Bridge work has excellent safety record

Thursday, July 10, 2003

if you've paid any attention at all to the work that is going on at the new Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge, surely at some point you've seen one of the workers in what seems to be a pretty precarious situation.

Sometimes, they look like they're leaning over the side of the bridge, just a strong gust of wind away from ending up in the Mississippi River and its mighty currents.

Other times, they look so high up that it might make your heart skip a beat.

It turns out that, while it's not as safe as, say, writing editorials, it's not as dangerous as it appears. Work has been going on at the site for years, and there hasn't been one fatality. Not one. That is truly an amazing and fortunate statistic.

Sure, there have been a few injuries and a back strain or two. But the people at Traylor Brothers Inc., the firm handling most of the project, keep safety at the top of their mind.

They have a 100 percent fall protection system. There are hard-hat and safety-goggle requirements. There are harnesses and full-time safety inspectors. It seems to be a pretty safe, and exciting, job.

One of the workers said the most dangerous part of his job is the drive to work. That may be a stretch, but the men and women who are building the bridge certainly deserve our kudos for their safety efforts.

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