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Weekly Toolbox Talk: Floor Openings

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Safely covering a floor opening with a piece of plywood requires more than just laying down the material over the hole, or even nailing it down.

Total on the job safety means a total job of eliminating a hazard. Half a job or inadequate or incomplete jobs of covering hole in the floor. Why did it happen?

Although originally nailed down with 8d concrete nails, a small piece of plywood over the hole wasn’t large enough to overlay it adequately. Traffic over it sprung the plywood and loosened the nails.

The plywood over the hole was not marked in any way. There was no warning of any kind on it. The man mistook it for a piece of loose material on the floor.

The laborer was not told about it. He was not aware of the fact that the covering of floor openings was a job procedure calculated to prevent accidents. Nor was he told that he must maintain and report such danger spots.

Anything less than total safety is no safety at all. The total safety attitude must be kept in mind when floor openings are being covered.

  • Make sure holes are covered securely, with a cover big enough and rigid enough to prevent failure.
  • Pay attention to danger warnings about floor openings. Listen when you are told about them.
  • Never move a floor opening cover without permission.
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