Worksite Safety Experts to Know and Follow on LinkedIn and Twitter

Whether it’s operating heavy machinery, working on tall ladders or encountering hazardous material, working in construction poses countless safety risks. As a worksite manager, it’s critical to not only follow safety standards, but stay knowledgeable about the latest news and trends in worksite safety.

Luckily, there’s a large community of people dedicated to improving research and techniques in the field. From reporters and consultants to site managers and former workers, this list of safety experts will help keep all your employees safe on the job.


David Cant, Health and Safety Consultant, Veritas Consulting Safety Services

Where to follow: Linkedin, Twitter

Chartered health and safety consultant David Cant knows how to turn technical jargon into plain, simple language. With over 20 years of technical risk management expertise in the construction industry, Cant knows how to add value, productivity and safety to a worksite. Cant is also a worksite safety thought leader and his informative articles on employee safety, risk management and more can be found on his Linkedin page.


Sara Mojtehedzadeh, Workers Rights, Labor and Social Justice Reporter

Where to follow: Linkedin, Twitter

Sara Mojtehedzadeh is a work and labor safety reporter based in Toronto. She writes about research, laws, news and injustices involving the health and wealth of labor workers. While she primarily writes for the Toronto Star, her work covers safety issues involving American and even international companies.


Cliff Meidl, Motivational and Safety Speaker, Cliff Meidl Enterprises, LLC

Where to follow: Linkedin, Twitter

When a near-death construction accident left him electrical burns, exit wounds and major damage to his knees, Cliff Meidl had to struggle to walk again. With extensive rehabilitation and many surgeries, he regained full mobility and became a motivational speaker and expert on worksite health and safety. Having experienced such a horrific accident on a jobsite himself, Cliff Meidl knows more than most about the importance of health and safety.


Bruce A. DelGrasso, Health, Safety, Environmental and Quality Manager, Broadspectrum

Where to follow: Linkedin

Bruce A. DelGrasso has been a corporate safety manager for more than 15 years. Leading corporations like Vail Resorts, DelGrasso’s main focus has been on helping companies develop a culture of safety throughout all operations. Part of his work on overhauling corporate cultures includes promoting a “zero accident culture” while streamlining daily operations to make safety a normal and productivity-boosting aspect of business.


Crystal D.Turner, Director of Environmental Health & Safety, Haider Engineering PC

Where to follow: Linkedin

Crystal D. Turner is an experienced health and safety expert who specializes in heavy civil construction, construction oversight, OSHA training, industrial hygiene and more. With over 15 years of experience, Turner is well-versed in local, state and federal safety regulations. She’s also knowledgeable of safety procedures in governmental, laboratory, hospital, academic and manufacturing environments.


Louis Renner, Worker Safety Professional and Subject Matter Expert, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Where to follow: Linkedin

Louis Renner provides industrial safety solutions in the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. With a previous career advising safety professionals in the gas and electrical industries, Renner is knowledgeable about Motor Vehicle Safety, Work Area Protection, Automatic External Defibrillator programs and Cal-OSHA.


Jennifer Gollan, Investigative Worker Safety Reporter

Where to follow: Linkedin, Twitter

Jennifer Gollan is a writer for The Center for Investigative Reporting and Reveal news. Her work focuses on worker safety, mistreatment and corporate malfeasance, and her coverage of safety malpractice can give insight to anyone in the construction field. Gollan is the recipient of a national Emmy Award for her story “Deadly Oil Fields,” which reveals how energy companies mismanage worker deaths.


Christopher Hughes, Assistant Director of Occupational Safety, Northeastern University

Where to follow: Linkedin

Christopher Hughes has extensive experience in industrial hygiene, accident investigation, incident prevention and problem solving. He’s helped industries and organizations implement environmental health and safety programs and has managed employee training and interaction. He’s also been an environmental health and safety project manager, helping clients find gaps in OSHA compliance and review and evaluate workplace procedures.


Patrick W. Saltmarsh, Corporate Safety Director, J. Derenzo Companies

Where to follow: Linkedin

With professional experience in occupational health and safety, fire safety and accident prevention, Patrick W. Saltmarsh is an expert in safety compliance. At J. Derenzo Companies, a family of four environmental and construction companies, Saltmarsh works closely with environmental health managers to establish and maintain safety procedures.


Hector Dones, Associated Instructor, Construction Safety Council

Where to follow: Linkedin

Hector Dones is a construction safety professional and a teacher at Construction Safety Council, an organization that provides experiential safety education to adults in construction fields. Through an interactive classroom environment, Dones provides training in industry safety and regulatory compliance. He’s also experienced in operations management and works to implement a culture of safety at all levels of corporate projects.


Steve Duxbury, Safety Manager, Delta Diversified Enterprises, Inc.

Where to follow: Linkedin

Steve Duxbury is an environmental health and safety leader and a federal and state OSHA regulations expert. In addition to providing safety training, staff management and team building services, Duxbury also provides inspections. His audits help organizations understand areas of need and he outlines clear solutions that are lawful, compliant, and economical.


Abby Ferri, President, The Ferri Group LLC

Where to follow: Linkedin, Twitter

Abby Ferri has over 14 years of experience studying and consulting a wide range of industries on health and safety. As president of The Ferri Group LLC and an OSHA outreach trainer for construction, Ferri’s services include safety management, training services, risk control consulting and safety expertise. Ferri is also an adjunct Instructor in the Construction Management Program at Dunwoody College of Technology.


F. Marie Athey, Co-founder and Co-developer,

Where to follow: Linkedin

  1. Marie Athey is a 10 and 30-hour OSHA instructor with a passion for improving safety on the job. Conducting worksite audits, developing budgets and implementing revised safety plans all fall within Athey’s skill set. Athey is the co-founder and co-developer of, an organization that works to implement safety and training programs for companies in industries such as manufacturing, high power utility, heavy road construction, surface mining operations and more.


Andrew McKewen, Safety Trainer/Consultant, Service Safety

Where to follow: Linkedin

Andrew McKewen is co-owner of a construction safety firm that helps other construction companies train employees in safety issues, meet compliance regulations and develop various aspects of OSHA requirements. Service Safety specializes in employee orientation development, site specific safety planning, OSHA disputes, expert witnessing, accident investigation and more.


Rick Seifert, Safety Director, Construction Safety Experts, LLC

Where to follow: Linkedin

Rick Seifert specializes in safety plans and hazard prevention programs in the industrial, commercial and marine industries. As a proven accident and incident investigator, “Safety Man” Rick Seifert is an expert in identifying accident causes, finding possible risks and implementing safety plans. He’s also a safety educator and has experience guiding both workforce groups and management.


Stefan Mordue, Architect, Author & NBS Business Solutions Consultant, RIBA Enterprises Ltd

Where to follow: Linkedin, Twitter

Stefan Mordue is an architect and construction project manager based in the UK. The Business Information Modeling (BIM) expert is also the author of several books, including BIM for Construction Health and Safety. Mordue is passionate about incorporating health and safety procedures into BIM principles to reduce worksite-related injuries and deaths in the construction industry.


Doug Arthur, Owner/Trainer, Professional Safety Solutions, LLC

Where to follow: Linkedin

As a health and safety professional, Doug Arthur has over 30 years of experience providing safety guidance in the construction industry. Arthur is an expert at advising large, multi-location projects on health and safety regulations. His areas of expertise include construction safety, mining safety, safety training and education, compliance and more.


Ted Garling, Certified Safety Professional, ConocoPhilips

Where to follow: Linkedin

Ted Garling is a certified safety consultant and trainer with a Master of Education in Behavioral Based Safety & Emergency Planning. Garling’s educational background allows him to plan, document and deliver specialized training courses on all aspects of safety. He has a proven track record of leading departments through safe operations, emergency responses and compliance with rules and regulations.


Robert Layman, Principal, National Training and Safety Solutions, LLC

Where to follow: Linkedin

Also known as “Safety Bob,” Robert Layman is the owner at National Training and Safety Solutions, LLC. Layman’s company develops health and safety training and programs to companies in the Tampa, Florida area. Layman also assists companies with OSHA recordkeeping compliance and provides risk management guidance.


Clifford Wilcox, Safety Manager and CVS Specialist, Advanced Safety Pros Corp.

Where to follow: Linkedin

Clifford Wilcox has guided and trained thousands of companies in risk management, safety culture and compliance. Wilcox also has experience negotiating mergers and acquisitions, and he’s created a number of safety materials including manuals, training courses, workers compensation claims resolutions and more. He’s also a health and safety thought leader and regularly publishes helpful industry articles on Linkedin.

Images by: Yerson Retamal, memyselfaneye

How Waste Companies Can Improve Operations with Drones

From assessing stockpile size to detecting thermal heat, drones can assist in collecting data that’s more detailed and insightful than ever before. In addition to improving daily operational efficiency, drones can also mitigate environmental risk, save capital and make job sites exponentially safer.

To experience these benefits at your company, here’s how get started with your own drone operations.


Using Drones to Get Ahead

Data from drones helps waste companies complete each project more efficiently from the beginning. As explained by Andrew Kahler of John Deere drones streamline the grading process.

Traditional grading processes prepare the ground for operations by using large equipment over the course of several weeks. With drones, however, this process can be streamlined by way of a topographic survey and 3D model.

Drones also aid in better collection of the three V’s — volume, velocity, and variety. Waste Dive writer Kristin Musulin reports that these three elements are essential to assessing and analyzing workplace operations. Using drones to capture such critical information is much more affordable than hiring a manned flight and often leads to more detailed data collection.


Improved Landfill Operations

Adopting drones into everyday workflows can greatly improve operations. Michael Singer tells Waste360, that landfill managers can gain a comprehensive overview of their operations more quickly and accurately by using drones than with ground inspections. In turn, this helps companies save time on inspections and move through projects more quickly than counterparts who don’t use drones.

One company taking advantage of these benefits is Gordon Environmental/PSC (Parkhill, Smith & Cooper, Inc.). The merged design and consulting firm deploys a drone to fly over the site and take photos, and then uses another program to combine those photos into one large image. This detailed image is used to assess progress and identify areas that could be improved.

Drones can also provide insight into landfill capacity and help landfill managers predict current and future needs. Stephen O’Meara, CIO at Ada County, Idaho, adds that drones help monitor how much material is being added to a new landfill cell, how that new cell is growing and what groundswell, compaction and erosion look like across the entire landfill.

This helps waste management companies create new cells accurately and without delay. Such information also helps mitigate environmental risk, ensure compliance with regulations, and allows expansion at a safe rate Commercial UAV News writes.


Testing Accuracy

In addition to measuring dry stockpiles, drones can also evaluate liquid elements. Australian news site The Lead explains that amphibious drones can improve the efficiency of water testing. These underwater drones can collect and test samples from wastewater plants, chemical spills, reservoirs and more. With an easier way to test liquids more often, waste companies can make more accurate assessments.

Municipal Sewer & Water Magazine adds that amphibious drones can also check seals on water control gates and check underwater lines for leakages. Instead of sending down dive teams or having inspectors trudge through wetlands, several feet deep, drones and submarine units collect and send information to smartphones, tablets and laptops, where engineers can identify problems.


Stronger Proposals

Jennifer Castenson, the director of thought leadership for Hanley Wood, adds that drone data also helps waste companies determine a project’s scope. Sales teams typically rely on a set of drawings to propose the project terms to the client. If these drawings turn out to be inaccurate, clients don’t get what they see, which can lead to conflict and loss of capital. Drones, however, have a much higher level of accuracy that reduce this risk.

Another way that drones improve proposal accuracy — and predict future trends — is their ability to create time lapse videos. Drone operations software company Skyword explains that drone videos can be stitched together to better coordinate project logistics. This makes it easier to visualize past, present and future project status, which can be helpful when working with other commercial companies or with clients. Dronenthusiast points out that these images are irreplaceable when working with partners who are based remotely, because they enable partners to keep tabs on the project and ensure everything is being executed according to plan.


Reduced Waste and Environmental Impact

One reason for landfill inspections is to check for environmental risk, which can be detrimental to both a company’s financials and the earth itself. With drone mapping, however, landfill managers can identify wastewater and other environmental aspects that are costly to clean. Improved site inspections can reduce cleanup costs and keep processes on schedule.

Although commercial waste has a negative impact on both financials and the environment, Fortune writer Clay Dillow explains that drones can be used to reduce this building-related solid waste. Dillow says that certain drone software can be used to create 3D structural models and volumetric measurements, which aids in monitoring stockpiles. This is important for measuring resources like sand and gravel, which are especially costly.


Improved Safety

With reduced risk and improved workforce safety, waste companies can move ahead of competitors still held back by avoidable mistakes. According to David Biderman, executive director of the Solid Waste Association of North America, “we are beginning to see more widespread use of drones for surveying and monitoring conditions at landfills…it’s fascinating, and can be a useful way to reduce safety risks.”

How exactly can drones improve landfill safety, mitigate risk and prevent accidents? According to MSW Management, drones are becoming a popular tool for inspecting areas that are unsafe for humans to traverse (such as a transfer station at a waste to energy plant). They can also assess areas where hazardous material has spilled.


Thermal Heat Detection

Another drone feature that’s helpful is the ability to detect heat. Colin Snow, CEO and founder of Skylogic Research, says that some drones have thermal imaging cameras. These images take high quality images that inspectors and managers can then use to detect temperature variation on a site. Waste management companies and landfills can use this information to predict subsurface landfill fires before they spread, adds Forester Media.

Drones can also help enforce safety regulations through worker education. Pompano Beach-based Current Builders in Florida shows workers 3D models of potential hazard conditions, which helps prevent injuries and accidents before workers even get to the site.

Images by: Florian Pircher, David Mark, NakNakNak

Aggregates 101: How Innovation in the Industry Affects Everyone

Without aggregates, like stone and sand, industry would grind to a halt — and so would the lifestyle we all take for granted. From our roads and bridges to roofing tiles, paint and even medicine, we need those raw materials.

And we need a lot of them.

According to Peckham Industries, a supplier of road construction materials in New York, every American demands more than 5,000 pounds of aggregates per year.

Developments in how these materials are sourced and used have been changing the aggregates industry. Reducing the industry’s environmental impact has been a big driver of change — that includes everything from quarry reclamation to how petroleum is stored (or even cleaned up during a spill).

New sustainable and environmentally friendly practices have been developed, too, such as recycled asphalt pavement. And there’s proven technology, Mark Kuhar at Rock Products reports, that converts mechanical force into electricity. This may one day turn road vibrations into a source of electricity.

Responsible environmental stewardship affects the average person in terms of cleaner breathing air to breathe, reclaimed parks to enjoy and even bringing animal species back from the brink of extinction. You may have seen the UK report by Sarah Fry of The Institute of Quarrying on the return of the bearded tit to the wetlands of Nottinghamshire, a development owned by the UK’s leading sustainable building materials group, Tarmac.

And other things are taking place, too, like industrial odor control, which is just as important to the quality of life for people living in the area.


Odor Control

In a case study by Boss Tek, a dust and odor suppression equipment supplier in Illinois, authors note that traditional methods weren’t working at a Central Massachusetts soil remediation site.

Formerly the site of a manufactured gas plant, the 11-acre property was to hold the local transit authority’s fleet of buses. The area surrounding the site was residential, with a large park directly across the street.

The ground being broken contained a volatile organic compound, naphthalene, which has a bitter, chemical odor. The smell can be overwhelming in small quantities, so the usual management strategies were put into place: spraying the exposed areas with foam and covering storage piles with urethane sheeting. The perimeter fence line of the site was even misted with perfume spray in an attempt to mask any odors that wafted away.

Nothing worked, though, because the smell was not actually eliminated.

Enter Boss Tek with an air treatment agent solution. Safe for humans, plants and animals — and biodegrading in 36 hours — the chemical attaches to odor-causing molecules, alters their composition and eliminates the components that cause the smell.

Once the unit, an open-cylinder cannon designer that can be put into position using a pickup truck, was in use, the daily odor-related complaints from nearby residents stopped.


Noise and Dust

It’s not just odor problems that plague those in proximity to worksites, quarries and pits.

Many residents oppose the actual location of quarries, which tend to be close to the communities where their products will be used. In fact, a Canadian survey showed more than half of those asked are against sand and gravel operations, when compared to other types of development projects including windmills, big box retail stores and bio-waste facilities, Alisha Hiyate at Canadian Mining Journal writes.

The aggregate sector is underappreciated by the public, Paul Allard, executive director of the British Columbia Stone, Sand and Gravel Association, tells Hiyate, and needs to do a better job of educating people as to how crucial the sector is to the good lives those people lead.

One way to educate is to be a good neighbor, and this is exemplified by the Alberta Sand and Gravel Association’s promotion of the 25-cent-per-ton levy collected by municipalities. The money goes to mitigating an operation’s impact on the local area and can also be used to help the community develop. Provinces nationwide have different levies, from 11.5 cents in Ontario to 53 cents in Quebec.

Eliminating or reducing irritants like noise and dust are other methods sure to help public perception. One Sandvik employee tells Hiyate that noise can be dampened by building a shelter around the machinery. He also tells her that the same thing can be done with respect to dust, using a component so that the dust is encapsulated and kept in a confined area.

Twice-weekly blasting wasn’t the issue for residents, some of whom live less than 300 yards away from a quarry outside of Toronto. Instead, it was the near-constant beeping noises from equipment backing up, which could be heard six days a week and up to 20 hours a day, that were causing complaints, reports Hiyate at CMJ. An easy fix is to change the sound, which in the plant’s new loader sounds like a loud squawk or bark. The modified sound is less bothersome to the neighbors, but still meets safety requirements.


The Future of Equipment in Aggregates Industry

Volvo is in the research and prototype stages of using electricity to power equipment, according to a report in Heavy Equipment Guide. Not only would the vehicles and machines (used in excavation, crushing and transport) increase fuel efficiency by as much as 50 percent, but they would also show a significant reduction in noise pollution over equipment in use today.

“This research project is a step towards transforming the quarry and aggregates industry,” Johan Sjöberg, technical specialist in site automation at Volvo CE, tells HEG.

“By using electricity instead of diesel to power construction equipment in a quarry, we have the potential to deliver significant reductions in fuel consumption, CO2 emissions, environmental impact and cost-per-tonne. The electrification of construction equipment will produce cleaner, quieter and more efficient machines. This represents the future of our industry.”

images by: a4ndi/©123RF Stock Photo, Mariusz Prusaczyk, Etienne Pauthenet

South Bound Traffic Scan

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3.5 miles of Texas highway is scanned, mapped and contoured at night using Firmatek’s mobile mapping system.  This data was used to quickly and accurately assess the cut and fill requirements for the project.