MySafetySign Blog

How many safety violations can you see in this photo? #HazardSpotting

New York is a busy, bustling city, and sometimes when you stop to smell the roses, you catch sight of some disturbing thorns. One recent morning walk in my quiet residential neighborhood of Brooklyn brought me across the following perilous scene.

Image taken by the author, used with permission.

My first thought was for my own safety; I was walking on that side of the street and a worker was sweeping bits of shattered brick off the sidewalk as they fell from above. I crossed the street and assessed the scene. Now, as one of our resident OSHA enthusiasts who’s done her fair share of research on the topic, I spotted the following safety violations right away:

These few hazardous violations that were present in just one construction project, with three laborers at risk, made me concerned for the entire project; these workers deserve to be in an environment that pays heed to their safety even when it’s a small residential project. I called 311 and reported it to the Department of Buildings, although so often those calls bring out an inspector far too late for any real reparations to be made. And it got us here at MySafetySign thinking about the safety violations we see around us every day. What can we do about them? What should the construction industry be on the lookout for, in their own job sites and work environments? We’re pretty good at spotting good and bad worksite conditions, but what can we use to educate readers about safety?

So with this inaugural (and somewhat cranky) post, we’re starting a new initiative here at MySafetySign: Hazard Spotting. If you send us pictures of potential safety violations via email, Facebook, or tweet using the #HazardSpotting hashtag, we’ll write a post just like this one. It’s like they say: “If you see something, say something.” We’ll investigate the photo with our crack team of regulatory nerds, and report back on the blog what we find.