- Daniel Rau
Safety in Surveying and Geospatial Services
Updated: Feb 6
When people hear surveying, they typically don’t think of high-risk activities. However, the work surveyors can conduct low risk, but the industry they work in can present more hazards. Surveying and Geospatial Services can be provided to all sectors; Marine, Construction, Industrial, Farming, Governmental, etc. That’s why Surveyors and Field Technicians need to evaluate the work environment and eliminate as many hazards as possible before surveying activities on-site.
Below are some of the best practices to follow in the industries we work in:
Constructions can be known for having various heavy equipment moving and being used on the construction site. When possible, it is best to have equipment stop when you need to complete a survey and, or the operator knows your location in retrospect to them. Whenever possible, plan out tasks with other crews on-site. These allow for less congestion and fewer chances of accidents or incidents.
Communication is fantastic to utilize, no matter the type of job. Always talk with site contacts when arriving on site so they know you are on-site and where you are while on site. Having a Point of Contact (POC) is vital because if there is an emergency, you have someone to contact for instruction or confirm you and your crew are safe.
Slips, trip, and fall injuries can be reduced drastically by practicing good housekeeping. Surveyors are trekking through construction sites on uneven ground and over supplies which can be difficult without holding gear and watching for construction equipment. Whenever possible, all workers on sites should eliminate as many of these hazards as possible instead of just walking around them.
Personal Protective Equipment is mandatory no matter the site but especially on industrial sites. Proper safety glasses with side shields, high Viz-Vests, hard hats, and safety-toed boats must always be brought to the site. This is the last level of safety that protects you from hazards when working in an industrial setting and is of the utmost importance.
Knowing your Electrical Safety and Lockout Tagout Procedures is essential when working on industrial sites. Depending on where the work is being completed, workers need to make sure that equipment with moving parts or high voltage power supply isn’t going to strike or shock them. Equipment in industrial settings can utilize six different forms of energy, which can all become kinetic if not properly locked out. Workers and Project Managers need to ask questions to their site contact about hazards in the areas they are working to help prevent this.
Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) completion. No matter the work setting JHAs should always be completed but especially in industrial settings. Workers can be completing tasks Phosphate Producing Plants, Car Manufacturing Facilities, or Warehouse Distribution. All of these sites can produce various hazards to surveyors that they could be unfamiliar with. As mentioned early in the article, communication is essential to the safety of all employees.