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  • Writer's pictureTracy Scott

Surveyor Safety is extremely important to know!

Remember these basic guidelines to stay safe on the job

Required “Free Space”: Maintain at least six feet of space between moving traffic and your work area. This includes work on shoulders as well as on the traveled way. Survey at the maximum space possible between moving traffic and your work area. Any surveying that requires working within six feet of moving traffic must be approved by the Field Supervisor or the Surveys Manager.

Face Traffic: Whenever feasible, each employee must face moving traffic at all times. If it is not possible to face traffic, a lookout should be used.

Move Deliberately: Do not make sudden movements that might confuse a motorist and cause an accident.

Signal Cautiously: Whenever feasible, use radio communication. Carefully and deliberately use surveying hand signals so they will not startle or confuse motorists or be mistaken for a flagger’s direction.

Avoid Interrupting Traffic Flow: Minimize crossing traffic lanes and never attempt to run across traffic lanes.

Physical Barriers: Whenever feasible, place a barrier vehicle or a shadow vehicle between moving traffic and workers.

Distractions to Motorists: Minimize working near moving traffic, especially on high-speed roads, when the motorists’ attention may be distracted by other ongoing activities, such as vehicular accidents, maintenance activities, and construction operations; or distracting objects on or along the highway. Do not work along streets or highways within 2000 feet of such activities or objects.

Lookouts are required when all of the following conditions exist:

  • Work occurs on a roadway with a posted speed of 55 mph or more.

  • Workers are without physical protection (barrier vehicle, k-rail, natural or man-made terrain features, etc.).

  • Working on foot within 30 feet of moving traffic. Lookouts should be considered whenever:

  • Working without traffic controls on streets and highways.

  • Working within 25 feet of the centerline of an actively-used railroad track outside of a railroad right of way.

  • Where there are conflicting or multiple vehicular and equipment movements.

  • In areas with restricted sight distances.

Animal Hazards Precautions Concerning Snakes The following precautions should be taken when working in rattlesnake habitat:

  • Always assume snakes are active.

  • Do not work alone in remote snake habitat.

  • Avoid stepping over logs and large rocks into unseen areas. The safest policy is to walk around such obstacles. If this is not possible, first step on top of the object, then look at the back side of the obstacle before stepping down.

  • Do not jump down from overhangs onto areas where snakes might be hidden from view.

  • Never climb vertical or near vertical faces using unseen handholds above your head.

  • Do not attempt to capture or kill snakes.

  • When necessary to move low-lying logs, large rocks, and boards, use a pry bar, not your hands.

  • Double your precautions at night, especially in warm weather.

  • When possible, maintain radio contact with isolated employees.

  • Know the location of the nearest medical facility where anti-venom is available and the quickest route there.

First Aid Treatment for Snake Bites Symptoms indicating that venom has been injected are immediate severe pain, swelling, and discoloration. Look for the symptoms and follow these procedures:

  • Identify the snake, but do not take the time to kill it. The fang marks, rattles, and marking and coloration of the snake should be sufficient for identification.

  • Immobilize and reassure the victim. Keep the bite below the level of the heart, if possible.

  • Thoroughly cleanse the wound with antiseptic.

  • If possible, carry the victim to a vehicle, then drive him to a medical facility where anti-venom is available for injection.

Precautions Concerning Insects Some persons are highly allergic to insect stings. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction (anaphylactic shock) are: difficulty breathing; swollen lips, throat, and tongue; flushed, blotchy skin; and lowered level of responsiveness. It is recommended that employees who know they are susceptible to such reactions should inform supervisor and co-workers of their condition and the appropriate treatments.

First Aid Treatment for Suspected Anaphylactic Shock

  • Assist the victim with emergency medication, such as an Ana-Kit or EpiPen, if prescribed.

  • Apply cold packs to minimize swelling.

  • Immediately take the victim to a medical facility for treatment.

Poison Oak and Other Plant Hazards Medical authorities agree that avoidance is the best prevention for poison oak (Toxicodendron diversilobum) or Rhus dermatitis. Avoidance can be difficult because Rhus-sensitive people can react, often severely, from contact with implements, clothing, and other objects that have touched poison oak bush. Poison oak is not the only plant that triggers dermatitis. In desert areas, avoid contacting grease wood (or creosote bush) and encilia. Persons allergic to these plants have a reaction similar to that caused by poison oak. Precaution and treatment are the same as for poison oak.

Precautions Concerning Plant Hazards The following precautions should be taken when working in poison oak areas:

  • Keep highly allergic employees away from poison oak and tools and clothing that have been in contact with the plant during all seasons of the year.

  • Adopt a survey plan which minimizes exposure.

  • Be able to recognize the plant.

  • Wear long sleeves and gloves to minimize contact with the plant. Close cuffs and collars by taping. Wear State-issued, disposable, paper coveralls or work suits of white or fluorescent orange for extra protection.

  • Change clothes and wash boots each day after exposure. Use a strongly-alkaline laundry soap for cleaning work apparel. (Dry cleaning is the one safe method for cleaning the clothing of highly sensitive persons.)

  • Clean “contaminated” tools with a commercial cleaning fluid or a very strong laundry soap. Use cleaning fluid out-of-doors. Wear neoprene or other waterproof gloves with cleaning agents.

First Aid Treatment After Exposure to Hazardous Plants

  • Immediately after exposure, wash thoroughly with strong soap and warm water. Rinse thoroughly with clear water after washing. Application of rubbing alcohol as a solvent may help remove plant oils, but will also remove protective lipid coatings from the skin, making a person more vulnerable to secondary exposure.

  • Use medications which are made specifically for poison oak dermatitis.

  • If the severity of the dermatitis warrants or if it persists, see a doctor who is approved for treatment of industrial injuries.



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