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  • 1.  Never List for Engineers & Job Sites

    Posted 10-22-2021 11:58 AM
    Edited by Tirza Austin 10-25-2021 03:09 PM
    Hospitals and medical facilities typically have Never Lists.  It is a list of things that should never happen within the facility.  For example, if you are getting knee surgery, the facility will often ask you to mark your own knee, so that that the wrong one will never get operated on.  Similarly, firearms safety has many Never rules.  More were reinforced years ago in Hollywood , but are being reexamined in today's headlines (warning on topic regarding accident description): Brandon Lee's family speaks out on Alec Baldwin film set tragedy that left one dead and one injured | Daily Mail Online

    One example previously discuss was: Never weld structural nuts.
    Welding Structural Nuts | Integrated Buildings & Structures (asce.org)

    Here is one from shop class:
    Never cross your arms while working with your hands.

    What are some examples for engineers and job sites that should be on a Never List?  How do you prevent it?

    Chad Morrison P.E., F.ASCE
    Professional Engineer
    Greenville RI

  • 2.  RE: Never List for Engineers & Job Sites

    Posted 10-22-2021 02:45 PM
    In construction, never walk between a dump truck and its trailer.  This applies to paving crews as well as earthwork and roadway subgrade installation.  It's far too easy to not be seen if the truck goes into motion and then once you get knocked over, you can be run over.  To this I would add that it's also a great idea to walk with some buffer space behind the trailer of a truck for the same reason.  They have backup signals but it's still too easy to not be visible if you're closer to the vehicle.  We had a coworker get bumped by a pickup backing up and the only reason the driver stopped was because he heard the victim's hard hat hit the pavement when he fell. 

    Firearms training has two rules that also apply to movie sets and would have prevented this recent tragedy:
    - Never point the barrel of a gun at anything you don't wish to destroy.
    - Always treat a gun as if it's loaded (even if it has blanks in it).

    Daniel Dovey P.E., M.ASCE
    Senior Engineer
    King County Dept Of Transp
    Bellevue WA

  • 3.  RE: Never List for Engineers & Job Sites

    Posted 10-22-2021 05:12 PM

    Great discussion, but at the same time a shame that we're having to have. This was an entirely avoidable incident and loss of life.

    The oil and gas industry through the IOGP, its industry association, has developed a set of  lifesaving rules to protect workers from injury and save lives. These rules while developed for the oil and gas industry have strong applicability to civil engineering job sites. 'Nevers' from this list of rules that apply to civil engineering job sites:


    • Never override or disable safety-controls
    • Never enter a confined space without proper safeguards
    • Never work on energized systems
    • Never work under suspended loads
    • Never work at height without protective equipment


    More details can be found by clicking on this link.

    Mitch Winkler P.E., M.ASCE
    Houston, TX

  • 4.  RE: Never List for Engineers & Job Sites

    Posted 10-25-2021 07:50 PM
    Thanks, Chad, for surfacing this somewhat, initially, hidden challenge.

    Perhaps it might be included among ASCE's Continuing Education Programs.

    A related snippet follows.

    "Conventional failure analysis ignores a growing challenge in the responsible implementation of novel technologies into engineered systems - unintended consequences, which impact the engineered system itself and other systems including social and environmental systems. In this paper, a theory for unintended consequences is developed. The paper proposes a new definition of unintended consequences as behaviors that are not intentionally designed into an engineered system yet occur even when a system is operating nominally, that is, not in a failure state as conventionally understood. It is argued that the primary cause for this difference is the bounded rationality of human designers."

    "Towards a Theory for Unintended Consequences in Engineering Design"         Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 July 2019

    Hannah Walsh,   Andy Dong, and  Irem Tumer

    Stay Healthy!


    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880

  • 5.  RE: Never List for Engineers & Job Sites

    Posted 10-25-2021 11:49 AM
    Safety is easy to forget in the rush of the moment, so I like the idea of a 'Never List.' A handful of iron clad rules that automatically start running in my head when I walk on an active site. That starts me thinking 'safety' from the get-go. The rule about working around heavy equipment (above) is excellent. Another one ... Never walk up to or into an open excavation which has not been cut with stable slopes. 

    Keep it simple and straight forward.

    Jerold Bishop P.E., D.GE, M.ASCE
    Kiewit Engineering Group Inc
    Lenexa KS

  • 6.  RE: Never List for Engineers & Job Sites

    Posted 10-28-2021 08:56 PM
    we have a few pertaining to cell phones:
    Never use your cell phone for anything but navigation when driving. 
    Never walk while using your cell phone.
    Never walk when taking videos or photos.

    Susan Everett P.E., M.ASCE
    Design Manager
    Seattle WA