Whatever your job is, there’s some risk and danger associated with it. But there are jobs that are more hazardous than others. Land surveying is one of those jobs. Imagine a land surveyor at work in a remote, mountainous area. Of course, this is only one example that explains how dangerous land surveying can be.
Spoiler: this blog article doesn’t, in any way, discourage anyone who wants to be a land surveyor. Indeed, salute to all land surveyors who never fail to fulfill their duties despite all the risks.
Nevertheless, it’s crucial to discuss the dangers land surveyors may encounter while doing their work in order to know how to prevent them. Here are some common work hazards when surveying land and how to avoid them.
Sometimes land surveyors do their work in remote locations. The risks of working in remote, barren areas include not having enough backup in times of emergency. It can also be that there’s no hospital or police station near the site. If you’re not familiar with the place, that calls you to be extra careful.
You should check your equipment whether they’re in good condition before leaving. Also, test your vehicle before you embark on your journey. Bring food, water, vitamins, first aid kit, spare tire, cellphone, and GPS device to increase your survival rate in times of emergency. Lastly, be in excellent health to protect yourself against diseases.
Insects, Snakes, and Wild Animals
If you’re a land surveyor, you may also encounter insects, snakes, and wild animals at work. There are locations that are full of these critters. Hence, do your research about the site before setting out.
For example, in places known for the abundance of snakes, you should carry a snake-bite kit with you. It’s also a must to wear something that protects you against snakes, such as durable boots and clothes that cover much of your skin. Pay attention to your surroundings because snakes are sly creatures. Use your ears and eyes and be alert at all times.
Mosquitoes, ticks, and spiders are also hazards when you’re doing a land survey in deserts and jungles. These creatures can carry diseases like Malaria and Babesiosis that will send you to the hospital or the grave. Make sure to bring an insect spray or apply an insect-repellent lotion on your body.
Reckless and Distracted Motorists
Conducting a land survey by the side of the road and close to fast-moving vehicles is another dangerous reality that land surveyors face. There are reckless or distracted drivers that can hit you with their cars.
In 2019, there were 3,142 people killed because of accidents involving distracted drivers. Meanwhile, 30% of vehicular accidents in the United States are attributed to reckless driving. The statistics of vehicular accidents in the country tells you how dangerous it can be when you’re nearby or on the road.
While car accidents are outside of your control when you’re simply doing your job as a land surveyor, there are safety procedures to protect yourself from such unfortunate situations. For instance, you can put safety signs, cones, or flags around the site and wear high visibility vests to make motorists aware that there are people working in that area.
It’s also crucial to be alert of your surroundings and keep a safe distance from the road, especially if there’s oncoming traffic.
Construction sites can also be the workplaces of land surveyors. If you’re assigned to a construction site, you should know the safety procedures in the area. Typically, there are safety clothing and gear you’re required to wear when you’re in a construction site.
For example, you need to wear a hard hat, durable boots, or high visibility vests to protect you from sharp objects on the surface and falling debris. Safety procedures may also include wearing hearing and eye protection while you’re in the construction area.
Highlands and Mountain Ranges
Land surveyors also go up to highlands and mountains to do their job. They brave rough terrains and traverse upward slopes to conduct land surveying. As the altitude gets higher, the temperature drops. So, sometimes they suffer frostbites especially in colder months.
Thermal clothing is a must for land surveyors when they’re called to survey land in higher locations. It’s also important to wear hiking shoes to adjust well to unstable terrains. And, they should bring cables and safety harnesses just in case.
Hostile Weather Conditions
One of the hazards of working outdoors is hostile weather conditions. Land surveyors often work under the sun for hours. Dehydration, exhaustion, sunburn, skin cancer, and heatstroke are the consequences of exposure to the sun’s heat.
That’s why land surveyors should have umbrellas or wear hats to protect themselves against the sun. Drinking a lot of water and using sunscreen are also crucial to avoid dehydration and sunburn. They should also take a break to re-energize because working continuously for a long time can be exhausting, especially under the high heat.
Working during a thunderstorm is another hazard of land surveying. Rain can cause colds and fever, which can be prevented if you have an umbrella or raincoat. You should also be wary of lightning when there’s a thunderstorm. The equipment and device you use at work can attract lightning. So, be extra careful when doing your job during inclement weather.
Land surveying is a noble and exciting profession. But this job carries with it various hazards which can nevertheless be prevented. While you have to do your work to the utmost, it’s always a top priority to keep yourself safe. Following a safety standard is necessary to conduct land surveying without the high cost of injury, illness, or death.
Having regular meetings with your team regarding safety procedures is crucial to remind them to be always careful on their job. It should be a policy to use personal protective equipment, improve communications, maintain a safe work area, and conduct hazard analysis. Be mindful of the various dangers when doing land surveys.