Demonstration in Springfield shows the dangers at construction sites

Published: Dec. 6, 2017 at 10:07 PM CST
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Staying safe while on the job site was the focus of a state-wide conference held Wednesday in Springfield.

As soon as help gets to a job site disaster it can take a considerable amount of time until the person at the bottom of the collapsed trench is actually rescued.

"Unfortunately that's what we see all the time is deaths and injuries because of unsafe work practices," explains Mark Woodward, President, Missouri Common Ground Alliance.

Rescue crew can't just pull someone out of a collapsed trench. They have to stabilize the hole.

The demonstration is held for hundreds of contractors and excavators from across the state is held every year.

"Get people to think about their family and think about their work, to think about unsafe things that they may encounter," said Woodward.

After the ground is stabilized, the rush to dig the person out is on. Once the injured is hoisted to safety the race to get medical attention intensifies.

The demonstration is a glimpse into what happens when you gamble with safety.

Woodward said, "Eventually their luck is going to run out."

Safety officials stress that no one has to work in dangerous conditions.

"There are protections for workers that complain of unsafe practices on job sites. There are protections and federal safety laws," said Woodward. "If you are in a life or death situation on a job site, that's unacceptable. We expect you to call somebody."

Safety experts say just a few extra minutes to make sure safety mechanisms are in place can save someone's life.

Officials say if you have any question about whether you are at risk at a job site to let the Occupational Safety and Health Administration know immediately.