Signs of the Times - August 2017 - 34
NUTS + BOLTS
Figure 3: Crane-suspended work platforms/baskets are
often used on high-rise installations.
Figure 4: Powered swing stages are commonly used to
install signs atop tall buildings.
Figure 5: This worker is servicing a sign using a bosun's chair harness.
safely performed using this equipment
is quite limited.
In general, any operation that
involves heavy lifting, pushing or
pulling motions (e.g., operating a
masonry drill or changing a large
signface panel) is poorly suited to
SIGNS OF THE TIMES
a freestanding ladder or scaffold.
Many years ago, I learned about a
fatal accident that occurred when
sign company workers attempted
to install a large signface they had
lifted by hand to the top of a freestanding, 40-ft. scaffold. As the two
men were moving the face into
position, a sudden gust of wind
blew up, toppling the scaffold, killing
one man and seriously injuring the
other. This and other preventable
tragedies speak to the crucial importance of adhering to requirements
of the Occupational Safety and
Health Administration (OSHA) and
always using equipment well-suited
for the job at hand (Fig. 2). A related
consideration is that ordinary ladders and portable scaffolds generally
are not designed to accommodate
the use of fall-protection equipment.
These shortcomings explain why
crane-mounted work platforms have
become standard equipment today
for many sign companies. The principal advantage of these work platforms
is that they are controllable from the
worker's position and they enable
workers to perform various installation steps with nearly the same
degree of safety and confidence they
would feel when standing on solid
ground. This enhanced worker security