Meeting Minutes – General Membership – Safety Committee 9-11-2023

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    Safety Committee Report September 11th, 2023

    This has updated report items from the originally submitted report on August 12th, 2023.
    In regards to training riggers in the use of an Arena fall rescue system:
    The first session of fall rescue training has been complete, and we have newly competent
    rescuers for the Spokane Arena fall rescue system. More training is being scheduled to
    increase the number of competent rescuers we have in our ranks.
    In regards to Arena harness buckles slipping free during work:
    Harnesses purchased by the PFD that include a Pass-Through Buckle (also known as a
    Mating Buckle) work poorly in the conditions that we need to use our harnesses for. They
    are designed for work where the wearer will always be in an upright position, thereby
    maintaining positive pressure on the buckle plate and keeping the buckle secure. The
    motion of sitting or crouching releases the positive pressure on the plate and allows the
    buckle the possibility to slip itself free. This is not an issue of a design flaw in the harness,
    but rather an example of using the wrong tool for the job. These findings apply to all
    harnesses that utilize a Pass-Through Buckle, including harnesses at the FICA.
    Our current work-around up to this point has been to tape the Pass-Through Buckles, once
    positive contact has been made, to prevent them from slipping free.
    We are actively looking into options to replace the current harnesses with a more
    appropriate model.
    In regards to uncovered wells in the grid at the FICA:
    There exist uncovered wells at the FICA which are large enough for a worker to injure
    themselves or even fall through. There are also no suitable fall arrest anchors near these
    wells to make the use of a harness effective. The wells upstage of all line sets have been
    covered with crafted wooden “plugs” to prevent workers from falling into the open spaces.
    Our official recommendation is to build and install additional plugs of suitable design and
    material to fill the open wells where a person could sustain an injury. This will keep our
    workers safe in the grid, and may also create an opportunity to employ Local 93 workers to
    perform this task.

    In regards to personal safety when walking away from a venue late at night:
    A concern was brought to our attention about workers walking back to their cars after latenight calls. Some of our members are already using a buddy system and walking together.
    We would like to recommend that the onsite Safety Briefings before late-night shifts include
    wording encouraging people to use a buddy system when they leave the jobsite if they do
    not feel safe walking alone. We would also like to recommend that the Job Steward remind
    workers as they leave to employ a buddy system for walking away from the venue if they
    desire to.

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