Safety

Rain always brings an increased risk of landslides, but extremely high precipitation rates throughout the Pacific Northwest in October have geologists, engineers and owners of vulnerable infrastructure on alert for geologic hazards.

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In other words, we received the more than the average monthly rainfall within a three-day window and the continued rainfall likely helped to further saturate the soil profile or keep the soils wet.

The United States relies on a vast network of dams to power our homes, fill our tubs, and protect our communities from flooding. Many of these dams were built during the infrastructure boom of the ‘50s and ‘60s, or even earlier, and are now in desperate need of modernization or replacement. It’s been estimated that, by 2020, as much as 70 percent of the country’s 87,000 dams will be more than 50 years old. We are facing a dam safety crisis, and we ignore it at our peril.

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"It’s been estimated that, by 2020, as much as 70 percent of the country’s 87,000 dams will be more than 50 years old. We are facing a dam safety crisis, and we ignore it at our peril."
VIcrawlCulvert washouts occur when turbulent water forces its way around the edges of a culvert, potentially causing the collapse of the road above.

Between March 8 and March 10, 2016 a large storm slowly made its way across North Louisiana.

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"To avoid potential road washouts it is important for motorists to remember to turn their vehicle around instead of driving across a roadway covered by water."
VIcrawlGeoEngineers' staff test for chemical vapors in the crawlspace of a home above a contaminated site.

Soil and groundwater contaminated with volatile chemicals, such as fuels and cleaning solvents, can threaten the health of people in homes or other buildings above or near the contamination.

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"Potentially dangerous vapors can easily go unnoticed by occupants of a home or building."

In the wake of recent rain events and flooding throughout Missouri, it’s important to think about the increased risk of sinkholes and other hazards following storms. Karst systems, which form within soluble rocks like limestone, are especially affected by sudden significant rainfall. If you live or own property in a karst region, you should be aware of the risks and know how to protect yourself and your property from sinkholes.

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"Even if you’re not aware of any history of sinkholes in your area, if you’re in a karst region, be wary. Sinkholes can appear suddenly."

HazWaste: Ten RCRA Compliance Issues that Can Trip You Up

The federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) sets regulations to:

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In short – pay attention to the details.

Home Safe Every Day logoWhen it comes to safety, it’s about a personal commitment to get home safe every day to what we value in our lives – spending time with family, enjoying the outdoors, pursuing hobbies, going to school and more. Because of this, it’s important for any workplace safety initiative to have a personal connection.

Title slide for J. Gordon's APWA presentation on landslides.I recently talked about landside emergency response procedures for the American Public Works Association’s (APWA) Washington Chapter Emerging Professionals Committee.

Silly as it may sound, being a “Defensive Walker” can help you safely navigate many of the hazards lurking all around you that may cause you to slip, trip or fall!

According to OSHA, slips, trips and falls cause 15% of all accidental deaths, second only to motor vehicles. Nationally, 10% of all injuries are caused by slips, trips and falls.

Although some of these injuries involve falls from ladders, buildings or other heights, statistics have shown that most injuries to people occur while they walk from one place to another.

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According to OSHA, slips, trips and falls cause 15% of all accidental deaths, second only to motor vehicles.

Although near-miss reporting has been a part of the culture of GeoEngineers for some time, in 2012 we decided to make it a primary focus for strengthening our safety culture. At first you might think reporting an incident that almost happened—which could have resulted in an injury, property damage or even worse—is a negative thing. On the contrary, our efforts at GeoEngineers are directed at highlighting its good points. We call this, “No-Fault Near-Miss Reporting.”

It could be argued that a large number of identified near-misses suggests unsafe practices.

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You might think reporting an incident that <i>almost</i> happened—which could have resulted in an injury, property damageor even worse—is a negative thing. On the contrary, our efforts at GeoEngineers are directed at highlighting its good points. We call this, “No-Fault Near-Miss Reporting.”
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