“MIOSHA Launches Campaign To Prevent Roadway Accidents” is the title of a recent communication released by LARA. In 2018, nine of the 38 workplace fatalities in Michigan involved individuals being struck by vehicular equipment. Please remember that MIOSHA covers ALL industries, so many of these incidents were outside of the construction industry. Tow truck drivers, police, sanitation workers and many more face the problems that the industry encounters on a daily basis without traffic safety devices.
Unfortunately, MIOSHA can’t work on the root cause of the problem, which MITA believes is distracted drivers and poor choices. They can only work on what they have jurisdiction over, which is employers. MIOSHA’s idea of prevention is issuing citations for things like barrels that are out of line or have been knocked over by the drivers that are actually causing the problems. This is a reactionary approach rather than a proactive one, and it has always been MIOSHA’s plight because they are an enforcement agency.
MIOSHA will be combating traffic issues, as well as a couple of other program initiatives like night work and excavations, with additional enforcement. They have committed to overtime hours for safety officers starting now. This additional enforcement typically occurs later in the year, when their budget is a little more solidified. Be prepared to encounter an officer on nights and weekends.
This bulletin should not scare you or even raise a concern. The heavy construction industry trains regularly and works diligently to continually raise the bar when it comes to safety. The sting actually comes when you feel the frustration of setting up barrels and being exposed to the additional risk of that activity, only to have them knocked down again. After all that hard work, to then receive a citation is very frustrating. MITA’s advice to members is to do better than your best! We need to be bulletproof when it comes to safety. It will be what allows you to sleep at night if you ever experience a fatality within your organization. Citations can be dealt with by your association; the effects of a fatality last forever.
Question or comments? Please contact Rob Coppersmith, VP of Membership Services, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at the MITA office at 517-347-8336.