In most countries, construction work represents the most dangerous industry in terms of injury and fatality rates per year. Though land surveyors aren’t necessarily classed as construction workers, they do carry out their jobs in similarly hazardous situations – mines, busy highways, mountainous areas and construction zones to name a few. Below are 5 major safety risks associated with land surveying, highlighting the truly diverse range of dangers to be wary of.
Land surveyors will often spend time by roadsides, close to fast moving traffic. After driving for a while looking at nothing but the road in front of them, motorists can often become distracted if they suddenly see a person from the corner of their eye. This can and does often result in traffic collisions and can be dangerous for surveyors standing nearby. There are safety procedures to follow however – workers are advised to place safety signs and cones in the appropriate places. Most countries also have regulations relating to the minimum distance a surveyor should be from the roadside.
Snakes and insects
It is not uncommon for surveyors working in places like jungles and deserts to come into contact with insects, spiders and snakes. To help prevent against bites and stings, workers should wear snake-proof boots and clothing that covers as much bare skin as possible. Also, carrying a first aid kit as well as a bite kit is a must.
Mountain ranges represent another varied terrain where surveyors carry out their work. Things to consider include unstable rock faces and frostbite for those who are nearer the peaks. Safety harnesses and cables should be used for the former group and appropriate thermal clothing should be worn for the latter.
When land surveyors are called out to construction sites, they should be briefed on that site’s safety procedures. It is the worker’s duty to wear appropriate safety gear such as hard hats, tough work boots, high visibility vests and any additional gear that is required, such as eye and hearing protection.
Any outdoor work carried out in hot climates represents a number of health hazards, and surveying is no different – sunstroke, dehydration and sunburn to name a few. To protect against the sun’s effects, surveyors should wear hats, heat reflective clothing, apply sunscreen and drink plenty of water. An often overlooked consideration is to take regular break in the shade. Canvas umbrellas can be brought to places where shade is at a premium, such as deserts.
For surveys to be carried out in barren locations, ensure all equipment is tested before the journey begins. Packing a spare tire, a first aid kit, food and water, GPS system and phones will come in handy in emergency situations. Vehicles should also be thoroughly tested before embarking on the journey.
This guest post was brought to you by Technics Group, an expert in land surveys and utility mapping, based in the UK.