Archives for August 2012

September Newsletter from Odievision

Down in the Weeds: Real World Events and Issues

Commercial aviation are accidents are few, but statistically they usually occur during takeoff or landing. These are our vulnerable areas. Accidents in fighter jets frequently involve collision with the ground at high speed or aerial collisions with other jets. We have long lists of rules written “in blood” so to speak that represent our known vulnerabilities. We plan for them and thoroughly brief them every time before we step to fly. I suspect your “fighter pilots” are also aware of their vulnerable areas and that they brief them before every mission, but we constantly need to be reminded. Supervisors need to re-address these areas regularly because experienced operators forget or become complacent, and new operators might not know the issues at all. Look over these three recent real-world accidents and review the discussion questions below to review your possible vulnerabilities.

Thrown from Extension Bucket From the Ledger-Independent, Maysville, KY. August 10th, 2012

According to officials with Kentucky State Police Post 8 in Morehead, Edward B. Johnson, 40, was operating the extension arm on a 1999 Ford work truck while working on a stoplight overhanging the roadway.  While Johnson was suspended in the air in the bucket, it was struck by a 2007 International tractor-trailer.  The operator, Ernest L. Boone, 41, told officials he misjudged the distance and struck the bucket, ejecting Johnson and causing him to land on the roadway. KSP Trooper Endre Samu said the investigation revealed there was no flagger or signal man on the ground near Johnson’s work truck and Johnson was not wearing a three-point harness. 

Utah Worker Partially Buried in Trench Collapse From KSL in Salt Lake City, UT. August 10th, 2012

AMERICAN FORK — A construction worker suffered a broken leg and possible other internal injuries after a trench he was working in collapsed Friday, burying him to his waist. The accident happened about 11:30 a.m. near 215 N. Meadow Lane, where road crews were digging a trench to install a sewer line. The trench was about 15 feet deep. When emergency crews arrived, they found one man buried waist high in dirt, said American Fork Fire Battalion Chief Doug Bateman. “He had one obvious leg fracture and other internal injuries,” Bateman said. From the time emergency crews arrived, it took about 30 minutes to secure the pit and dig him out, he said. “Not many people come out of a trench collapse alive. He’s lucky,” Bateman said. Co-workers said the man, whose name has not yet been released, was in a lot of pain but rescue crews noted his injuries were not life threatening.

Dangling from a Line From KIRO in Olympia, WA. Aug 9th, 2012

A crew worker dangled from a safety line Thursday morning after he fell while cleaning Olympia’s Capitol dome. Two workers from Western Waterproofing were power-washing the dome on a platform at 7 a.m. Something went wrong and their scaffold turned over. “Somehow the platform came loose and flipped over and one of the workers was left hanging there for a couple of minutes while his buddy was able to pull him back up,” said Steve Valandra of the Department of Enterprise Services. During the time of the incident, the worker who fell was wearing safety equipment to prevent him from falling to the ground. He was also not injured from the fall.

The View from 30,000 Feet

Discuss where we are vulnerable to accidents. Is it up high in a bucket? Is it down low in a trench?

What systems do we have to prevent our vulnerable areas from becoming statistics? Do we always use these systems? Really? Always?

Will we be the ones lying on the pavement waiting for an ambulance or safely dangling from the harness until we can be pulled back up?

Where might our operation encounter non-briefed players like the semi truck driver who impacted the bucket truck? How do we keep a buffer between them and us?

Featured Title

In our DVD entitled Leading Indicators: Tenerife Tragedy, we cover at least three areas of vulnerability that apply to any high-risk work environment. These are:

  • Changes in Work Activity
  • Recognizing Associated Hazards
  • A Leader’s Need to Listen to Subordinate Input

These important lessons are embedded in the gripping story of the worst aviation accident in history. We interviewed the only surviving pilot from the crash who tells the incredible tale of the factors leading to the accident, the key actions of the players involved, and his own escape from a burning jet 40 feet above the ground. The instructional points are taught by Odie making the video ideal for a safety meeting or as part of new employee orientation training. The video’s run time is 16 minutes.

Where in the world is Odie?

If you missed Odie  as the closing speaker at the National VPPPA Conference in Anaheim California, you can catch him by attending the National Safety Council conference in Orlando on October 24.