• Published: 22 May 2023

This is not a circus

This is not a circus
This is not a circus

Description of Incident

Joseph Strauss and the Golden Gate Bridge

• Joseph Strauss - Chief Structural Engineer of Golden Gate bridge (Construction 1933 – 1937)

• 31 fatalities expected and project would have still been viewed as a success (at that time for every $1million spent = 1 fatality expected. Estimated cost of construction $31million)

• The use of safety devices and PPE introduced on site and enforced

• Concept of utilising safety nets (idea from the circus) as a safety device for work at height applied on site

• The nets saved a total of 19 men

• Unfortunately, 11 lives were lost over the course of the construction – 10 of which during 1 incident where a scaffold structure collapsed and fell through a net

• Had the decision to install the nets not have been taken, the total number of fatalities would have been 31

Joseph Strauss - Safety Leadership Legacy

Joseph was a true safety leader who demonstrated he truly cared for the health, safety and welfare of the workforce by challenging the safety standards of the time, exceeding those standards and setting the precedence for safety standards on future construction projects.

His innovative thinking and ability to apply learnings from other industries saved the lives of 19 men.

Ask yourself:

What does good safety leadership look like to me?

How do I demonstrate safety leadership?

What will my safety leadership legacy be?

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