on job sites, many of which are unique by industry standards. Despite the exposure of state transportation agency employees and contractors to these hazards, there are few safety standards, regulations, programs that directly target the sector aimed at prevention and mitigation. To help the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) improve employee safety, researchers at the Kentucky Transportation Center (KTC) analyzed the frequency and causes of workplace injuries for 10 essential Cabinet maintenance operations. Most incidents were attributable to human factors or ergonomics. Based on this analysis, the leading causes of incidents, and a review of best practices related to workplace safety, KTC designed and built a pre-task safety tool applicable to the 10 KYTC maintenance operations. Developed in Microsoft Excel, the tool is straightforward and intuitive, addresses the most frequent hazards encountered on jobs sites, and can potentially be expanded to encompass all maintenance operations (once sufficient data are available). The tool contains three sections: 1) an introductory sheet with user instructions; 2) statistical summaries of previous injuries suffered by KYTC maintenance workers for each operation; and 3) examples of incidents that have resulted from each of the most frequent causes of injury and recommended safety practices to minimize or eliminate potential hazards. Site foremen or supervisors can use the tool to develop a pre-task safety talk on scheduled workday activities, their associated hazards, and specific measures to prevent or mitigate those hazards. KTC researchers delivered the pre-task safety tool to KYTC separately.

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