As a long-stalled Little League complex nears completion, the city remains locked in debate with the project’s original contractor over payments and quality of work.

Keri Heath: 409-683-5241; or on Twitter @HeathKeri.


(13) comments

David Smith

I dont mean to pick....but if your going to print a pic of a worker working on a city project.. this task calls for a faceshield.. but at this point Id settle for some safety glasses... geez..

Rusty Schroeder

David, a picture? Every picture in the story has safety fails. I know this project is needed to be completed by spring for the upcoming Little League Baseball season and to rid the bad taste of the last contractors poor efforts. But come on, these guys must have never worked in a chemical or oil refinery in the US. Safety is Job 1, Safety First, there are dozens more slogans that are used. Have any of these guys ever gotten a TWIC card or a HASC badge ? Basic Plus is the industry standard from the Safety Council, in these photos I see at least 5 basic safety fails that would get written up and the job stopped until in compliance. The 1st, no safety shields or safety glasses worn by any worker. #2, climbing or standing on a ladder over 2 steps high with no one securing ladder. #3, no hardhat being worn by worker standing under a structure that is under construction. #4, above ground workers with no safety harness or tie offs. #5, no leather gloves being worn by employees. There could be a sixth, steel toed boots, I can't tell if all workers are wearing them. These are all warranted in the work being done, they would be mandatory in any oil or chemical refinery in Texas. I know people might think I am nit-picking, but I am stating industry standard knowledge. This lack of observance of safety procedures is a big reason for higher insurance policies for all companies, safety is a big deal. David, with this disregard for common safety procedures, could you imagine any of these guys filling out a STAC (Safety Task Analysis Card) ?

Miceal O'Laochdha

Rusty, neither you nor David are nit-picking. You are doing us all a service by pointing it out. The level of unsafe working conditions shown in these photos is staggering and, since the project manager had no problem with the newspaper photographer documenting it for all to see, the taxpayer-funded contractor clearly has zero concept of a safe working environment. And, we should all care about that because those workers are someone in community's loved ones and because we will all be paying the bills for the personal injury lawsuits to come.

Margarita Sims


David Smith

Your right Rusty.. if he gets hurt .. who pays?
The city?
The contract company?
They both do..
But the real answer is.. HE does
Safety was drilled into me for 21 years...
I saved my left eye one day at my deer camp cutting a lil ol u bolt with a grinder... lost a piece of the disc and it hit me directly in the left eye. It hit me so hard it stayed embedded in the lens and broke the glasses at the lens/ arm.I felt like Id been suckerpunched.What are the odds? But.. from the hundreds of safety meetings I had attended.. I had safety glasses on out of habit..Safety becomes a habit... even off the job.. An unconcious thought saved my eye
I m sure some are reading this and probably cursing me..but if those contractors learn to perform a task the safe way and not get hurt I will think it will all be worth it

Mary Lofaro

Perhaps these photos were "staged" for the article.

Miceal O'Laochdha

The only article for which these photos could reasonably have been "staged" would be one demonstrating exactly how workers get seriously injured and killed on the job.

Jim Forsythe

Mary even if they were staged, safety equipment is still required. A person can be injured or killed making a photo, and some have.
If OSHA had showed up on the job site, they would not have cared if it was staged.
Looking at all 6 photographs , Rusty and David pointed out some of the things that are wrong. These are a few more.

The worker doing work off the ground ,was at risk of death. I know Rusty already talked about it, but at the height they were working at, about 10% of the time a fall from that height, would result in death.
Incorrect rigging that could result in injury or death.
No safety latch on the hook for lifting.
No hearing protection.
Some wearing head protection and some were not, which indicates they were aware of the standard..
Tripping hazard on the one carrying a load.
Rings in the workplace: An unsuspected hazard. Some places will not let you wear rings, even if you wear gloves.
These may not be all that is wrong at this job site, a look at the training records would be needed to see if they were in compliance with the training requirements. .

Rusty Schroeder

LOL, if those pictures are staged they went to a lot of trouble in staging them. If they were staged, which I can tell they weren't, that is more reason why correct safety procedures should have been followed.

David Robertson

I am a safety manager for a large construction company and surprised that the city did not require the contractor to submit a safety plan.

George Croix

Since ALL of the pictured construction worksite safety violations are WILLFUL violations, not incidental, that could/would be up to 25x the normal fine for each...each...example, if a tight OSHA inspection were made, like happened so often in the refinery......
Looking at a couple million bucks or so in fines on this one site, if a particularly 'enthusiastic' OSHA inspector got involved.....
But, OSHA, a once good idea, has evolved into not a lot more than a fines generating entity.....
As in most sich issues involving regulatory compliance, the end result depends heavily on two factors, above and beyond any actual evidence or violations....:
1) Which inspector shows up
2) Whether anybody on site P's him/her off

BT/DT.....a bunch.....

Rusty Schroeder

George, what do you want to bet they had a safety meeting this morning and everyone is wearing gloves, safety glasses, and hardhats today ? I wonder if Brain Maxwell had Galveston's Building Inspector there to document it ? Probably "YES" to both, perfect example of pro-active over re-active approach to safety as well as leadership. Job well done to the GCDN photographer, without knowing so, you have made a positive change in the workplace. No doubt your photos will be used in training courses, the " what's wrong with this picture" questions. Then an explanation will come from where it took place and what they were doing. Seen it hundreds, maybe even a thousand times in CEU courses :)

George Croix

Rusty, I won't take the bet....[beam]
Interestingly, to me, was a little fact that the WORST safety violators I ever ran into were some of the supervisors....field supervisors, not office jockeys, as one might expect. People who had the same job title and roughly same responsibilities as I did......supposedly, people who were to be setting a good example.....
My favorites were the ones who, when we would be working a hazardous job or an emergency scene in fresh air gear, would walk right up bare faced right behind us and ask how things were going!!! Then, get mad when I or someone else would tell them to get the you-know-what back and get away!!!
I was using 'Can't fix stupid..." long before I ever heard of Ron White....
I also got a kick out of the 'Safety Professional' who thought he was going to give me a lecture on the subject when I walked out of a steam cloud with my safety glasses in hand.....
It was a really short lesson.....[beam][beam][beam][beam]

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