August – and Construction Safety

Wow – been away with work, and just realised how quickly the time went.

First of all – it’s now August, and I’ve been up in Sydney for a week of room service and conference delegate wrangling.  Was also my sister Bob’s birthday so was able to catch up with her, on her birthday for the first time in – you know: forever.

Now – as a number of visitors to my blog, come not for the crochet nor stay for the stash diving, but because well… life is never boring and you like pictures of crashes to prove it, today I bring you a really significant bad safety demonstration.

The city in which I work in, went to a proportion of my schooling in and graduated from the Academy in, has some erm… complexities when it comes to the roads.  The city is also growing courtesy of some new suburb developments to the northwest of the city-proper.  Our Chief Minister (noting that Australia’s capital is located within a territory not a state) saw fit to grant approval to construct a major arterial road that was (get this) one-lane, each way. 

This major arterial was to connect the extra XX,XXX homes to other arterials.  And yes, the traffic flow was somewhat akin to spreading cold butter on soft bread. Aint going no-where fast, and does a lot of damge to the surface.

Now – my time in the lands of Glow in the Dark Rocks, Shiny Rocks, Red Dirt and Black Dust taught me a lot of about construction.

One thing it taught me was:  that bidding for a contract didn’t always include the mobilisation and de-mob fees. In other words, the lowest bidder to build the road could augment their bank balances by charging more for the getting and setting up parts.  Thus, a low bidder to build the one-lane freeway (who even thought that was a Good Idea?) gets paid squillions to do the job first time, and then $$$ come back and do the extension.

Yes, those *would* be clouds of doom hovering, care to share me in a few verses of “we’re in the money” while we wait?

Yesterday, the roadworks which have contributed to delays along the main road coming in from the west (i.e. my place) came to a crashing stop.

15 workers hospitalised, one seriously during a concrete pour on the GDE Bridge.

This is a shot (not mine) of the Eastern side of the bridge – the entire thing is now suspect, just to make it funnier.

I have been unimpressed by the scaffolding and formwork on either side of the bridge for some time and noticed the individual personal lapses of safety: helmets, goggles, gloves that speak volumes regarding the observances of safety practices as a whole.

Again – the Eastern (City side) of the Gungahlin Drive Bridge).

OH&S – sometimes you do have to sweat the small stuff.


~ by SB&C on August 15, 2010.

One Response to “August – and Construction Safety”

  1. What a very interesting blog! I’m new to your site; this is the first issue, 8/15/10. I have to say, I don’t recall subscribing to it, but then it would take me a while to remember what I had for dinner last night. I’m guessing it was the title which caught my eye. I think probably I couldn’t imagine how anyone would tie such disparate terms together. Sure enough, there it all was right there in front of me, “Safety Boots and Crochet.” I was happy to see other nations had the same abundance of stupidity in government we here in the US have. Just to stand up for America, I think there is a law compelling me to do so, I’ve never seen us build a modern two lane anything, but I promise I’m not bragging, Im sure we have probably topped that gaff somewhere doing something else, like re paving a road only to come back a couple of months later to dig trenches through the beautifully smooth new paving to put some kind of utility service in place. As maddening as that is, when you go to a city council meeting to inquire about the stupidity of ruining a fabulous new road surface, you are told the two different projects were on different bond packages. When you point out both bond packages had been passed years earlier and common sense would dictate doing one before the other you learn one set of bonds had passed 2 years earlier than the utilities and so had to be done first. There are just no words… I would like to tell you no bridges are falling down here, but you all know that would be a lie. We had a tragedy when a bridge over the Mississippi collapsed a few years back during the evening rush hour.
    Your blog is great, I’m a 60 year old man who discovered crochet way too late in life, no I’m not expecting to keel-over anytime soon, but when you bother to think about it no one ever really wakes thinking this is going to be it. I cast about for years trying to find something I could do that might be enjoyable and productive. Crochet fit the bill exactly, I’m addicted, and I have the stash to prove it.

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