Occupational Safety Students Visit Washington D.C.


Pamela Butcheck

Occupational Safety students traveling to Washington D.C.

Pamela Butcheck, Managing Editor

It was an early 5 a.m. morning on April 12th, 2019, when Professor Tossone’s Construction Law students left campus to visit Washington D.C. to tour the under-construction Federal Reserve building. Hensel Phelps, the construction firm tasked with completely renovating this building, kindly hosted the students for the day so that they could see and experience an active construction site in a highly secured area.

Dave Webb, the lead safety officer on site, showed the students some of the many safety concerns present on active construction sites and how these dangers are mitigated by safety equipment and practices. He emphasized the importance of properly maintaining and using safety equipment so that it doesn’t become a hazard itself. Students were able to practice their observation skills to identify potential safety concerns in the changing environment of a construction site.

From the roof, students learned the importance of rigging for a stationary crane as well as the dangers and complex maneuvers crane operators and staff must perform to move materials into a building. At this site, steel I-beams were lowered through a central elevator shaft down 5 floors to waiting steel workers. 

Some of the many suspended platforms and the new scaffolding systems being used were explored and studied. This provided students with a spectacular view of the many monuments just a few blocks from the building.  

The day ended with a long trip back home to Fairmont State.