Safety First

 

During construction, Strauss insisted on the use of the most rigorous safety precautions in the history of bridge building. The industry norm at that time was that one man would die during construction for every million dollars spent.

Bullard Hard Hats

Edward W. Bullard, a local manufacturer of safety equipment, modified the mining helmet he had developed into an industrial hard hat that Strauss insisted be worn on the job. Bullard also designed a simple sand-blast respirator helmet for use during construction. Safety measures also included glare-free goggles, special hand and face cream to protect against the wind, and special diets to help fight dizziness.

helmet

Photo from the archives of the Golden Gate Bridge,

Highway and Transportation District.

Safety Net Installed

The most conspicuous precaution was the safety net, suspended under the floor of the Bridge from end to end. View short film footage about the Golden Gate Bridge Safety Net via YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLRCZAXfEa4.

Halfway-to-Hell Club

While the net did save the lives of 19 men who became known as the “Halfway-to-Hell Club”, eleven men did die during construction. The first fatality was Kermit Moore on October 21, 1936. Then, on February 17, sadly ten men – O.A. Anderson, Chris Andersen, William Bass, Orrill Desper, Fred Dümmatzen, Terence Hallinan, Eldridge Hillen, Charles Lindros, Jack Norman, and Louis Russell – lost their lives when a section of scaffold fell through the safety net. The men are honored on a plaque located at the south side entrance to the west sidewalk.