Point of Beginning

Letters

January 3, 2006
Readers respond to the November safety story and online quick poll.



Safe and Sound

November 2005

Every other Monday morning we have a safety meeting for the entire survey section including office personnel. The topics vary from meeting to meeting and often cover seasonal issues. Any safety aspect other than the planned subjects may be brought up by any attendee at any meeting. Typically, these safety meetings run about an hour. Subsequently, we haven't lost time or had any vehicle accidents in our survey section, at least as long as I've been working here (six years). I think these safety meetings work. I've also participated in these safety meetings while working in the petroleum industry in Alaska, and we had very few accidents while surveying on the job.

Ken Maliszewski
California

Great article. We are a larger firm with 15 crews statewide. Often we work outside our company and have to follow other safety policies. We never had [a safety policy] in place, just a little paragraph that [stated] we promote a safe working environment. A few years ago, we realized the importance and implemented a company safety policy that went from one paragraph to 35 pages. [It was] mostly for our field service department. One of the best things we did was make a firm standing about working inside the ROW. All personnel wear reflective vests. [We use] strobe lights on trucks and cones if needed. If we are in an area for more than a few hours, I place a call ahead of time and have a local sign company put "Road Work Ahead" signs out. This has been one of the best things. Consider the cost of a survey sign and a crew to put it up and take it down per day (sign $150 each, crew $100). I can have the local sign company put these signs up for a $1.75 per day per sign. I'm saving dollars and time-and I have a safe work environment for our crews. We have weekly "Job Box" talks about safety, [and] each truck has a mounted strobe light, a fire extinguisher and a first-aid kit. We also have an EMT who works at the local fire department part-time as one of our crew chiefs. These are some things [that we have implemented]. I could go on and on; surveyors need to watch out and be safe.

Merlin L. Davis
Iowa

We have instituted a health and safety plan for [our] surveying crews. It speaks about potential hazards encountered, emergency procedures and recordkeeping. There is an accident reporting sheet, temporary traffic control plan, [and] a material safety data sheet (for spray paint or other chemicals). Any accident or injury must be reported within one hour. We have a tailgate safety meeting lasting three to five minutes each day. While we are bound to "protect the health, safety and welfare" of the citizens in our individual states, we should do no less with our employees.

Mike Hoben, PS
via E-mail


POB Online Comments

November Quick Poll

In November, we asked POB Online visitors their views on the future of the surveying profession. Here is one comment.

It is up to all of us to prove our worth in this crazy world. Soon enough most contractors will realize that the smart kid running the fancy toy doesn't know about errors and their sources well enough to plan for them and to manage them. The civil engineers and the architects will always want to stay out of the cold. The clients will learn the value they receive for our specialty, which is to take a view of the site and put it on a piece of paper for others who don't need to visit the site. Maybe we are all doomed, but I think our profession will grow rather than shrink over the next 50 years. You can't measure an invert or run the perimeter of a lot from space and someone has to know the law to make the decisions.

Harry R. Feldman

Erratum:

The November Data Collector Hardware Survey included an error in the entry for Carlson Software's Carlson Explorer 600+. Under the category "User Interface," the display is indeed touch-sensitive. The correct response to that field is "Yes."