Safety Measures Being Taken After Newburgh Beacon Bridge IncidentsJun 19th, 2013 | By Jay Long | Category: Featured Articles, Lead Article
When the repainting project on the Newburgh-Beacon bridge resumes this week, the 13 workers in the containment system blasting paint off the steel, will be required to wear a personal alarm device. This comes after two separate incidents, in just over two weeks, left workers suspended by safety harnesses.
The device will sound an alert to sueprvisors whenever a button is pushed manually, suffers a fall, remains inactive for a period of time or is suspended by their safety harness.
NYS Bridge Authority Executive Director said in a news conference, “You can’t really put a price on safety. Something so affordable, there is really no excuse (to not have it)”.
Kiska, the company that is contracted to complete the project, will put additional supervisors and trained safety personnel on the job site as well as requiring workers to be retrained in safety procedures.
On May 21, two workers slipped off the side of a steel sheet being installed as part of the containment system flooring and in an second incident on June 6, a worker was found suspended by his safety harness next to the steel which he was conducting paint removal operations.
The cause of both incidents are unknown at this time. The Bridge Authority itself said there were no failures of safety lines, harnesses or other equipment. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is conducting its own investigation into the two incidents.
The bridge repainting project is in the second of a three year project.