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THE PUBLIC

We all keep our eyes open for hazards while we work, but may not pay as much attention as we should to keeping the area around the job safe for the public. That's probably because we think that if we can walk across broken rock and climb out of ditches without getting hurt, anybody ought to be able to navigate a cracked sidewalk.

Or you might think that anybody in his right mind would figure out how to stay clear of the counterweight when a crane parked in the street swings around. Still, the insurance companies have a lot of records to prove that drivers and pedestrians don't recognize this hazard — and a lot of other hazards as well.

Most of the people who fell on the sidewalks around construction jobs are women, and usually elderly ones at that. Even the older ones think they look good in spike heels, and they're usually talking a mile a minute to somebody as they walk past the job. That's why I'm asking you to report any breaks you (or anybody else) make in the sidewalk, and not to leave anything where it might cause someone to trip.

Some of these people have been walking along a particular sidewalk every day for 40 years, without anything happening to them, and they don't know enough about construction to guard against hazards left by careless workmen. These people have to be barricaded out of the area, and they'll even turn into the barricade if it isn't big and easy to see.

Remember that older people, when they fall, usually don't land like cats. They hit on their face, fracture their nose, break their glasses and chip their false teeth. The really old ones suffer broken hips.

Accidents to pedestrians can cost your employer a fortune through his insurance premiums. For instance, an elderly woman fell because a cut nail had worked up in a sheet of plywood over a hole in the sidewalk. She broker her hip, and, come to find out, she had a complication of diseases that made an operation im­possible. The physical suffering caused by this accident can't be measured — the cost, in dollars, was fantastic.

So keep the sidewalk clear and always replace barricades. Make sure to repair the broken wire fence or the wire gate that can be a dangerous tripping hazard. Report any breaks you or anybody else makes in the sidewalk. You'll save the public a lot of misery, and the company's a lot of money, by doing it!

 

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