Tools for Bridge Construction
5 Tools for Safe Bridge Construction
Bridge construction is a high-risk project, as it is by definition performed in inconvenient locations with varying elevations. From truss bridges to railroad bridges, these projects can happen over water, above high traffic highways, and through populated cities. Yet a shocking 200 million trips occur over "inadequate bridges" in the 102 most populated metro areas in the United States, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers. With stats like this, it's clear why bridge construction needs to be completed safely and efficiently. To make this happen, be sure to include these essential tools in your next construction project.
- Personal Protection: It is important to keep your crew safe before anything else. Be sure that everyone is wearing the proper eye googles, gloves, and foot protection. All workers should also wear gear that complies with ANSI/ISEA regulations.
- Signs: For the safety of the surrounding area, be sure to have clear signage indicating that bridge construction is in progress. If this project requires any detours, be sure to clearly mark that route as well. Local municipalities usually have standard practices for marking construction projects.
- Access Equipment: Rent safety equipment to access all parts of the bridge during repair or construction. This will vary between types of bridges, but equipment such as hydra platforms and bridge walkers are generally standard.
- Fire Safety Tools: If your project poses any risk to electrical lines, gas lines, or equipment, be sure to keep fire-fighting and prevention tools nearby. This includes fire blankets and extinguishers.
- Road Barriers: If your crew needs to divert traffic away from your road or railroad bridge, be sure to include plenty of road barriers. You want drivers to know that they need to switch lanes or avoid an area as soon as possible. Don't forget that these barriers must be visible at night, too. With this said, also consider whether a temporary road construction will be necessary.
In addition to researching the necessary equipment, be sure to look into more detailed safety recommendations. Review OSHA's guidelines for preventing falls and other safety standards for bridge construction. It is often helpful to designate one person on the crew to be in charge of tools and safety and to inspect the project every day for any structural hazards. This will keep your project moving along as safely and efficiently as possible.