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Safety in Surveying is obviously as important as Safety is in any other context.  Safety in Surveying can be considered an insurance policy based on personal responsibility that may "guarantee" against injury and illness. 

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Land Surveyor

Surveyor Safety Equipment and Training Checklist

Have you compiled a checklist for safety?  If so, your comments and additions to this very basic list could help keep you and others alive:Traffic safety conesTraffic signs (Survey Crew Ahead, etc.)Strobe light on the vehicle (yellow, etc.,)Steel toe boots, when requiredSafety vests (orange, yellow, reflective, etc.)First aid kit (in the vehicle, and on the person when in remote environment)Fire extinguisher in the vehicle, properly mounted.Proper training (as required by government, i.e. OSHA,…

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Land Surveyor

Safety Policy and Documentation

The degree of accountability for employers in Occupational Health and Safety is enormous, and ever rising.Workplace safety is an issue any business owner must address, and failure to do so can result in Hefty fines or imprisonment if a worker is injured.I am wondering what Survey specific safety policies some of you have worked under.In particular, what do the Job Safety Analysis and Risk Assessments include or look like? What are the most common hazards and risks that you identify when…

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Land Surveyor

Safety and Insects

Safety and Insects  is what I am calling the discussion.  Here is a link to a discussion about general safety and specific safety requirements mixed with some killer bee dialogue. Please continue posting replies to this discussion here in the Safety in Surveying group.  Here is the link to the original discussion so that you know what I'm talking about:  Safety in Surveying

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Safety in Surveying

Safety in Surveying

The Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Safety Council list construction labor, mining, well drilling, logging and trucking as some of the most dangerous occupations. Land surveyors work on mines, drilling fields, logging fields, heavy construction projects, residential and highway construction projects and face the same safety risks. You will commonly find a land surveyor standing in the middle of a busy street sighting through a transit at a survey target blocks away while cars zoom by on each side or hiking through treacherous terrain to a distant survey site.

Jobs that require land surveys are often located far from roads on undeveloped land, requiring the survey parties to hike for hours over rough terrain and rappel down cliffs to place a survey target. Other survey jobs involve working close to heavy machinery under scaffolding or steel framework, with beams being placed by a construction crane and workers above dropping tools. Other jobs require standing in moving traffic. Each job presents its own set of deadly hazards, so insurance companies, unions and state and municipal institutions have developed extensive safety procedures for survey crews to follow.

Types of Hazards

A survey party might encounter rattlesnakes, cougars, bears, falling tree limbs, falling rocks, falling hand tools, falling construction materials, drunk or distracted motorists, lightning and flash floods. Heat exhaustion and frostbite are additional risks, depending on the weather and location. Simple falls due to tripping over uneven terrain while walking or while giving full attention to sighting through a transit are common. Injuries incurred by slamming a hammer down on a thumb or leg, or back injuries from carrying heavy survey equipment and packs are also common.

Basic Safety

The hard hat has long been a staple of land surveyor safety equipment, along with bright colored reflective vests, gloves, and snake-proof hiking boots. Heavy denim or ranger whipcord pants protect against trail-side thorns and sharp objects on construction sites. Canteens and bottled water are vital to keep the crew properly hydrated while working outside in the sun, and strong canvas umbrellas and pop-ups made for outdoor industrial use provide shade. Every survey crew is expected to carry a first aid kit, snake bite kit and insect sting kit with antihistamines to protect against allergic reactions if a worker is bitten in the field. For the times when climbing is necessary, steel cable safety rope is required. There are also procedures for placing safety equipment such as traffic cones and signs.


Safety equipment should be as light in weight as possible because it may be carried long distances while hiking in to a remote construction site or from a truck parked in a distant parking lot when working at an urban construction site. Vehicles must be in safe working condition to keep from stranding the survey crew on a lonely road way out in the desert. Communications equipment such as phones, radios and GPS should be checked before embarking on a remote survey.

The party chief is responsible for the safety of his crew. Many land surveyors fancy themselves proud outdoorsmen and can be reckless in their adherence to safety rules, but for the most part, experienced surveyors are careful of their own safety. Special safety training should be given to any inexperienced hires, even if they have received safety training in school or as a part of their licensing.

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