What is the Line of Fire? Technically, “Line of fire” is a military term that describes the path of a discharged missile or firearm. It’s the path an object will travel. In the construction world there are many objects that have potential to create line of fire exposure. As John Boyle put it in his article; Awareness is our first line of defense. We must be alert for conditions that may change where the line of fire zone exists, including wind gusts and falling objects. Perform a job site walk-down to identify missing or weak defenses in areas such as yard, shop, construction sites, equipment guards and excavation shoring.
Supervisors must continually remind workers to stay clear of hazards by using flagging, barricades, job briefings and three-way communication on all our job. Pay close attention to personnel and objects above, below and in the immediate work area during any job evaluation. No material should be dropped from overhead unless communicated absolutely necessary; this shall be done under the crew leader’s direction. The drop zone shall always be guarded and cleared.
- Never walk under a suspended load.
- Communicate to other workers when entering a lifting/hoisting zone, even if for a short period.
- Balance the load prior to lifting.
- Rigging equipment shall never be loaded in excess of its maximum safe loading limit.
- Be aware and stay clear of tensioned lines such as cable, chain and rope.
- Use only correct gripping devices. Select proper equipment based on size and load limit.
- Be cautious of torque stresses that drilling equipment and truck augers can generate. Equipment can rotate unexpectedly long after applied torque force has been stopped.
Objects with Fall Potential
The line separating safety from danger is sometimes quite small. To avoid crossing that line, we must:
- Always be aware of the hazards around us.
- Understand the machines and operations in our work areas.
- Take the time to think about the possible consequences that may result from where we place our bodies or the actions we perform.
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