Mobile District employees made their workplace safer through reconstruction, redesign and a small, but important addition of a guardrail.
When Jeff Emmert, the chief ranger at the Buford Powerhouse in Buford, Ga., and Stephen Pierce, the Lead Safety Specialist conducted their fall-hazard survey at the Buford Powerhouse, they found a few hazards and made recommendations for improvements. Those recommendations led to reconstruction of the plant’s battery room, the redesign of a stairwell and the installation of a guardrail. All of these recommendations led to a safer work environment for the Buford Powerhouse staff.
“The safety of our employees is our top priority here,” Pierce explained. “As part of our ongoing safety program, Jeff is fulfilling a vital role as the Fall Protection Program Manager and Collateral Duty Safety Officer for the Lake Lanier Site Office and Buford Powerhouse. During the inspection, he found some areas in which safety could be improved. He presented these findings to the powerhouse manager, Cecil Quinley. Cecil and his staff have developed better designs and have allocated funding to implement the changes.”
The results were new designs and constructions that eliminated and/or mitigated potential safety hazards, making the powerhouse a safer workplace for the staff and visitors.
Some of the safety achievements include redesigning the battery room at the powerhouse in order to reduce the employees’ exposure to harmful substances and minimize needed maintenance. At the same time, it saves space, which is always in high demand, according to Pierce.
The staff also redesigned and rebuilt a 12-foot stairwell so that it has slip-resistant treads and now complies with the latest life safety codes.
And, yet another safety improvement is the addition of a removable guardrail system that has been fitted to the tops of each of the power units. Because the guardrail eliminated the hazard of falling, employees no longer have to wear fall-arrest or restraint systems when working in that area, Pierce explained.
“The improvements made to the Buford Powerhouse have greatly reduced the need for personal protective equipment and the overall risk to employees,” Pierce said. “The employees have done an exceptional job of working with the District Safety Office to develop solutions to better protect themselves from injury.”