Principles of Construction SafetyAllan St John HoltBA, FIOSH, RSPForeword bySir Frank Lampl
Principles of Construction SafetyAllan St John HoltBA, FIOSH, RSPForeword bySir Frank Lampl
# 2001, 2005 Mei Wenti LtdBlackwell Science Ltd, a Blackwell Publishing companyEditorial Offices:Blackwell Science Ltd, 9600 Garsington Road, Oxford OX4 2DQ, UK Tel: +44 (0) 1865 776868Blackwell Publishing Inc., 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148-5020, USA Tel: +1 781 388 8250Blackwell Science Asia Pty Ltd, 550 Swanston Street, Carlton, Victoria 3053, Australia Tel: +61 (0)3 8359 1011The right of the Author to be identified as the Author of this Work has been asserted in accordance with the Copyright,Designs and Patents Act 1988.All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means,electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, except as permitted by the UK Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988,without the prior permission of the publisher.First published in hardback 2001Reissued in paperback 2005Reprinted 2006ISBN-10: 1-4051-3446-1ISBN-13: 978-14051-3446-0Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data is availableA catalogue record for this title is available from the British LibrarySet in 9/14 Trebuchetby DP Photosetting, Aylesbury, BucksPrinted and bound in Great Britainby TJ International Ltd, Padstow, CornwallThe publishers policy is to use permanent paper from mills that operate a sustainable forestry policy, and whichhas been manufactured from pulp processed using acid-free and elementary chlorine-free practices. Furthermore, the publisher ensuresthat the text paper and cover board used have met acceptable environmental accreditation standards.For further information on Blackwell Publishing, visit our website:www.blackwellpublishing.com
ContentsForeword vii The contractor and CDM 41Abbreviations viii The Principal Contractor and CDM 42Introduction ix The Planning Supervisor and CDM 42 Competence, qualification and selection underPart 1 Construction Safety Management 1 CDM 43 The Health and Safety File 44 1. Fundamentals 3 What is `safety 3 5. The Safety Policy 46 Basic terms 3 Legal requirements 46 What causes accidents? 4 The policy in practice 46 Techniques of accident prevention 5 Manuals and QA systems 47 Benefits of accident prevention 6 Policy contents 47 Other safety policy considerations 49 2. Where are We Now? 8 `Off the shelf safety policies 49 Types of injury 8 Accident causes 9 6. Assessing the Risks 50 Occupational health and hygiene 9 Benefits 50 Dangerous occurrences 10 Types of risk assessment 50 Reference 12 Contents of risk assessment 51 3. Measuring Performance and Recording Hazard evaluation 51 Information 13 Job safety analysis 52 Behaviour-based safety 13 Ranking hazards by risk 52 `No injuries Ð no problems! 14 Decision-making 53 `All I want to know is the facts! 14 Controlling the risks 53 Calculating rates 14 Monitoring 54 Other performance measures 15 Health surveillance 54 Accident investigation and recording 15 Information to others 54 Principles of accident investigation 16 Format of risk assessments 54 Inspections and audits 18 Project risk assessments 54 Techniques of inspection 19 Practical compliance 56 Reference 20 COSHH assessments 56 Manual handling assessments 58 4. Techniques of Construction Safety Display screen equipment assessments 63 Management 35 Objectives 35 7. Control Strategies for Construction Work 71 Benefits 35 Designing for safety and health 71 Key elements 36 Planning the work 72 And if companies do not do all this? 38 Emergency procedures 73 Is it all just a pile of paperwork? 38 Setting up the site 75 World best practice 39 Safe place of work 75 The role of the client 40 References 86
iv CONTENTS 8. The Health and Safety Plan 96 Control of substances hazardous to health 138 Pre-tender Health and Safety Plan 96 Measurement and reduction of energy Developing the construction phase Health and consumption 139 Safety Plan 97 Environmental objectives and targets 139 Project safety management commitment Environmental policies 139 statement 97 References 140 Roles and responsibilities of project staff 97 Project Major Emergency Plan 100 15. Construction Hazards and Solutions 144 Access equipment 144 9. Training 104 Asbestos 148 Training needs 104 Children and third party safety 152 Training for management 107 Demolition 153 Environmental, health and safety specialists 108 Electricity 155 Legal requirements 108 Excavations 158 Falls 15910. Meetings 109 Maintenance 160 Meeting with contractors 109 Manual handling 161 Weekly safety meetings 110 Mechanical handling 165 Monthly safety meetings 111 Noise 168 Occupational health basics 17111. Understanding People 120 Personal protective equipment 174 Why people fail 120 Radiation 178 Ergonomics 121 Roofing work 181 Stress 122 Steel erection and decking 181 Communication 123 Transport on site 182 Reports 123 References 182 Getting the message across 124 Safety propaganda 125 16. Quick Reference Guide 184 References 125 1. Access scaffolding 185 2. Asbestos-containing materials 18612. Joint Consultation 126 3. Bitumen boilers 187 The Safety Representatives and Safety 4. Cartridge tools 188 Committees Regulations 1977 126 5. Chainsaws 189 The Health and Safety (Consultation with 6. Clearing sites 190 Employees) Regulations 1996 128 7. Cofferdams 191 Consultation at site and project level 129 8. Confined spaces 192 9. Demolition 19313. Access to Information 130 10. Disc cutters 194 Safety professionals 131 11. Disposal of waste materials 195 Other advice 132 12. Driving vehicles 196 13. Dumpers 197Part 2 Environment, Health and Safety Issues 133 14. Electrical work to 415 volts 198 15. Erection of structures 19914. Construction and the Environment 135 16. Excavations 200 Waste management and pollution control 136 17. Falsework 201 Initial ground contamination 137 18. Fire on site 202 Remediation 137 19. Fork-lift trucks 203 Spillage control 137 20. Gas welding and cutting 204 Pesticide use and control 137 21. Hand tools 205 Hazardous waste management 138 22. Joinery workshops 206
CONTENTS v 23. Ladders and stepladders 207 Powers of inspectors 243 24. Lasers 208 Enforcement 243 25. Lifting equipment, general 209 The Management of Health and Safety at Work 26. Materials hoists 210 Regulations 1999 243 27. Mobile cranes 211 Summary of the Regulations relevant to the 28. Mobile elevating work platforms 212 construction industry 244 29. Mobile towers 213 Provision and Use of Work Equipment 30. Portable electrical equipment 214 Regulations 1998 and machinery safety 31. Powered tools Ð woodworking 215 requirements 246 32. Public protection 216 Some significant definitions 246 33. Pressure testing 217 Summary of the Regulations 247 34. Roadworks 218 Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 1992 250 35. Sewage connections 219 References 251 36. Site transport 220 The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment 37. Skips 221 Regulations 1998 (LOLER) 251 38. Steam and water cleaners 222 Some significant definitions 251 39. Storage of materials on site 223 Summary of the Regulations 252 40. Storage and use of LPG 224 Construction (Health, Safety and Welfare) 41. Storage and use of HFL 225 Regulations 1996 253 42. Temporary electrical supplies 226 Some significant definitions 254 43. Working alone 227 Summary of the Regulations 254 44. Work on fragile roofs 228 Construction (Design and Management) 45. Work with flat glass 229 Regulations 1994 260 46. Working at heights, general 230 Some significant definitions 260 47. Working in occupied premises 231 Summary of the Regulations 261 48. Work near underground services 232 The Confined Spaces Regulations 1997 264 49. Work under power lines 233 Summary of the Regulations 264 50. Work over water 234 The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 266Part 3 Legal Requirements 235 What is a `substance hazardous to health? 267 Summary of the Regulations 26717. Construction Health and Safety Law 237 The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Statute law 237 Regulations 1992 269 Types of statutory duty 238 Summary of the Regulations 269 Development of health and safety law 239 The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 270 Common law 239 Summary of the Regulations 271 The Woolf reforms 240 The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 240 Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 272 General duties of employers 241 Summary of the Regulations 273 General duties of the self-employed 242 General duties of employees 242 18. Penalties 275 General duties of manufacturers and suppliers 242 Charges 242 Index 277 The Health and Safety Commission and Executive 242
ForewordEnvironment, health and safety are already crucial issues in What is needed is to embed these vital factors as values andthe upper echelons of the construction industry. Sadly, that as a part of all that our industry does, and not to regardis the exception rather than the rule, so, if our industry is to them merely as optional extras where time allows.prosper in the twenty-first century, everyone at every levelneeds to understand the importance of these issues and The author draws upon his lifetime experience in construc-implement the practices that will safeguard both people tion-related health and safety to provide the informationand our planet. and the background material important for a full under- standing of the issues involved. The book is aimed at everyThis book is intended to fill the gap between a technical participant in the construction industry needing informationmanual and the many topic guidance notes such as those and guidance on current and future best practice.published by the Health and Safety Executive. Uniquely,the amount of space devoted to construction EH & S man- A positive change of attitudes among all players in ouragement is the same as that given over to techniques and to industry is vital. I welcome this book as a valuable con-the law. Experience shows that time spent on pre-con- tribution to that goal. Allan, who has worked with us acrossstruction activity and planning is amply repaid during the the world to further the cause of site safety, is well placedconstruction phase of work, when safety issues can be much to make it happen.more difficult to resolve. Sir Frank Lampl President, Bovis Lend Lease
AbbreviationsANSI American National Standards Institute MHSWR Management of Health and Safety at WorkCAWR Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 1987 Regulations 1999CDM Construction (Design and Management) MORT Management oversight and risk tree Regulations 1994 NADO Notification of Accidents and DangerousCOSHH Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Occurrences (Regulations) Regulations NEBOSH National Examination Board in OccupationalCSCS Construction Skills Certification Scheme Safety and HealthCTA Certificate of Training Achievement PMEP Project Major Emergency PlanFMEA Failure modes and effects analysis PPE Personal protective equipmentHSE Health and Safety Executive RIDDOR Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and DangerousIOSH Institution of Occupational Safety and Health Occurrences Regulations 1995JSA Job safety analysis RPE Respiratory protective equipmentMEWPS Mobile elevating work platforms
Part 1Construction Safety Management
1 FundamentalsWhat is `safety? source of energy above the ability of the body or structure to withstand it..We use the word `safety so much, often in company withits partner `health, that it should be easy to find a defi- In normal conversation we use the word `accident loosely,nition. Yet the dictionaries do not offer much assistance Ð and in doing so we often couple in a sense of bad luck on the`Safety [is] the absence of danger one says, unhelpfully part of the injured person, and a feeling that it could notsupplying the entry for `danger as `absence of safety! have been foreseen. In safety management, we need to beOthers suggest `a state of protection and `a condition not clear that the luck, or the element of chance, is only con-involving risk. Perhaps the best we can do is to agree that cerned with the physical outcome of the incident, which isthere is no arbitrary state of `absolute safety, as there is `that sequence of events or actions resulting in the unde-always a chance Ð a risk Ð of something going wrong, sired consequences. For ease of reading, this book uses thehowever small that chance may be. word `accident to describe injury events, except where an important distinction has to be made between `accidentIn the same way, a little thought about `health brings the and `incident.same conclusion Ð it is a relative notion, in the sense that inany population there will be those in varying states of An injury is thus a consequence of an incident Ð but not thewellness. But this does not stop us using the word in an only possible one. It has been shown that hundreds ofeveryday sense to convey the idea that, in the workplace at incidents occur in the construction industry for every oneleast, the aim should be that workers do not leave their that causes injury or loss. But all have the potential to dowork less `healthy than when they arrived. so. That is why it is important to look at all incidents as sources of information on what is going wrong. Relying onThe management of workplace health and safety is done injury records only allows a review of a minority of inci-together, and in the same way, so that often in speech the dents Ð those which happened to result in a serious injuryword `safety is used to mean both. In recent years, it has consequence. We can make some reasonable estimatesbeen recognised that environmental issues also need to be about the likelihood of, say, failure of a lifting appliance.managed, and again often by using the same techniques Only chance will decide whether an injury rather than, or asand practices. So, for reasons of space and ease of under- well as, property damage will occur on a particular occa-standing, in this book the reader will often find the word sion, and how severe either will be.`safety used alone although the presence of its naturalpartners `health and `environment should be understood. Hazard means `the inherent property or ability of some- thing to cause harm Ð the potential to interrupt or inter-Basic terms fere with a process or person. Hazards may arise from interacting or influencing components, for example twoAn accident is an incident plus its consequences; the end chemicals interacting to produce a third.product of a sequence of events or actions resulting in anundesired consequence (injury, property damage, inter- Risk is `the chance or probability of loss, an evaluation ofruption, delay). An accident can be defined more formally the potential for failure. It is easy to confuse the termsas `an undesired event, which results in physical harm and/ `hazard and `risk, but a simple way to remember theor property damage, usually resulting from contact with a difference is that `hazard describes potential for harm,
4 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 1risk is the likelihood that harm will result in the particular n Leaving equipment in a dangerous conditionsituation or circumstances, coupled with a measure of the n Using equipment at the wrong speeddegree of severity of that harm. Comparisons between risks n Disconnecting safety devices such as guardscan be made using simple numerical formulae. n Using defective equipment n Using equipment the wrong way or for the wrong tasksWhat causes accidents? n Failure to use or wear personal protective equipment n Bad loading of vehiclesAccidents are the direct results of unsafe activities and n Failure to lift loads correctlyconditions, both of which can be controlled by manage- n Being in an unauthorised placement. Management is responsible for the creation and n Unauthorised servicing and maintaining of movingmaintenance of the working environment and tasks, into equipmentwhich workers must fit and inter-react. Control of workers n Horseplayand their behaviour is more difficult. They have to be given n Smoking in areas where this is not allowedinformation, and the knowledge that accidents are not n Drinking alcohol or taking drugsinevitable but are caused. They need training to developskills and recognise the need to comply with and develop Some of the reasons why people fail Ð to behave safely, tosafe systems of work, and to report and correct unsafe conform to policies and procedures, for example Ð areconditions and practices. Their safety awareness and atti- discussed in Chapter 8.tudes require constant improement, and the social envir-onment of the workplace Ð the safety climate Ð must beone which fosters good safety and health practices and Unsafe conditionsconditions, not one which discourages them. n Inadequate or missing guards to moving machine parts n Missing platform guardrailsOn investigation, and after a little thought, it can be seen n Defective tools and equipmentthat accidents are relatively complex events. A man falls n Inadequate fire warning systemsoff a ladder. It seems straightforward Ð the ladder was not n Fire hazardstied and witnesses say that it was set at the wrong angle n Ineffective housekeepingand not secured against slipping. This incident could be put n Hazardous atmospheric conditionsdown to carelessness on the part of the man, having failed n Excessive noiseto appreciate the physical situation. Carelessness, though, n Not enough light to see to do the workis rarely either a good or an adequate explanation of eventslike accidents. These are all deviations from required safe practice, but they must be seen as the symptoms of more basic under-Unsafe acts and unsafe conditions are often referred to as lying indirect or secondary causes which allow them toimmediate or primary causes of accidents, because they exist and persist.are the most obvious causes and because they are usuallydirectly involved or present at the moment the accidenthappens. Secondary causes are also important, although Secondary causes of accidentsthey are usually harder to seek out and identify. They are n Management system pressuresthe failures of the management system to anticipate, and N financial restrictionsinclude lack of training, maintenance, adequate job plan- N lack of commitmentning and instruction, and not having safe systems of work in N lack of policyplace. N lack of standards N lack of knowledge and informationSome examples of unsafe acts and conditions are given N restricted training and selection for tasksbelow. N poor quality control systems resulting from the aboveUnsafe acts n Social pressuresn Working without authority N group attitudesn Failure to warn others of danger N trade customs
1 FUNDAMENTALS 5 N industry tradition 2. Tackle risks at source N society attitudes to risk-taking Design and specification can make a significant difference N `acceptable behaviour in the workplace to site conditions. Design is likely to dictate the way the N commercial/financial pressures between con- construction work is carried out on site, and particularly to tractors force contractors to work in potentially unsafe ways. A review at the design stage repays the time spent hand-The primary causes of accidents in the construction somely because of later savings in time and money, andindustry have been the target of safety law for many years possibly even lives.Ð specifying details of scaffolding and ladders, forexample. Relatively recently, legal requirements in several Examples: Designing floor slabs with fewer voids removescountries, notably the Member States of the European the need to control the risk of falling through them byUnion, and Australia, have begun to address the secondary setting up barriers or covering them. Avoid dust-producingcauses as well, forcing attention to be paid to all organi- processes: specify off-site finishing.sational aspects of safety management. 3. Adapt work to the individual when designingTechniques of accident prevention work areas and selecting methods of workAccident prevention in construction is not just a matter of Ergonomics aims to improve the interface between peoplesetting up a list of rules and making safety inspections, and their workspaces, by seeking to adapt the workspacealthough both of these have their place. What is required is rather than the person. Thought given to layout cana system for managing health and safety which meets the improve working conditions and reduce risks.needs of the business and complies with the law. A dis-cussion of the ideas involved in safety management can be Example: Locating equipment such as a saw bench in afound in Chapter 4, and most of the law on construction corridor could block access for others, may cause lightingsafety is covered in Part 3 of this book. difficulties and allow offcuts to pile up, increasing the risks. Asking how much room the carpenter needs andThere are seven principles to be observed in setting up planning a suitable spot for a powered saw bench takesstrategies for control and management of health and safety little time.at work in the construction industry. If they are followed,accident prevention is more likely to be achieved. 4. Use technology to improve conditions1. If possible, avoid a risk altogether by Keeping up to date with new developments can bring aeliminating the hazard safety benefit when plant is being replaced, or when work operations can be mechanised.It is always more effective to remove a problem altogetherrather than to establish a control strategy, especially one Examples: Specifying a quieter design of machine whenwhich relies upon people to work in the correct way. This ordering replacement equipment. Use of a wheeled man-and the next principle demonstrate the fundamental hole lifter to replace hand hooks or other hand tools bringsimportance of design and planning in safety management. gains in productivity as well as minimising the chance of a back injury.Examples: Do not specify fragile roofing materials throughwhich people can fall. This is obviously more effective than 5. Give priority to protection for the wholespecifying solutions designed to minimise the risks from workplace rather than to individualsfalls through fragile material. Specification of lightermaterials, such as blocks and bags, is preferable to Reliance on personal protective equipment (PPE) as a solearranging ways to handle heavy materials on site. Inevi- means of risk control is rarely acceptable. This is becausetably, at some stage the latter will result in someone no PPE is 100% effective for 100% of the time for 100% of thehaving to lift manually a load heavier than it could have people who use it (see Chapter 15). One of many reasons forbeen. Avoid using hazardous substances at all where pos- this is that it may not always be possible to identifysible, or substitute those known to be less hazardous. everyone at risk and issue the PPE to them.
6 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 1Example: Extensive work on a flat roof may require the The cost in human suffering, physical pain and hardshippresence of a large number of workers from different resulting from death and disability is impossible to quantifyemployers, in addition to supervisory staff, clients, etc. In Ð we know that there are hundreds of lives lost each year inthese circumstances, the appropriate protection would be construction and related industries, with tens of thousandsprovided by perimeter barriers, rather than by giving of serious injuries and countless numbers of more minor`everyone a safety harness. Installing permanent edge injuries. We can only guess at the disruption to lives ofprotection during the main construction process instead of workers and their families which these cause, but we knowat the end gives protection to both constructors and end that construction safety is not an impossible dream; it is anusers. achievable goal. Moral reasons stem from a developing public awareness6. Ensure everyone understands what they have that something needs to be done to raise the quality of lifeto do to be safe and healthy at work at work. Attention is focusing on the ability of employers and project managers in the industry to handle a wideSafety training is not just a matter of handing out booklets variety of issues, previously seen only as marginally rele-Ð it is unwise to assume anything about peoples previous vant to the business. Environmental affairs, pollution,experiences in construction work, or even their ability to design safety, maintainability and other matters are nowread and understand instructions and information. Safety commonly discussed. There is a growing belief that it isawareness is not inherited, and induction training on sites is morally unacceptable to put the safety and health of othersrequired to make sure that everyone knows what the (inside or outside the construction site) at risk, for profit orhazards and the control measures are. any other reason.Example: Specific site induction must include the local Worker morale is strengthened by active participation inemergency evacuation procedure, and understanding may accident prevention programmes, and is weakened byneed to be confirmed by holding regular practice fire accidents. Adverse publicity affects the fortunes of thedrills. organisation both internally in this way and externally, as public confidence may weaken local community ties,7. Make sure health and safety management is market position, market share, shareholder value andaccepted by everyone, and that it applies to all reputation generally.aspects of the organisations activities Legal reasons are contained in statute law, which detailsA single contracts manager, joinery manager, or other steps to be taken and objectives to be met, and whichmember of senior management who believes that the carries the threat of prosecution or other enforcementcompany safety management system does not apply to action as a consequence of failure to comply. Civil lawsituations where time is short can destroy the safety enables injured workers and others to gain compensationclimate overnight. If someone is injured as a result, the either as a result of breach of statutory duties or because apenalty can be severe for that person, and possibly for the reasonable standard of care was not provided under thecompany as well. particular circumstances. The cost in terms of money and adverse publicity of a prosecution or civil claim can be veryExamples: Failure of a senior manager to wear safety high, and there is the potential for a prison sentence infootwear and safety helmet on a site visit gives the some circumstances. For a discussion of these issues, seeimpression to the workforce that the rules do not apply to Chapter 17.senior management. Failure to carry out risk assessmentsbecause of pressure of work could lead to criminal Financial reasons for accident prevention ensure the con-prosecution of an individual. tinuing financial health of a business and avoid the costs associated with accidents. These include monetary loss to employers, community and society from worker injuriesBenefits of accident prevention and ill-health, damage to property and production delays.There are generally said to be five main reasons why acci- Some, but not all of these costs are insurable and these aredent prevention in construction is worthwhile. known as direct costs. They include the cost of compen-
1 FUNDAMENTALS 7sation (for which insurance is a legal requirement). were not the case. The same amount and quality of infor-Increased premiums will be a consequence of claims, so an mation is potentially available for each incident, yet weincrease in overheads is predictable following accidents. frequently limit investigations to those incidents whereIndirect costs include: injury or damage is serious Ð at the tops of the triangles Ð and thus miss the chance of obtaining a lot more informa-n Uninsured property and material damage tion about what is going wrong. This is why counting andn Delays investigating `near miss incidents is useful.n Overtime costs and temporary labourn Management time spent on investigations Finally, a good safety record and documented safetyn Decreased output from those replacing the injured management system can more than repay the time spent on worker(s) it because of its value in gaining new business. Many clientsn Clerical work and project management operations have extensive vettingn Fines procedures to identify those contractors and suppliers whon Loss of expertise and experience are competent in safety matters. The vetting may be a requirement of their quality programme under BS EN 9000A study carried out by the Health and Safety Executive into accreditation, but in any event in the UK the competencethe costs of accidents showed that for the construction site issue is at the heart of the Construction (Design and Man-under review, the direct costs were a small proportion of agement) Regulations 1994 (CDM).the total and produced a direct:indirect ratio of 1:11. Thisratio is commonly illustrated as an `iceberg, because of Conversely, inability to satisfy requirements for compe-the invisible hidden costs below the waterline. On the site tence in safety under CDM can result in loss of significantstudied over a period of 18 weeks, 120 people were work- contracts as well as public reputation. An electrical con-ing, and in that time there were 56 minor first-aid injuries tractor working for a local authority was successfully pro-and no lost-time injuries. But there were also 3570 non- secuted together with the authority for contravening theinjury accidents. The results for major, minor and non- Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations when hand-drillinginjury accidents are often reproduced in the form of an holes in domestic cupboards for wiring. The fine was rela-`accident triangle. tively modest, but the contractors hard-won local repu- tation for workmanship and reliability suffered, and theThe conclusion to be drawn from this and other accident conviction had to be disclosed on every subsequent appli-triangles is that serious injuries are much less frequent than cation to join a tender list.less serious ones, and of course it would be strange if that
2 Where are We Now?It is widely recognised that health and safety injury statistics On average, a worker is killed in the industry every threeoffer only the depressing and not especially useful prospect working days, and a member of the public is killed everyof counting our failures to control injury and ill-health. What two months by construction activities. There are now aboutis needed is an agreed system of positive measures of how 80 fatalities a year to workers in the construction industry,well controls are working Ð but there is no sign of agreement including the self-employed and trainees. This number hasor even substantive moves towards agreement about the remained roughly the same since the early 1990s (Tablenature of the measures that might provide answers. The 2.1). Taking the long-term view for all industries, theprospect of common use of standards such as the British accident rates overall are a quarter of those reported in theStandards OHSAS 18000 safety management model is early 1960s, and less than a half of those in the early 1970s.brighter, but opinion internationally is divided on whether This is thought to be due only partly to changes inthe objectives of continuous improvement and accreditation employment patterns.should be included in such a standard. Table 2.1: Fatalities to employees in the constructionMeanwhile, international statistical comparisons mean lit- industry, sample yearstle, as there are so many measuring tools and so manydifferent criteria for measurement. There is no general Year Numberagreement on how to calculate frequency rates, or on what 1961 272counts as a reportable injury. Even in the UK, the rules 1971 156change every 5 to 10 years, and invalidate previous data 1981 105sets. And there is good evidence that many injuries go 1990/91 96unreported. 1995/96 62 1996/97 66Recent studies by the Health and Safety Executive using the 1997/98 58Labour Force Surveys (which send questionnaires to 1998/99* 48households) indicate that only 55% (1997/98) of all non- * Data for 1998/99 were provisional at the time of writingfatal reportable injuries in construction are actuallyreported to the Executive and local authorities. This is Types of injuryactually an improvement Ð in 1989/90 the figure was as lowas 38%, rising to 46% in 1994/95. Commentary on the dis- The most common source of fatalities in recent years hasparity between reality and what is reported is presented been the head injury, accounting for almost one-third ofannually in the Health and Safety Commissions Statistical the total. There is claimed to be a marked reduction, ofReview. The information can be regarded only as an indi- about 25%, in the head injuries rate overall, following thecation of the position for any given year. introduction of the Construction (Head Protection) Regu- lations on 1 April 1990. In most years, at least 40% of allAn improved picture can be drawn from a study of fatal- construction fatalities have been falls from a height. Theities, which are less easy to ignore, although these too may figure for falls as a percentage of total fatalities has beenbe under-reported because of poor diagnosis of ill-health remarkably constant over past years, justifying the atten-exposures, for example, and also where a significant time tion given to fall protection in its own right in the Con-may elapse between injury and consequent death. struction Regulations (Table 2.2).
2 WHERE ARE WE NOW? 9 handling, for example. Others occur relatively infre- Table 2.2: Fatal falls to employees in the construction quently, but when they do there is a higher than usual industry over 12 years chance of not surviving them Ð becoming trapped by col- All employee Falls as % of lapse or overturning and electrocution are examples of Year Falls fatalities all fatalities this. Table 2.4 compares the proportionate outcomes of 1987/88 47 99 47.48 various causes of injury. 1988/89 49 101 48.52 1989/90 53 100 53.00 We need this information in order to estimate risk, which is 1990/91 45 96 46.88 a measure combining the chances of something happening 1991/92 37 83 44.58 with the potential outcome in terms of injury. Too much 1992/93 27 69 39.13 reliance should not be placed on the data because of the 1993/94 35 73 47.95 under-reporting factor mentioned above. 1994/95 24 56 42.86 1995/96 21 62 33.87 Although the total numbers engaged in some occupations 1996/97 33 66 50.00 can be expected to fluctuate with time, together with the 1997/98 29 58 50.00 amount and type of work available in the construction 1998/99* 22 48 45.83 industry, it is hard to believe that there has not been an* Data for 1998/99 were provisional at the time of writing improvement in health and safety standards in the last 10 years. The improving data are unlikely to be due solely to changes in the pattern of work and numbers employed.In 1998/99 the percentage of falls in the `non-fatal majorinjury category was 37%, with an additional 21% as falls Information on rates is not easy to acquire. The Healthfrom the same level (slips, trips and falls); 35% of report- and Safety Commission and Executive use comparisonsable, over-3-day injuries in the industry were due to between industries based upon accidents recorded permanual handling. 100 000 workers, rather than upon hours worked. For con- struction in 1998/99 the provisional rate is 399.0 for fatalities and major injuries combined per 100 000 work-Accident causes ers, and for all reported injuries the rate is given as 1254.Canadian studies have shown that active involvement in The previous years rates were 388.1 and 1354.4, respec-safety management by the most senior levels in a con- tively.struction company is directly correlated with reductions innumbers of accidents and injuries. Cross-industry comparisons are of little significance to individual employers unless their business covers severalKnowledge of causation patterns provides a starting point employment sectors. The best information of this kind is tofor focusing particular preventive measures. Case studies be found by benchmarking against other similar businesses,and descriptions of accidents can be used to give informa- and comparing internal figures over similar periods.tion about prevention techniques Ð the Health and SafetyExecutives publication Blackspot Construction is still Occupational health and hygienerecommended reading, although now out of print. It com-mented that in a sample studied, 90% of fatalities were Traditionally the construction industrys high level of injuryfound to be preventable, and in 70% of cases positive accidents has received the attention of enforcement,management action could have saved lives. The three worst media publicity and management action. Arguably, the sizetask areas found by the study (75% of all deaths) were of that problem has led to a neglect of the less tangiblemaintenance (42%), transport and mobile plant (20%) and consequences of occupational hygiene and health prob-demolition/dismantling (13%). lems, apart from well-publicised topics such as asbestos. There is little general awareness of just how big the occu-Table 2.3 shows the distribution of causes of fatalities in pational health risks are in construction; compare thethe years 1997/98 and 1998/99, considering all workers in numbers already discussed for conventional injuries withthe industry. Some activities, of course, are frequent the fact that mesothelioma, a form of cancer linked spe-sources of injury, but rarely result in a fatality Ð manual cifically to asbestos exposure, kills around 1400 people
10 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 2 Table 2.3: Fatalities in the construction industry by causation Categories of 1997/98 1998/99 accident causation Employees Self-employed Total % of total Employees Self-employed Total % of total Falls: >2 m 29 12 41 51.25 21 14 35 53.03 Falls: <2 m Ð 1 1 1.25 Ð 3 3 4.55 Falls: unknown Ð 4 4 5.00 1 Ð 1 1.52 heights Total falls from 29 17 46 57.50 22 17 39 59.09 heights Contact with moving 3 Ð 3 3.75 2 Ð 2 3.03 machinery Struck by moving or 11 1 12 15.00 7 1 8 12.12 falling object Struck against fixed 1 Ð 1 1.25 Ð Ð Ð Ð or stationary object Struck by moving 5 ± 5 6.25 9 Ð 9 13.64 vehicle Lifting, handling, 1 Ð 1 1.25 Ð Ð Ð Ð carrying Trapped by collapse 3 1 4 5.00 3 Ð 3 4.55 Asphyxiation or Ð Ð Ð Ð 1 Ð 1 1.52 drowning Exposure to harmful Ð Ð Ð Ð 1 Ð 1 1.52 substances Explosion Ð Ð Ð Ð 1 Ð 1 1.52 Electrocution 5 2 7 8.75 2 Ð 2 3.03 Other Ð 1 1 1.25 Ð Ð Ð Ð Total 58 22 80 100.00 48 18 66 100.02each year. A good proportion of these exposures are related requirements) imposed by the Noise at Work Regulationsto construction work. 1989.A general downgrading of normal health can also occur. Dangerous occurrencesReports suggest that construction workers age prematurelydue to hypothermia caused by working in the cold and wet. `Dangerous occurrences are sets of circumstances whichRespiratory diseases such as bronchitis and asthma are also must be reported to the enforcing authorities if they occur,thought to occur at above average levels in construction and which are defined within the current set of regulationsworkers. containing reporting requirements for injuries. Currently the relevant regulations are the Reporting of Injuries,Experience with the implementation of the Control of Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations in (RIDDOR). They were introduced in approximately theirconstruction shows that there is little awareness of the current format in 1980 as the Notification of Accidents andprinciples of assessment, or significant appreciation of the Dangerous Occurrences Regulations, or NADO, whichrisks to workers from substances brought onto the site Ð introduced the concept of dangerous occurrences for theand especially from those created there. Also, there is said first time. Since the list of circumstances which are to beto be a disappointing response from the industry to the reported has changed over the years, and again because ofnoise controls (mostly managerial action and measurement significant under-reporting, statistical comparisons are
2 WHERE ARE WE NOW? 11 Table 2.4: Reported injuries to all construction workers, 1997/98 and 1998/99* Categories of 1997/98 1998/99 accident Fatalities Non-fatal major >3 day Total Fatalities Non-fatal major >3 day Total causation injuries injuries reportable injuries injuries reportable Falls: >2 m 41 754 395 1190 35 813 360 1208 Falls: <2 m 1 734 752 1487 3 824 843 1670 Falls: unknown 4 163 179 346 1 120 147 268 heights Total falls from 46 1651 1326 3023 39 1757 1350 3146 heights Contact with 3 138 237 378 2 136 283 421 moving machinery Struck by moving 12 858 1913 2783 8 122 1745 1875 or falling object Struck against 1 137 542 680 Ð 153 474 627 fixed or stationary object Struck by moving 5 104 155 264 9 132 142 283 vehicle Lifting, handling, 1 370 3633 4004 Ð 360 3324 3684 carrying Slip, trip or fall, Ð 790 1694 2484 Ð 929 1655 2584 same level Trapped by 4 55 49 108 3 62 52 117 collapse or overturn Asphyxiation or Ð 9 12 21 1 14 6 21 drowning Exposure to Ð 78 218 296 1 86 200 287 harmful substances Fire Ð 13 37 50 Ð 7 17 24 Explosion Ð 4 21 25 1 14 18 33 Electrocution 7 55 96 158 2 75 78 155 Animal injury Ð 2 36 38 Ð Ð 27 27 Acts of violence Ð 14 39 53 Ð 15 41 56 Other 1 46 252 299 Ð 57 187 244 Total 80 4324 10260 14664 66 3919 9599 13584* Data for 1998/99 were provisional at the time of writinglikely to be misleading. The intention is to bring to the various kinds, 13% advised of substance escape as definednotice of the enforcing authority those incidents and con- within RIDDOR, and 11% notified pipeline failures. Theseditions which are sufficiently serious to be likely to cause an dominant categories and percentages have remained gen-injury, even though such an injury did not necessarily erally constant over time since 1995. The constructionoccur. industry is likely to be involved in reporting lifting machinery failures of several kinds, as well as the unin-In 1998/99, 4173 reports were made of dangerous occur- tended collapse of buildings.rences. Some 25% dealt with failures of lifting machinery of
12 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 2Acknowledgement: The Health and Safety Executives Referenceassistance with the provision of statistical information is (Health and Safety Commission) Statistical Review (publishedgratefully acknowledged. annually). HSE Books, London.
Measuring Performance and 3 Recording InformationThere are many good reasons for measuring safety perfor- such as first-aid treatments and lost workday cases.mance; some of them are often forgotten. Measuring can The US standard is to count `disabling injuries, whichenable management to: are those that cost a full person-day. The trend is towards lowering the severity thresholds for reporting,n Identify the causal factors involved in injury and loss but this tends in turn to result in under-reporting.n Locate areas where controls are not working ade- n How can different levels of risk and exposure variations quately be allowed for? Using numbers of hours worked as then Have a basis for comparing trends baseline for exposure measurement does not reflectn Describe the level of safety within the organisation differences in risk. What can be learned from com-n Predict future safety problems paring the injury data per million person-hours workedn Evaluate the success of the control programme between, say, carpet fitters and roofers? The roofersn Maximise cost-effectiveness of decisions on the allo- injury rate might be expected to be much higher, cation of resources because they appear to be at greater risk, but thatn Assess the costs of injuries and losses takes no account of the amount of time spent, then Benchmark against other similar organisations relative exposure to risk, whilst at work. The best that can be done is to compare like with like where pos-Before any useful conclusions can be drawn from any set of sible, and to include severity rates where available.data, the information collected must be both reliable andmeaningful. Are the right things being recorded? Do the For several reasons, measuring tools which are purelynumbers give the whole picture? How many injuries and injury-related do not do a good job of representing theincidents are unreported? What distortions may be present? quality of the performance effort or the safety climate inAnd what gives information about `safety performance? an organisation.Until recently, the only measuring tools available were the Behaviour-based safetycounting of failures (lost-time injuries however defined,first-aid cases, property damage incidents and `near A set of techniques known generally as `behaviour-basedmisses), and attempts at measuring the financial costs of safety has introduced ideas and methods from the beha-losses resulting from failures to control safety, health and vioural sciences into performance measurement and safetythe environment. All of these involve studying the evidence management. A full discussion of the techniques used isof failures in one form or another, rather than the perfor- beyond the scope of this book, but they are based on themance achieved. And there are difficulties in collecting the claim that measuring the frequency of safe behaviourevidence, for example: generates more, and more accurate, predictive data, allows for precise reinforcement and provides positiven How severe must an injury be to be counted at all? As accountability. The general principle involves sampling, mentioned in the previous chapter, this definition recording and publicising the percentage of safe (versus varies widely between countries. The UK minimum unsafe) behaviours noted by observers drawn from work- reporting requirement is set at 3 days absence from force and management, and specially trained. This gives work, although many of the larger construction com- more data on potential system and individual failures than panies now measure lower severity level indicators could be obtained from a study of accident records.
14 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 3Staff at the University of Manchester Institute of Science nificant information and is recorded for analysis in a sui-and Technology (UMIST) have extensive experience in the table format. Basic training is also required, to ensure thatapplication of behaviour-based safety systems to the con- those given the responsibility are fully committed to thestruction industry. In the United States, the work of Dr goals of investigating and recording all significant inci-Thomas Krause and his colleagues at Behavioral Science dents, and that the techniques involved are understood.Technology Inc, California, is particularly well known. Ithas shown that a behaviour-based approach to health and The way in which injuries, potential injuries (`near-safety management can be an effective tool for increasing misses), occupational ill-health exposures and environ-safety on construction sites and elsewhere, despite some mental incidents are investigated and the statistics arepractical problems of implementation. collected should be written into the organisations safety policy or equivalent document. This gives the process aEmployers investing in these techniques say they have mandate from the person in charge, without which nofound that the involvement of workers in the measuring efforts of significance in safety are likely to be successful.process generates interest and improved commitment tothe employers safety objectives. The results are said to be One test of the efficiency of a data collection system issignificant in that the techniques lead to a reduction in loss- whether `near-miss incidents are reported and recorded.producing incidents as well as to the improved assessment Their investigation will provide the same information onof performance by the positive step of measuring workers causation as `real injury incidents.safe actions. `All I want to know is the facts!For the purpose of this chapter, it is noted that theattraction is that the system offers a method of measuring In addition to distortions caused by under-reporting andthe potential for harm, independent of the accident factors introduced by the way the data are collected,record. Disadvantages may include the need to achieve an whatever data are provided to management may be subjectaltered safety climate for both management and workforce to misinterpretation by anyone who does not fully under-to adopt the techniques, and employee suspicion of hidden stand the nature of what is being presented to them. Formotives for the observations. example, it has been reliably estimated that about 375 000 people were killed by accidents in the United States during World War II. About 408 000 were killed by war action. It has`No injuries Ð no problems! been claimed as a result that it was nearly as dangerous toBecause the numbers of recorded incidents and injuries are stay at home as it was to be in the armed services.relatively low in most companies, they produce a limitedamount of information about risk and there is a temptation A moments thought should lead to questions about ratesto believe that all is well. The argument often put forward rather than numbers. It turns out that the death rate in theby managers Ð `We havent had any accidents, therefore US armed forces during World War II was about 12 perwe must be safe Ð takes no account of the potential for thousand men per year, which compares with the overallinjury, or risk, which must be evaluated when deciding on civilian accidental death rate of about 0.7 per thousand perappropriate measures to take. year.When things do go wrong, the information which can be Other influencing factors include the ages of those exposedobtained from recording and investigating incidents can be to the hazards, and the duration and type of exposure toboth substantial and useful, depending to a large degree on the hazard under analysis. The raw numbers do not, in fact,the methods used to collect information on individual tell us much at all about the chances of survival at the time.incidents and throughout the organisation. The success ofany collection method also depends on the commitment of Calculating ratesindividuals to supplying the information in a timely andappropriate way. This means that organisations need to The simple formulae for calculating frequency and severityhave a system for reporting and recording injuries and rates which follow produce the rates used most often in theother losses which is seen by all as reasonable under all the industry. In most countries, there are no standard or formalcircumstances, is sufficiently thorough to capture all sig- requirements for these formulae.
3 MEASURING PERFORMANCE AND RECORDING INFORMATION 15Frequency rate percentage of subcontractors working on a project that had actually been pre-qualified. The percentage of sub- Number of injuries Â 100 000 contractors who had submitted a competent method F Total number of hours worked statement prior to starting work could be another.In the USA, figures of 1 000 000 or 200 000 often replace the These internal yardsticks can also be given targets to100 000 in the numerator, depending upon the collecting achieve, so that continuous improvement can be made byagency. raising the targets year on year. The setting of such key performance indicators is one of the features that distin-Severity rate guishes those companies interested in establishing them- selves as `world class rather than being merelyThis is essentially a weighted frequency rate, allowing the `compliance orientated.days lost due to temporary total disability to be recorded,and also a notional number of days to be recorded forfatalities and permanently disabled cases. The notional Accident investigation and recordingdays often used are 6000 (20 working years at 300 days per The elements of an accident recording system consist of:year) for a fatality and 1800 for loss of an eye. The Amer-ican National Standards Institute (ANSI) has developed an n Report form(s)arbitrary schedule of notional days in relation to particular n Investigation reports Ð formatpermanently disabling injuries, of which the foregoing are n Summary analysis forms used by the data collectortwo examples. n Statistical analysis Total days lost plus notional days charged Â 100 000 n Summary reports for management S Employee hours of exposure In large organisations, or those with widely-spread sites,The same numerator should be selected as in the frequency the system may also use a fax or email notification systemrate calculation. giving early warning to senior management that an incident has occurred which requires their attention. Care should beThe frequency rate can be improved `artificially by con- taken to avoid making personal comments in emails, as theytrolling temporary total absence cases (often by manage- are likely to become `discoverable in legal proceedings Ðment policy, and by making jobs available for temporary visible to everybody. A good rule to follow is: `If you dontworkers convalescing). Similarly, the severity rate can want your opinion or comment known to potentially hostilefluctuate wildly because the schedule of notional days can strangers, dont send the email. Deleting an email fromimpose a severe notional time penalty for some injuries. the system usually has no effect on its viability on a server, somewhere.Other performance measures Standard report formatMany companies are now introducing positive measures ofperformance in the field of environment, health and Use of a suitable standard report form allows the collectionsafety. Once a safety management programme has been of information in a uniform way. The design of the reportdeveloped, key points in it can be identified and measured form is important. As the forms will usually be completed atto provide information on whether the system is working site level it will assist site staff if they are only asked to giveproperly. For example, it might be decided that one of the information which is likely to be readily available to them Ðcritical features in such a programme is the need to ensure social security numbers and other personnel informationthat necessary safety information is supplied to sub- may be restricted, or held elsewhere. The penalty for usingcontractors prior to tendering. Whether this happens or not a format calling for answers that site staff cannot providecan be measured by examining project documentation, at can be delays in the return of forms. Whatever detail isperhaps quarterly intervals and a score produced based on asked for, and whatever the final design of a report form, itthe percentage of projects where this is being done. Or, if a will be helpful to require at least those answers to be givencompany operates a pre-qualification scheme for sub- which are required by local or national authorities, whencontractors, measures could be developed to show the notifying them in turn.
16 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 3Report forms should not require the senders to: types of incident and their consequences so that common causal factors can be isolated, future problem areas can ben Assign blame for the incident predicted, training can be focused and trends assessed.n Make comments which the senders cannot sub- Depending upon the size of the organisation, it may be stantiate, or necessary to collect data site by site and collate that into an Draw conclusions which may be beyond their level of monthly executive summary report. competence If benchmarking is carried out against other organisationsThis is because the form may be required as evidence in or against industry records, it will be helpful to designlegal proceedings, where liability is an issue and state- summary forms which use the same categories as thements of this type may be found to constitute an admission benchmark targets. Otherwise, the format used by theof liability where none was intended. regulatory authorities to present data can be used.Speed is of the essence Ð it may be desirable to design an Statistical analysisinitial report form to be faxed to senior management assoon as practicable, to be followed by a more detailed It is always tempting to compare the results from thereport when time and circumstances permit. The detail organisation with national or industry data, but the relativemay be completed later, following a deeper investigation sizes of the samples must be remembered when doing so.and interviews with witnesses. Also, industry frequency and severity rates, where pub- lished, are often based on guesswork on the hours worked, and can take no account of under-reporting of injuries toInvestigation report format the authorities. Generally, the best comparison to use is aThe person or team carrying out an investigation into an previous time period within the same business or bench-incident should record their comments in writing. This may marking partners.or may not involve the completion of an internal investi-gation report form. Again, care should be taken to avoid Summary reports for managementmaking statements or comments which are not factual.Recommendations to prevent a recurrence should be made Monthly or quarterly summaries of injury figures should bein the form of a letter attachment rather than on a report presented in a format which makes valid comparisons easy,form, again for legal reasons. and with a short written account to provide a summary of selected incidents. The use of pie charts and other pre-When completing an investigation report, it is important to sentation aids should be considered. It is important that thebe aware that a potential reader may know nothing about person designated as the competent person for the pur-circumstances or techniques which the investigator may poses of the Management of Health and Safety at Worktake for granted. For this reason, no assumptions should be Regulations 1999 is given a summary report at regularmade about the level of knowledge possessed by the intervals. A clutch of statistics alone rarely provides enoughreports readership. Sketches, plans, drawings and espe- meaningful information for senior management. A writtencially photographs should be included to amplify the writ- summary of lessons learned, actions taken and the currentten report. status of the organisations rolling safety programme should also be included.The use of a standard layout in a typed report can assist theinvestigator, because it can help to clarify thought. A sui- Principles of accident investigationtable format for a written report is discussed later in thischapter. The hardest lessons to be learned in accident prevention come from the investigation of accidents and incidents which could have caused injury or loss. Facing up to thoseSummary analysis forms used by the data lessons can be traumatic for all concerned, which is onecollector reason why investigations are often incomplete and sim-In order to make the best use of data supplied, the system plistic. Nevertheless, the depth required of an investiga-of performance measurement needs a way of recording the tion must be a function of the value it has for the
3 MEASURING PERFORMANCE AND RECORDING INFORMATION 17organisation and other bodies which may make use of the Documentationresults, such as enforcement agencies. Conducting one can Information obtained during investigations is given verb-be expensive in time. ally, or provided in writing. Written documentation should be gathered to provide evidence of policy or practice fol-Purpose lowed on site, and witnesses should be talked to as soon as possible after the accident. The injured person should alsoThe number of purposes is large; the amount of detail be seen promptly and interviewed.necessary in the report depends upon the uses to be madeof it. Enforcement agencies look for evidence of blame, Key points to note about investigations are:claims specialists look for evidence of liability, trainerslook for enough material for a case study. From the view- n Events and issues under examination should not bepoint of prevention, the purpose of the investigation and prejudged by the investigatorreport is to establish whether a recurrence can be pre- n Total reliance should not be placed on a single sourcevented, or its effects lessened, by the introduction of of evidencesafeguards, procedures, training and information, or any n The value of witness statements is proportional to thecombination of these. amount of time which passes between the events or circumstances described and the date of a statement or written record. (Theorising by witnesses increasesProcedure as memory decreases)There should be a defined procedure for investigating all n The first focus of the investigation should be on when,accidents, however serious or trivial they may appear to where, to whom and the outcome of the incidentbe. The presence of a form and checklist will help to con- n The second focus should be on how and why, giving thecentrate attention on the important details. The manage- immediate cause of the injury or loss, and then thement team of the project where the accident occurred will secondary or contributory causesbe involved; for less serious accidents they may be the only n The amount of detail required from the investigationpeople who take part in the investigation and reporting will depend upon (a) the severity of the outcome andprocedure. Workers representatives may also be involved (b) the use to be made of the investigation andas part of the investigating team. report n The report should be as short as possible, and as long as necessary for its purpose(s).EquipmentThe following are essential tools in the competent inves- The reporttigation of accidents and damage/loss incidents: For all purposes, the report which emerges from then Report form, possibly a checklist as a routine prompt investigation must provide answers to the following ques- for basic questions tions. Only the amount of detail provided should vary inn Notebook or pad of paper response to the different needs of the recipients.n Tape recorder for on-site comments or to assist in interviews n What was the immediate cause of the accident/injury/n Camera Ð Polaroid instant-picture cameras are useful loss? (but further reproduction of the results may be diffi- n What were the contributory causes? cult and expensive, or they may be of poor quality). n What is the necessary corrective action? Their improved performance and the ability to insert n What system changes are either necessary or desirable photographs into text now makes the use of digital to prevent a recurrence? cameras attractive n What reviews are needed of policies and proceduresn Measuring tape, which should be long enough and (for example, risk assessments)? robust, like a surveyors tapen Special equipment in relation to the particular inves- It is not the task of the investigation report to allocate tigation, e.g. meters, plans, video recorder individual blame, although some discussion of this is
18 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 3almost inevitable. Reports are usually `discoverable; this Inspectionsmeans they can be used by the parties to an action fordamages or criminal charges. It is a sound policy to assume Inspections should be based on a positive approach, seekingthat accident investigation reports will be seen by solicitors to establish what is good and well done as well as what isacting on behalf of the injured party. They are entitled to not. Too often the `inspection process has a negativesee the factual report, and this will include anything writ- implication associated with fault-finding. The inspection often in it or in connection with it (which might later prove sites and premises has three main objectives:embarrassing), so certainly it should not contain commentson the extent of blame attaching to those concerned, or n Identification of hazards, triggering the correctiveadvice given to management. It is appropriate, necessary processand quite proper that professional advice is given, but it n Improving conditions and reducing risksshould be provided in a covering letter or memorandum n Measuring safety performancesuitably marked `confidential. Changes in the rules gov-erning the civil liability claims process mean that `side Some common system should be followed for everyletters and other formerly acceptable means of conveying inspection to make sure that everything relevant has beenconcern `off the record have become potentially dis- covered. Checklists can be used, and an adequate reportingcoverable. system must be present so that a record is made of what needs attention, and management can be advised of theWhether the report is made on a standard form, or specially results of the inspection. Ideally, inspections should bewritten, it should contain the following headings: measurable so that comparisons can be made with stan- dards elsewhere in the business.n A summary of what happenedn An introductory summary of events prior to the acci- Inspection for health and safety purposes often has a dent negative implication, associated with fault-finding. An Information gained during investigation positive approach based on fact-finding will produce bettern Details of witnesses results, and co-operation from all those taking part in then Information about injury or loss sustained process.n Conclusionsn Recommendations There are a number of types of inspections, for example:n Supporting material (photographs, diagrams to clarify) added as appendices n Statutory Ð for compliance with health and safetyn The date, and it should be signed by the person or legislation persons carrying out the investigation n External Ð by enforcement officials, insurers, con- sultantsSample standard report forms are included at the end of n Executive Ð senior management toursthis chapter (Figs 3.1 and 3.2). n Scheduled Ð planned at appropriate intervals, by supervisors n Introductory Ð check on new or reconditioned equip-Inspections and audits mentAudits look at systems and the way they function in prac- n Continuous Ð by employees, supervisors, which can betice, inspections look at physical conditions. So, while formal and preplanned, or informalinspections of a site, or particular items of equipment,could (or possibly should) be done formally at least For any inspection, knowledge of what is being looked atweekly, an audit of the inspection system throughout an is required, also knowledge of applicable regulations,organisation would look at whether the required inspec- standards and Codes of Practice. Some system must betions were themselves being carried out, the way they followed to ensure that all relevant matters have beenwere being recorded, who received copies of the considered, and an adequate reporting system must be inreport, whether action was taken promptly as a result, place so that remedial actions necessary can be takenand so on. More information on audits can be found in the and that the results of the inspection are available tonext chapter. management.
3 MEASURING PERFORMANCE AND RECORDING INFORMATION 19Some experts believe that `assurance is a better descrip- 5. Who carries out the inspection? Everyone has a respon-tion of the activity Ð there is a need to assure that the sibility to carry out informal inspections as they movesystem is working properly (safely). Inspection measures around a site. Managers, supervisors and foremen shouldhow good or bad things are, allowing comparison with plan to make general inspections. Workers repre-standards set either locally, corporately or nationally. sentatives may also have rights of inspection, and theirCorrective action can then be taken. presence should be encouraged where possible. Man- agement inspections should be made periodically; for-A special kind of inspection often overlooked is the readi- mal compliance inspections should take place in theirness check, where operations are evaluated for safety presence.before work on them begins. Examples of situations wherethese inspection checks are appropriate include the setting Techniques of inspectionup of tower cranes and other temporary works such asinstallation of falsework, preparation for excavations and Inspections should be carried out by people who are com-facade support work. Two checklists at the end of this Ë petent to do so. In this context, `competent meanschapter are intended to give useful examples of readiness knowledgeable Ð the person needs to know what safeinspection checks for specific topics (Figs 3.3 and 3.4), and conditions look like, have experience of a range of poten-Fig. 3.5 provides a general site checklist. tially unsafe conditions and know how to convert the latter into the former. This does not mean that the physicalBefore any inspection, certain basic decisions must have ability to make the change has to be possessed by thebeen taken about aspects of it, and the quality of these person Ð it is not necessary to be or have worked or traineddecisions will be a major influence on the quality of the as a scaffolder in order to inspect and comment on theinspection and on whether it achieves its objectives. The safety of a scaffold structure, for example.decisions are reached by answering the following ques-tions: The following observations have been of assistance in improving inspection skills:1. What needs inspection? Some form of checklist, spe- cially developed for the inspection, will be helpful. This 1. Those carrying out inspections must be properly reminds those carrying out the inspection of important equipped to do so, having necessary knowledge and items to check, and serves as a record. By including experience, and knowledge of acceptable performance space for `action by dates, comments and signatures, standards and statutory requirements. They must also the checklist can serve as a permanent record. comply fully with local site rules, including the wearing2. What aspect of the items listed needs checking? Parts or use of personal protective equipment, as appro- likely to be hazards when unsafe Ð because of stress, priate, so as to set an example as well as to protect wear, impact, vibration, heat, corrosion, chemical themselves. reaction or misuse Ð are all candidates for inspection, 2. Develop and use checklists, as above. They serve to regardless of the nature of the equipment or where it is focus attention and record results, but must be rele- used. vant to the inspection.3. What conditions need inspection? These should be 3. The memory should not be relied upon. Interruptions specified, preferably on the checklist. If there is no will occur, and memory will fade, so notes must be standard set for adequacy, then descriptive words give taken and entered onto the checklist, even if a formal clues to what to look for Ð items which are exposed, report is to be prepared later. broken, jagged, frayed, leaking, rusted, corroded, 4. It is desirable to read the previous findings before missing, loose, slipping, vibrating. starting a new inspection. This will enable checks to be4. How often should the inspection be carried out? In the made to ensure that previous comments have been absence of statutory requirements, or guidance from actioned as required. standards and Codes of Practice, this will depend upon 5. Questions should be asked, and the inspection should the potential severity of the failure if the item fails in not rely upon visual information only. The `what if? some way, and the potential for injury. It also depends question is the hardest to answer. Site workers are upon how quickly the item can become unsafe. A history often undervalued as a source of information about of failures and their results may give assistance. actual operating procedures and of opinions about
20 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 3 possible corrections. Also, systems and procedures are 9. Any unsafe behaviour seen during the inspection should difficult to inspect visually, and carrying out an be noted and corrected, such as removal of machine appropriate inspection depends upon the asking of the guards, failure to use personal protective equipment as right questions of those involved. required, or smoking in unauthorised areas.6. Items found to be missing or defective should be fol- 10. Risk assessments, method statements, safety plans and lowed up and questioned, not merely recorded on the the like should be checked as part of the inspection form. Otherwise, there is a danger of inspecting a process. This is because it is important to be able to series of symptoms of a problem without ever querying demonstrate not only good site conditions, but also a the nature of the underlying disease. trail of action, through CDM, to the assessment process7. All dangerous situations encountered should be cor- and the employers definite commitment to taking the rected immediately without waiting for the written necessary actions to ensure safety. report, if their existence constitutes a serious risk of personal injury or significant damage to plant and Reference equipment.8. Where appropriate, measurements of conditions Petersen, D.C. (1998) Techniques of Safety Management, 3rd edn. should be taken. These will serve as baselines for McGraw-Hill, Kogakusha, USA. subsequent inspections. What cannot be measured cannot be managed.
3 MEASURING PERFORMANCE AND RECORDING INFORMATION 21Figure 3.1: Initial accident report formYOURCO INITIAL ACCIDENT REPORT Ð SUMMARYProject Name: Report distribution (the day after accident): Project Manager Area/Senior Manager Safety Manager 1. Name of the injured person 2. Date and time of the accident 3. Where on site did the accident happen? 4. Injured persons nationality 5. Employer of the injured person (state if self-employed) 6. Trade or occupation 7. Details of what happened and the injury as known at this time: 8. Witnesses: [give their names, location and employers details]. 9. What action has been taken to investigate and prevent a recurrence, and by whom?10. Have local procedures been complied with? [All necessary authorities, insurers and the like have been informed]11. Name and status of the person sending this Report12. Signature Day Month Year13. Date of this Report:FOR SAFETY OFFICE USE ONLY:DATE REPORT PROJECT MANAGER FURTHERRECEIVED: CONTACTED: ACTION
22 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 3Figure 3.2: Detailed accident report formYOURCO DETAILED ACCIDENT REPORT (Sheet 1 of 2)Accident Report No: Project Name: Distribution: Project ManagerDate Received: Senior Manager Safety Manager INJURED PERSON 1. Name: 2. Nationality: 3. Address: 4. Employer: 5. Age: 6. Married Single ACCIDENT Day Month Year Time 7. Date and time of accident: 8. Exact location on site: 9. What time did the injured person start work the day of the accident?10. When did they stop work as a result Day Month Year Time of the accident?11. What was the injured person doing at the time of the accident?12. On what level was the injured person working? Excavation Basement Ground Roof Upper Level Other *13. Was this the injured persons authorised work? YES NO *14. Nature and extent of injury: (state exact parts of body injured)15. If injured person fell, or an object fell on them, state the height of the fall: * Ð Delete as appropriate
3 MEASURING PERFORMANCE AND RECORDING INFORMATION 23 (Sheet 2 of 2)16. Was first-aid given to the injured person on site? YES NO *17. If yes, by whom?18. To whom on site was the accident first reported?19. What action has been taken to prevent a recurrence of this accident?24. What were the causes of the accident? (attach drawings/sketches if necessary)25. Was scaffold involved? YES NO *26. Was machinery involved YES NO * [If YES, supply name of machine and details of the part causing the injury] GENERAL27. Was the injured person taken to hospital?28. If YES, state name and address of hospital:29. How long is the injured person likely to be off work?30. Were there any witnesses to the accident? YES NO31. If YES, are names/addresses/statements attached? YES NO32. Was the injured person working under supervision at the time of the incident? If YES, give the supervisors name33. Was the task/activity covered by a risk assessment? YES NO34. Was a method statement prepared for the task/activity? YES NO35. Was the method statement being followed? YES NO36. Report author and signature
24 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 3Figure 3.3: Sample checklist Ð set-up of temporary works Ð tower cranes PROJECT NAME: IDENTIFY CRANE(S): CRANE SUPPLIER: CRANE BASE DESIGNER: NO. YES NO COMMENTS 1 Design a) Are the calculations available on site? b) Are sketches/drawings available on site? c) Is the base design still applicable to the actual crane being supplied, as the available crane type may change? 2 Design Approval a) Has the design been checked by an engineer? (who/date?) b) Has a formal design certificate been issued? (date?) 3 Clearances a) Have oversail and tailswing clearances been checked? b) Have adjacent property owners been notified of overswing? c) Have local Statutory Authorities/Utilities etc. been notified? 4 Public Utilities a) Has identification of buried services or services exposed during the works been carried out and recorded? 5 Concrete Base a) Has concrete base bearing pressure been agreed? (Gravity Bases) b) Do pile loads specified for a piled base provide a minimum factor of safety of 2.0? c) Is it confirmed that the pile design can resist the tensile loads imposed? d) Have the clearances between adjacent piles been approved by the engineer? 6 Steel Grillage Base a) Has foundation grillage been weld tested after fabrication? b) By whom? (name) c) Tests applied? List: d) Have foundation grillage bolts been tightened to correct torque? Contd
3 MEASURING PERFORMANCE AND RECORDING INFORMATION 25Figure 3.3: Contd NO. YES NO COMMENTS 7 Crane Erection and Dismantling a) Has the crane erection and dismantling method statement been made available? 8 Inspection and Maintenance a) Has the 3 monthly mast and grillage bolt torque checking programme been agreed? b) Has the inspection and maintenance programme been agreed? c) Who will undertake statutory inspections? (name/agency) 9 Safety Legislation a) What are the requirements of Regulations? List:The checklist has been completed in respect of the equipment identified.Signed: Position: Date:
26 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 3Figure 3.4: Sample checklist Ð set-up of temporary works Ð hoistsPROJECT:HOIST SUPPLIER:HOIST LOCATION:DESIGNER: NO. SITUATION YES NO REMARKS 1 Type of hoist: Goods only: Goods and passenger? 2 State the following hoist particulars: Manufacturer: Model No: Safe Load Carrying Capacity: 3 Design a) Are calculations available on site: b) Are sketches/drawings available on site? 4 Design Approval a) Has design been checked by an engineer? (who/date?) b) Has a formal design certificate been issued? (date?) 5 Mast Base a) Is the base founded upon the ground or a ground-bearing slab and has this been correctly prepared for hoist loads? b) Is the base founded upon a suspended floor slab or deck and have structural props been provided below the hoist mast? c) Is the base supported by a scaffold or structural steel gantry and is the layout designed to withstand impact buffer loads? 6 Mast Ties a) Are all the mast ties installed in accordance with the layout shown upon the design sketches/drawings? (Note any installation modifications) b) Are the fixings to the main structure installed with the correct fixing bolts (particularly when fixing into brickwork) and in accordance with the design details? c) Have fixings into brickwork been tested? d) Are all nuts and bolts within the tie-arm assemblies tightened to the correct torque and of a self-locking type? e) Where tie-arms are fixed to main structural beams, are the bottom flanges of these beams adequately restrained? f) Where tie-arms are of a length in excess of 4 metres, is a support against the self-weight of the tie-arm required and if so, has this been fitted?
3 MEASURING PERFORMANCE AND RECORDING INFORMATION 27Figure 3.5: Example basic checklist Ð general: site physical hazards and arrangementsPROJECT NAME/ADDRESS:INSPECTION BY:DATE: NO. YES NO COMMENTS 1 Public protection and information a) Are the working areas fenced off, or is there other protection for the public? b) Is access to the site restricted to authorised visitors? c) Is there a notice displayed at the entrance(s) requiring all visitors to check in before proceeding onto the site? d) Is a copy of Form 10 displayed, to provide details of the principal contractor and planning supervisor? e) When work finishes, are the following checked? n Site entrances are secured n Perimeter fencing is intact and functional n Flooded areas, excavations, openings are covered or protected by barriers n All site plant and remaining vehicles are immobilised n Flammable materials and COSHH substances are removed from work areas and locked away n LPG and other gas supplies are locked off and keys are removed n Access to scaffolding is removed or blocked n All piled and stacked material is safe 2 Fall prevention/protection a) Have all exposures to falls been assessed for possible methods of prevention? b) Are all open edges and holes appropriately protected to guard against falls of people and materials? c) Are appropriate guardrails and toeboards (kickboards) present at every edge where falls of more than 2 m could occur? d) Where platforms cannot be used as first choice for working places, has an adequate evaluation been made of the preventive measures being used? 3 Safe access a) Is there safe access to all places of work, with all access equipment and gangways, and other walking surfaces clear and unobstructed? Contd
28 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 3Figure 3.5: Contd NO. YES NO COMMENTS b) Are all structures being worked on stable, safe and not overloaded? c) Is the site tidy and meeting an acceptable standard of housekeeping? d) Has the collection and disposal of waste been adequately organised? e) Is there adequate lighting in main and common areas, in addition to task lighting? 4 Scaffolds a) Are checks made to ensure that scaffolds are only erected and altered by competent persons? b) Is safe access available to platform levels in all cases? c) Are there effective means of warning people not to use incomplete or unsound scaffolds? d) Have all scaffolds been designed and erected appropriately to meet the needs for which they are constructed? e) Are all scaffolds inspected at least weekly by a competent person and the results recorded, and always following substantial alteration or damage? f) Are all working platforms fully and properly boarded out? g) Are all scaffold bracing and support members in place? h) Are all scaffolds appropriately braced or secured to structures appropriately to prevent collapse? i) Have all requirements for guardrails, toeboards and platform width been met? [Guardrails at least 910 mm above work area, no unprotected gap of more than 470 mm between toeboards and guardrails, toeboards at least 150 mm high, minimum platform width of 600 mm] j) Are stored materials evenly distributed on the scaffold platforms and not excessive? 5 Ladders and stepladders a) Are ladders used only as means of access, except for short duration work? b) Are ladders checked for defects before use and in good condition? c) Are ladders secured before use to prevent slipping? d) Is there always a handhold available at landing places? Contd
3 MEASURING PERFORMANCE AND RECORDING INFORMATION 29Figure 3.5: Contd NO. YES NO COMMENTS e) Are steps always used fully extended, with adequate ropes or stays to prevent misuse? f) Are there firm site rules to prevent workers from standing or working on the top third of stepladders? 6 Powered access equipment, including MEWPs a) Is the equipment properly erected by a competent person to comply with suppliers instructions? b) Is fixed equipment firmly braced and supported, and connected to an appropriate structure? c) Are working platforms in good condition, fitted with edge protection to prevent falls of persons and materials? d) Are precautions in place to protect other people from movement of the equipment and falling materials? e) Are the operators appropriately trained and competent? f) Are the procedures for isolation at the conclusion of work adequate and appropriate? g) Is there a safe system of work in place for users to follow, including the wearing of safety harnesses in high risk situations? 7 Cranes and lifting appliances a) Are crane erection and dismantling method statements available for all cranes and lifting appliances? b) Are the safe working loads and other constraints known to operators? c) Are all operators trained and competent? d) Are safe load indicators fitted where appropriate to all lifting appliances? e) Have slingers or banksmen been appointed and identified to operators as the only persons entitled to give signals? f) Have all slingers or banksmen been adequately trained in signalling and slinging? g) Have all slingers or banksmen been specifically instructed in the identification of weight and centre of gravity before lifting a load? h) Are all lifting appliances inspected at least weekly by a competent person with the inspection results recorded? i) Do all lifting appliances have appropriate in-date test certificates issued by a competent authority? Contd
30 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 3Figure 3.5: Contd NO. YES NO COMMENTS j) Are drivers of visiting mobile cranes and lifting appliances required to produce inspection documents and evidence of competence? k) Are all lifting appliances required to operate outriggers only with additional timber beneath to spread the load? 8 Plant and equipment a) Is all plant and equipment being used appropriately Ð the right equipment for the job? b) Are all dangerous parts guarded? [Shafts, gears, pulleys, drive belts for example] c) Is all plant and equipment in good repair? d) Is a maintenance log maintained to record any defects and the date of their repair as well as preventive maintenance? e) Where appropriate, do all operators possess the appropriate certification or authority to operate equipment? 9 Hoists a) Are all hoists inspected at least weekly by a competent person and the results recorded? b) Do all hoists have appropriate in-date test certificates issued by a competent person? c) Are the gates kept shut other than when the platform or cage is at the landing? d) Are effective gates and barriers in place at all landings, including ground level? e) Are the controls arranged so that operation is from one position only? f) Are all operators trained and competent? g) Are materials hoists marked to prevent people riding on them? h) Is the safe working load clearly marked on all hoists? i) Are all hoists protected to prevent anyone being struck by any moving part, or materials falling down the hoistways? 10 Site traffic and vehicles a) Is there a site traffic plan in place, with details given to drivers where necessary? b) Does the plan identify separate pedestrian and vehicle routes where possible? Contd
3 MEASURING PERFORMANCE AND RECORDING INFORMATION 31Figure 3.5: Contd NO. YES NO COMMENTS c) Has the need for reversing been minimised? d) Where reversing is necessary, are such movements controlled by banksmen? e) Are regular physical checks made on the condition of vehicles, including the functioning of warning devices? f) Are drivers trained and in possession of appropriate certification? g) Are vehicles properly loaded, with protection against falling loads where appropriate? h) Are passengers provided with secure riding positions and prevented from riding in dangerous positions? i) Are speed limits in force and enforced? 11 Excavations a) Is an adequate supply of appropriate supporting material present before work starts? [Sheets, timber, trench boxes, props, etc.] b) Has a safe method of work been agreed, which will prevent people from the need to work within unsupported areas? c) If sloping sides are selected as the appropriate protection method, is the angle of batter sufficient to prevent collapse? d) Has safe access by ladders been provided to all excavations? e) Are all excavations protected where necessary to prevent people, materials or vehicles falling in or causing them to collapse? f) Are stop blocks provided to prevent tipping vehicles falling in? g) Is the stability of any nearby structure likely to be affected by an excavation? h) Are all excavations inspected by a competent person before each shift and after any event likely to compromise stability, with the results recorded? i) Is there 1 m of clear space at the edges of all excavations, between the edges and spoil heaps or material stacks? 12 Fire and other emergencies a) Is there a site emergency plan, detailing steps required to evacuate the site in case of fire, and for confined space rescue where appropriate? Contd
32 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 3Figure 3.5: Contd NO. YES NO COMMENTS b) Are those on site made aware of the emergency plan and procedures? c) Is there an appropriate means of raising the alarm, which is known to be clearly audible at all points on the site? d) Are appropriate numbers of fire extinguishers present and marked? e) Are arrangements made to remove waste regularly, and for storing it in bins prior to removal? f) Are LPG and other gas cylinders correctly stored externally? g) Is there an effective smoking ban where flammable materials are used, stored or installed? h) Is the quantity of flammable material on site kept to a minimum? 13 Electricity a) Has identification of buried services or services exposed during the works been carried out and recorded? b) Are appropriate precautions in place to guard against striking underground services during the work? c) Have all overhead lines been identified and appropriate steps taken to remove, divert or mark the lines to prevent contact? d) Is the supply voltage for tools and equipment the lowest practicable? e) Have all temporary circuits been fitted with residual current devices? f) Are all cables and leads protected from damage? g) Are all connections properly made with suitable plugs and connectors? h) Is all site lighting at reduced voltage, with bulbs and lamps protected against damage? i) Are all halogen lamps raised up above head height and fitted with shields? j) Is there an appropriate system in place to ensure that the temporary electrical supply system is checked by a competent person at appropriate intervals? k) Are all electrical tools and equipment subject to a documented examination and testing regime? Contd
3 MEASURING PERFORMANCE AND RECORDING INFORMATION 33Figure 3.5: Contd NO. YES NO COMMENTS 14 Hazardous substances a) Have all hazardous substances been identified and their risks assessed? b) Are appropriate precautions in place, including signs, limitations on access and use of protective clothing and equipment? 15 Manual handling a) Have mechanical handling solutions been identified and their use maximised? b) Have positive steps been taken to identify materials likely to be supplied in bulk, in unacceptably large size units? [e.g. blocks, dry goods, cement] c) Have steps been taken to minimise risks to those who have to handle materials manually? 16 Welfare a) Are all welfare facilities reasonably accessible to all workers on site? b) Is there accommodation available for sitting, heating water and preparing food? c) Are there changing, drying and clothes-storing facilities? d) Are there adequate numbers of toilets, and wash basins with warm water, cleaners and towels? e) Is there a sufficient supply of drinking water? f) Has an adequate assessment of first aid requirements been made and appropriate facilities provided? 17 Noise a) Has quieter equipment been specified where appropriate? b) Has the work been planned to minimise noise exposure on and off the site? c) Has noisy work been segregated to reduce exposure to those not involved? d) Has suitable hearing protection been provided for workers in noisy areas? e) Are boundary noise measurements taken to establish baseline data? Contd
34 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 3Figure 3.5: Contd NO. YES NO COMMENTS 18 Personal protective equipment a) Have appropriate personal protective equipment requirements been defined by risk assessment for all site workers? b) Have the appropriate items of personal protective equipment been issued to users and signed for? [e.g. helmet, eye protection, hearing protection, respiratory protective equipment, gloves, safety footwear, protective outdoor clothing for adverse environments including dusty, wet, or dirty conditions] c) Is all personal protective equipment in good condition and properly maintained? d) Have arrangements for replacement of worn or lost equipment been made, and explained to users? e) Have arrangements been made for maintenance of the equipment where necessary and storage when not in use?
Techniques of Construction 4 Safety ManagementThe term `safety management is used for convenience and To co-ordinate and achieve these objectives, the keystonefor brevity, and wherever it is used it should be taken to is a safety policy statement. The design and other con-refer to the management of occupational health and the siderations for this policy are discussed in the next chapter.environment as well as safety. Safety management is con-cerned with, and achieved by, all the techniques which Benefitspromote the subject. Some have been described already,others will be covered in later chapters. As discussed in Chapter 1, successful safety management can lead to substantial cost savings, as well as a goodSafety management is also concerned with influencing accident record. Inadequate safety management can leadhuman behaviour, and with limiting the opportunities for to financial ruin, especially for smaller businesses.mistakes to be made which would result in harm or loss. Todo this, safety management must take into account the Some companies have become well known for the successways in which people fail (fail to do what is expected of of their safety management system. UK leaders in this fieldthem and/or what is safe), and Chapter 11 contains an include Bovis Lend Lease, AMEC and Taylor Woodrow, andoutline of those ways. Generally, safety management many smaller companies have devoted substantial time andtechniques are aimed at the recognition and elimination of money to the development of sophisticated managementhazards, and the assessment and control of those risks systems.which remain. Many risks cannot be confined to the con-struction process Ð there are overlaps with clients, other Although neither a construction operation nor UK-based,contractors and third parties. the work of Du Pont is noteworthy. This company claims that several of its plants with more than 1000 employees have run for more than 10 years without recording a lost-Objectives time injury accident. Du Pont uses 10 principles of safety management which are worthy of study:The practical objectives of safety management are: 1. All injuries and occupational illnesses are preventablen Gaining support from all concerned for the health and 2. Management is directly responsible for doing this, with safety effort each level accountable to the one above and respon-n Motivation, education and training so that all may sible for the level below recognise and correct hazards 3. Safety is a condition of employment, and is as impor-n Achieving hazard and risk control by design and pur- tant to the company as production, quality or cost chasing policies controln Operation of a suitable inspection programme to pro- 4. Training is required in order to sustain safety know- vide feedback ledge, and includes establishing procedures and safetyn To ensure that hazard control principles form part of performance standards for each job supervisory training 5. Safety audits and inspections must be carried outn Devising and introducing controls based on risk 6. Deficiencies must be corrected promptly, by modi- assessments fications, changing procedures, improved training and/n Compliance with regulations and standards. or consistent and constructive disciplining
36 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 4 7. All unsafe practices, incidents and injury accidents will Policy be investigated Successful safety management demands comprehensive 8. Safety away from work is as important as safety at work health and safety policies which are effectively imple- 9. Accident prevention is cost-effective; the highest cost mented and which are considered in all business practice is human suffering and decision-making. Since April 1975, the law has required10. People are the most critical element in the health and written safety policy statements to be created by all safety programme. Employees must be actively employers, except for the smallest organisations. This is involved, and complement management responsibility simply a reflection in the law of what has been known for by making suggestions for improvements many years Ð written policies are the centrepieces of good health and safety management. They insist, persuade,It is important to appreciate that these basic ideas are just explain and assign responsibilities. An essential require-as applicable to the construction industry as chemical ment for management involvement at all levels is to definemanufacturing Ð or indeed any other industry. Backing for health and safety responsibility in detail within the writtenthese principles can be found in British Standards and in document, and then to check at intervals that theHealth and Safety Executive (HSE) publications. Critics responsibility has been adequately discharged. This processcomplain that it is much harder to apply the principles to leads to ownership of the health and safety programme,the construction industry, and this is probably correct. and it is based on the principle of accountability.Construction differs from manufacturing industry in manyrespects, but from an organisational viewpoint it has atransient, highly mobile workforce carrying out work that is Organisingconstantly changing and where the risks are generallyhigher. The workforce is correspondingly more difficult to To make the health and safety policy effective, bothtrain, motivate and involve in corporate safety efforts. management and employees must be actively involved andTherein lies the challenge. committed. Organisations which achieve high standards in safety create and sustain a culture which motivates and involves all members of the organisation in the control ofKey elements risks. They establish, operate and maintain structures andThe key elements of successful health and safety manage- systems which are intended to:ment are: n Secure control Ð by ensuring managers lead byn Policy examplen Organising n Encourage co-operation Ð both of employees andn Planning and implementing those representing them as their trade union safetyn Measuring performance representatives or in other waysn Reviewing performance and auditing n Secure effective communication Ð by providing information about hazards, risks and preventiveThe reader interested in a complete treatment of this measurestopic is referred to the HSE publication HSG65, Successful n Achieve co-ordination of their activities both intern-Health and Safety Management. The central idea is ally between projects, sites, departments and otherviewed as a process which depends upon continual feed- operating areas, and with other organisations whichback, certainly from reviews and audits, but also during interface with themthe earlier stages, so that there is a continual, dynamic n Ensure competence Ð by assessing the skills needed tosystem in place. This model, with some variations, also carry out all tasks safely, and then by providing thelies at the heart of other management systems such as means to ensure that all employees (including tem-BS8800, ISO 18001, and the somewhat older principles of porary ones) are adequately instructed and trainedquality assurance and management which began asBS5750 and became the ISO 9000 series. In the latter Recognising the fundamental importance of this, the Man-case, as with ISO 14000, the importance of documenting agement of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999the system is stressed, as this provides an audit tool that encourage by requiring employers to recruit, select, place,is specific to the system. transfer and train on the basis of assessments and
4 TECHNIQUES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY MANAGEMENT 37capabilities, and to ensure that appropriate channels are Information from both active and reactive monitoring sys-open for access to information and specialist advice when tems should be used to identify situations that create risksrequired. and enable something to be done about them. Priority should be given to the greatest risks. The information should then be referred to people within the organisationPlanning and implementing who have the authority to take any necessary remedialPlanning ensures that health and safety efforts really work. action, and also to make any organisational and policySuccess in safety management relies on the establishment, changes which may be necessary.operation and maintenance of planning systems which: Reviewing and auditing performancen Identify objectives and targets which are attainable and relevant Auditing enables management to ensure that their policy isn Set performance standards for management, and for being carried out and that it is having the desired effect. the control of risks which are based on hazard identi- Auditing complements the monitoring programme. Eco- fication and risk assessment, and which take legal nomic auditing of a company is well established as a tool to requirements as the accepted minimum standard ensure economic stability and it has been shown thatn Consider and control risks both to employees and to similar systematic evaluation of safety performance has others who may be affected by the organisations equal benefits. activities, the structures they construct and complete and the services they provide As mentioned in the previous chapter, an audit is not then Ensure documentation of all performance standards same thing as an inspection. Essentially, the audit assesses the organisations ability to meet its own (defined) stan-Organisations which plan and control in this way can expect dards on a wide front, rather than providing a `snapshot offewer injuries and claims resulting from them, reduced a particular site or premises. Each has its uses, butinsurance costs, less absenteeism, higher productivity, inspections are part of the active monitoring system (seeimproved quality and lower operating costs. above) and audits are an element of a coherent ongoing management system. Inspections are often made as a part of the audit process.MonitoringJust like finance, the safety management system has to be The two main objectives of an audit are:monitored to establish the degree of success of theoperation. For this to happen, two types of monitoring n To ensure that standards achieved conform as closelysystem need to be operated. These are: as possible to the objectives set out in the organisa- tions safety policy, andn Active monitoring systems. They are intended to n To provide information to justify carrying on with the measure the achievement of objectives and specified same strategy, or a change of course standards before things go wrong. This involves regular inspection and checking to ensure that standards are The best health and safety audit systems are capable of being implemented and that management controls are identifying deviations from agreed standards, analysing working properly. Examples are regular inspections by events leading to these deviations and highlighting good site management, and technical inspections of equip- practice. They look especially at the `software elements of ment at specified intervals. health and safety such as systems of work, managementn Reactive monitoring systems. They are intended to practices, instruction, training and supervision as well as collect and analyse information about failures in the more traditional `hardware elements which include health and safety performance, when things do go scaffolding, machinery guarding and the use of personal wrong. This involves learning from mistakes, whether protective equipment. they result in accidents, ill health, property damage incidents or `near misses. Examples are investigation To carry out a simple audit, it is only necessary to take reports, and reviewing of risk assessments and method company documentation and turn its requirements into statements following incidents. questions. For example, if part of the written arrangements
38 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 4(in the safety policy document) require a particular person good standard of safety on site was to make sure that theto be responsible for making risk assessments, the audit foreman or supervisor was appropriately trained. Thepaperwork could ask `Have all necessary risk assessments results of the study showed that the main reasons put for-been made and `Who made them? It would be usual to ward for the presence of defects were organisational andverify the answers by interview and by seeing the docu- social, rather than any perceived lack of knowledge on themented evidence backing up the answers. part of the supervisors. It may, of course, be felt that erring supervisors were always unlikely to admit their ownAnother way of reviewing performance is by benchmarking. incompetence! They gave a wide variety of reasons forThis has become popular amongst larger companies in their inactivity on safety matters: in order of frequency,recent years. Benchmarking is simply a process of com- the most common responses are tabulated in the list onparison with other similar organisations in terms of meth- page 39.ods and systems used, and also their cost savings and otherresults from using the systems. It offers an opportunity of This study showed that reliance upon supervisors alone toevaluating comparisons of the best use of scarce resources achieve safe conditions on site may not be a successfulin the interests of safety. Cynics may point out that it also strategy. Supervisors are part of the overall safety man-gives employers the ability to judge what (minimum) steps agement system which must operate within a favourableare `reasonably practicable by reference to an industry environment, with clear responsibilities given andnorm. accountability practised, together with necessary training in the complex nature of the accident phenomenon and in solutions to health and safety problems. Supervisors andAnd if companies do not do all this? workers attitudes to safety generally reflect their per-It is, of course, quite possible to remain ignorant of all the ception of the attitudes of the employer.foregoing, and yet to run a construction business for sometime without injuring anybody. Luck is a substantial ally, Attempts to motivate the individual meet with greatestbut a fickle friend. The risks remain. The aim of the man- success when persuasion rather than compulsion is used toagement process is to identify and reduce the risks to as low achieve agreed safety objectives. Consultation with work-a point as can be achieved Ð but even then there may still ers, through representatives such as trade unions, andbe some which have not been identified or which are con- locally through the formation of safety committees, issidered to be negligible or tolerable. Where the risks have generally a successful strategy, provided that an adequatenot been reduced, the danger is greater. Often, businesses role is given to those being consulted. The importance ofthat ignore safety to a greater or lesser extent say that they consulting employees on matters affecting their health andrely upon people `to take care of themselves, and on safety has been recognised in UK law.foremen and other supervisors to control conditions on site.In some cases they are even unwise enough to put these Benefits of safety committees include the involvement ofphilosophies into writing within their safety policy state- the workforce, encouragement to accept safety standardsments. and rules, help in arriving at practicable solutions to problems and recognition of hazards which may not beIn all control measures, reliance is placed upon human apparent to management.behaviour to carry out the solutions, so a major task of anysafety management system is to assure safe behaviour by The contribution of behaviour-based safety management asmotivation, education, training and the creation of work a technique that fosters employee involvement has beenpatterns and structures which enable safe behaviour to be mentioned in the previous chapter. The technique is notpractised. Discussion of some aspects of human failure can without its critics, the more sensible of whom have pointedbe found in Chapter 11. out the danger that physical hazards may be overlooked amid the enthusiasm to `spot workers doing something wrong.In a major study carried out on construction sites in Englandin 1977, supervisors in the construction industry were asked Is it all just a pile of paperwork?to explain why deviance from good safety practice hadoccurred on sites in their charge. It had been widely At this point the reader may reasonably be asking whetherbelieved up to that time that the main factor in achieving a all the inevitable paperwork is really necessary. The fact is
4 TECHNIQUES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY MANAGEMENT 39 The most common responses of supervisors to questions on safety practice 1. Resource limitations `There are not enough staff on site to do the job properly and my attention has to go to production 2. Safety tasks seen as outside the boundaries of their `Its not my job to spot other peoples mistakes duties 3. Acceptance of hazards as inevitable `Construction work is dangerous, so people have to look out for themselves 4. Influences of the social climate on site `I dont want to become unpopular by going on about safety Ð Id always be complaining and we wouldnt get the job done 5. Industry tradition `Weve always done it that way though I know its wrong 6. Lack of technical competence `I dont know what the safe way is to do that 7. Incompatible demands upon their time `I dont have enough time to do my job properly 8. Reliance upon the worker to take care Its up to the men to look after themselves, not my job to nurse them 9. Lack of authority `I cant stop them doing that, because the progress of work would suffer 10. Lack of information `I thought it was dangerous, but I didnt know for surethat many organisations in the construction industry can visible to the regulators and the courts. The trend ispoint to `a good safety record, but one which can be towards increasing personal accountability of directors,shattered in a moment. The experience of workers, cou- and increasing responsibility in corporate governance andpled with the enthusiasm and concern of site management, sustainability. The control systems to meet those chal-can and does count for a lot. But when the magnifying glass lenges are not difficult to manage, but they need to beis turned on the management process itself, there is often measured, recorded and audited. In construction, theno evidence that the desires of the Board of Directors are emphasis is towards pre-planning. Studies by the Europeantranslated through a measurable chain reaction down to Union have shown that 65% of fatalities studied in thesite level. That is what UK law requires, and it is also what is industry have their causal origins in the pre-constructionneeded in order to provide some guarantee that the safety phase Ð design, work planning, scheduling and the like. Therecord is a matter of planning, not luck. solution that will allow us to eliminate construction hazards lies in recognising the sense in getting the paperwork right;Nobody would expect to run the financial management of a enough to do the job, but not too much so that the spirit ofbusiness without keeping accounts, without basic rules on the business is stifled by it.controlling costs. Strangely, though, many people expectto be successful in controlling site safety, the health of World best practicetheir employees and minimising environmental impactswithout having any system in place to handle it. Benchmarking against the worlds most successful con- struction companies is not for the faint-hearted. It is plainThe emphasis is now shifting away from the `employer that corporate minimum requirements must be set in orderresponsible towards the `individual responsible. One that all parts of the business can comply, where the con-reason for the introduction of the offence of `corporate struction work is spread around the world. Nevertheless,killing is to allow individual directors to be more clearly even the global minimum may be relatively high. In the
40 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 4United Kingdom, compliance with the CDM Regulations Perhaps the most interesting feature of the elements is thatallows those who do to demonstrate nearly all aspects of most of them are organisational `software rather thanworld best practice. consisting of `hardware items relating to the actual con- struction process. Many companies do have such `softwareTen major elements can be identified that are common to requirements, but their prominence and technical detailsall the worlds major contractors. There are many different vary. World best practice lies in the organisation, coupledways used to measure the extent to which each element is with in-company standards.complied with, but, in businesses where they are all found,directors can be sure that they are meeting the challenge of The role of the clientworld best practice. The client or owner is a key figure in the construction safetyn All work is done according to a managed design that management process, as the instigator of the work and the has taken safety, health and environmental issues into source of funds. Curiously, with the exception of the Eur- account, not only as they affect the end user, but also opean Union, Australia and New Zealand, the client is those constructing and maintaining the structure, and exempted worldwide from responsibility for any part of the the population of the surrounding area safe conduct of the work he has commissioned. Yet, byn All work has been assessed and steps have been taken withholding or providing adequate funds to programme to identify and control significant hazards and their (design) and carry out the work with due regard to safety, risks health and the environment, the client has a major influ-n All work is managed by staff with an appropriate ence in what happens on site. Gradually, this role is being knowledge of the safety, health and environmental recognised by national legislation. Meanwhile, some com- issues involved in the work panies are being driven by stakeholder concern inton All work is carried out by contractors and their workers adopting policies that call for refusal to work on some who are competent in safety and health matters as projects, or withdrawal from contracts where the client is well as in their particular skills, who have been verified not willing to pay for the work to be done safely. as competent and who have been given a job-specific induction to the work In the Construction (Design and Management) Regulationsn The work is done by contractors who have made 1994 (CDM), the clients main duties are contained in appropriate allowance in their tenders for necessary Regulations 6,10, 11 and 12. A client is defined as `any health and safety measures required by the demands person for whom a project is carried out, whether carried of the contract out by another person or in-house. Where projects aren Workers have been given necessary information and carried out for domestic (non-commercial) clients, most of training about the hazards and risks, and the control the CDM requirements apply neither to the contractor nor measures used to remove or minimise them to the client, unless the client is also a client of a devel-n There is a system for ensuring work is co-ordinated oper, when by Regulation 5 the domestic house developer is between groups of workers and different contractors, the de facto client until the project is completed. and that work safety issues are discussed and solutions agreed before the work begins CDM imposed criminal liability onto the client for the firstn The work is carried out in compliance with national or time. In cases where there could be multiple clients, and local standards where these exist, and in accordance otherwise, a client can appoint an agent or another client to with international good practice where they do not carry out the clients duties, and then has to make an There is a safety plan specific to the work, which declaration to the enforcing authority (the Health and Safety includes the details of the control methods applied to Executive) that the transfer of duties has been made. the hazards and risks, and a comprehensive fire, emergency and environmental plan, which is in place Under CDM, the client must: before the work to which it relates beginsn There is a system of reward for safe behaviour and n Appoint a Planning Supervisor and a Principal Con- compliance with the safety management system, and tractor in respect of each project, being satisfied that unsafe behaviour is penalised or otherwise dis- these duty holders are competent and have the couraged. resources to perform their duties adequately
4 TECHNIQUES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY MANAGEMENT 41n Not permit the construction work to start unless a as defined will have duties under CDM if the work is within health and safety plan which complies with Regulation the scope of the Regulations. 15(4) is in place for that projectn Provide the Planning Supervisor with information A summary of the CDM Regulations can be found in Part 3 of about the state or condition of the premises where the this book. `Construction work means carrying out any work is to be carried out. This is information which is building, civil engineering or engineering construction work relevant, and which the client either has or could get associated with a structure. `Structure is given a very wide after making reasonable enquiries interpretation which extends to fixed plant being com-n Satisfy himself that any designer or contractor he missioned, installed or dismantled where anyone could fall appoints directly is competent for the task and has 2 m or more. All the CDM Regulations will apply where the allocated sufficient resources to it work falls within the definition given in the Regulations Ðn Make the health and safety file available for inspection non-domestic, notifiable and where five or more persons by anyone who may need information in the file to are to be at work at any one time. Where a project is not comply with legal requirements. The client will sell or notifiable to the enforcing authority and fewer than five pass on the file to a future owner or a person acquiring persons are involved at one time, only the designer carries the interest in the property of the structure to which it CDM responsibilities (Regulation 13). The CDM (Amend- refers. ment) Regulations 2000 produced a slightly revised defini- tion of `designer.These duties are amplified in the Approved Code of Prac- Generally, work will be notifiable to the Health and Safetytice, and will come to the attention of the client because Executive where the work extends for a significant lengthdesigners have a special duty under Regulation 13 to take of time, or involves a significant quantity of work and isreasonable steps to make a client aware of his duties under done or managed by a contractor. Notifiable projects lastCDM. One of the clients major duties is to appoint a longer than 30 days, or involve more than 500 person-dayscompetent Principal Contractor for the work, and where of construction work. The only common exception to this isCDM applies there will always be one of these. In doing so, for the demolition or dismantling of a structure, to whichthe client can rely upon advice from the Planning Super- the Regulations always apply. The contractor carrying outvisor he has already appointed. work has the responsibility of notifying the Health and Safety Executive Area Office before work begins, usingSpecialist installers and maintainers may well take on other Form F10(REV). Copies of the form can be obtained fromduty holder roles in additional to that of contractor Ð in the Area Office concerned.some cases acting as Designer and/or Planning Supervisorand Principal Contractor as well. The potential for doing so A working day is one on which construction work is carriedshould be explained to the client at an early stage. The sole out, regardless of the duration of the work and whether alimitation on the number and type of roles that an indivi- weekend or public holiday is involved. A person-day is onedual contractor can take on is that competence is a basic individual, including supervisors and specialists, carryingrequirement for each role. out construction work for one normal working day or shift. Where there is any doubt over qualification for notifica-The contractor and CDM tion, projects should be notified.Under CDM, a contractor is defined as any person who Many of the Regulations do not apply when constructioncarries on a trade or business or other undertaking, work is being done for a domestic client. The domesticwhether for profit or not, in connection with which he client of a contractor does not attract any of the dutiesundertakes to or does manage construction work, or otherwise given by the CDM Regulations to commercialarranges for any person at work under his control (including clients. The following CDM Regulations do apply to workany employee, where he is an employer) to carry out or done for domestic clients:manage construction work. This definition includes theself-employed within its scope. A full definition is provided n The contractor must notify the project to the HSE, if itwithin Regulation 2. Specialist trade work is likely to be is notifiable under the definition given aboveclassed as `construction work within the meaning of the n The duties of the designer apply in full (RegulationRegulations, so specialists working on `construction work 13)
42 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 4The regulations do not apply to `minor work, or where it is n Give reasonable directions to contractors, and includedone in premises normally inspected by the local authority rules in the safety plan where necessary(see below). `Minor work is that done by people who n Ensure so far as is reasonably practicable that everynormally work on the particular premises. It is either not contractor is given information about relevant risks,notifiable, or entirely internal, or carried out in an area and ensure that all workers are given training andwhich is not physically segregated, normal work is carrying information by their employerson and the contractor has no authority to exclude people n Make arrangements to allow discussion of health andwhile it is being done. safety issues by both employees and the self- employed, and arrangements so that they can offerPremises normally inspected by the local authority include him advice, and make appropriate arrangements forthose where goods are stored for wholesale or retail dis- the co-ordination of the views of the employees ortribution, or sold. Such premises include car windscreen, their representativestyres and exhaust system replacement operations, exhibi-tion displays, offices, catering services, caravan and tem- These duties are amplified in the Approved Code of Prac-porary residential accommodation, animal care except tice. Prior to the start of work on site, the development ofvets, farms and stables, consumer services, launderettes, the safety plan is the main CDM responsibility of the Prin-sports premises and museums. cipal Contractor. Essentially, the developed plan will include risk assessments and method statements of con- tractors, the common arrangements in place for welfare,The Principal Contractor and CDM details of how the Principal Contractor will fulfil his CDMThe Principal Contractor is any person appointed for the duties, site rules and monitoring arrangements. The safetytime being by the client under Regulation 6(1)(b). There is plan is discussed further in Chapter 8.no restriction on the appointment, except that the dutyholder must be competent, be able to allocate adequate The Planning Supervisor and CDMresources for health and safety in order to carry out theduties, and the person must be a contractor. The `person The Planning Supervisor is any person appointed to themay be an individual, a company, part of a company Ð and role by the client, with the aim of helping the client tomay already hold other responsibilities and duties under comply with Regulations 8, 9 and 11. The Planning Super-CDM where competent to do so. visor is required, principally by Regulations 14 and 15 to:The appointment of the Principal Contractor is made by the 1. Ensure as far as is reasonably practicable that the designclient as soon as practicable following possession of the of any structure in the project includes adequate regardnecessary information about the candidates competence to the `three needs:and resources. The Principal Contractors duties are con- (a) The need to avoid foreseeable risks to the health andtained in Regulations 16Ð18. He must: safety of constructors, cleaners and maintainers, or anyone who might be affected by their workn Take reasonable steps to ensure that contractors co- (b) The need to combat risks to the same categories of operate people at sourcen Ensure that everyone complies with any rules in the (c) The need to give priority to measures affecting safety plan everyone in those categories rather than measuresn Take reasonable steps to ensure that only authorised protecting each individual persons enter the construction area 2. Ensure so far as is reasonably practicable that then Display particulars about the site and details about design of any structure in the project includes ade- himself and the Planning Supervisor where they can be quate information about any aspect of the project or read by workers structure, or materials, which might affect the healthn Take reasonable steps to ensure that the safety plan or safety of people in the above categories contains the correct arrangements and details until 3. Take reasonable steps to ensure co-operation between the end of the construction phase of the work designers to allow each to comply with the three needs.n Keep the Planning Supervisor up to date with items for This requires a co-ordinating function, including facil- the safety file itating the free flow of information
4 TECHNIQUES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY MANAGEMENT 434. Be in a position to give adequate advice to the client and work to be done. What will be looked for is the same in all any contractor to enable them to appoint competent cases, but the depth of enquiry should depend on the cir- designers with adequate resources to allow them to cumstances: meet the three needs, and be in a position to give similar advice to the client to appoint a competent contractor n Knowledge and understanding of the work involved5. Ensure that a Health and Safety File is prepared in n Ability to manage and prevent risks respect of each structure in a project, which contains n Working to relevant health and safety standards adequate information about any aspect of the structure n The capacity to apply the knowledge or materials which might affect the health or safety of n Availability of adequate resources (including plant, people in the above categories machinery, technical knowledge, trained personnel,6. Review, amend or add to the health and safety file as time) necessary during the work, and on completion of the work on each structure to deliver the file to the client Even the smallest contractors working under CDM must7. Ensure that a Health and Safety Plan covering the pro- therefore expect to be asked about their competence and posed construction work has been prepared so as to resources. To satisfy questioners, they will need to have allow a copy to be provided to each contractor before available, as a minimum: arrangements are made for that contractor to start or manage construction work n An up-to-date safety policy statement, which speci-8. (Potentially) advise the client that the Health and fies the means used to audit and monitor the policy and Safety Plan complies with Regulation 15(4) before the activities on site, and the means of showing com- client authorises the construction phase of the work to pliance with the Management Regulations 1999. For start. most contractors, this requires recording of the arrangements made to effectively plan, organise,The Planning Supervisors duties do not extend to the control, monitor and review the preventive and pro-making of requirements as to the construction methods tective measuresused, or to carry out any health and safety management n Risk assessments covering their common activities tofunction in respect of contractors or the work. These which significant risks are attached. Although there isduties may, of course, be carried out by the person acting no requirement for contractors employing fewer thanboth as Planning Supervisor and in another capacity on five people to have either a written safety policy orthe project. written risk assessments, not having done so is likely to place them at a disadvantage Ð references from other contractors would be useful in that caseCompetence, qualification and selection n Method statements covering activities where the risksunder CDM are properly controlled by this means, identifyingIt is a central feature of CDM that all duty holders (except standard methods and precautionsthe client) must be competent, and the Regulations specify n Biographies for project managers or those in charge ofthat certain steps must be taken to ensure that only com- the work, identifying previous experience and/orpetent duty holders are selected. No contractor can be qualificationsemployed to carry out or manage construction work unlessthe person employing them is satisfied as to their compe- Competence checks of contractors can be made in twotence. That duty will only be discharged when reasonable stages Ð one when a general assessment is made as part of asteps have been taken, which include making reasonable pre-contract qualification process, and secondly as part ofenquiries or seeking advice where necessary. a project-specific check. At either stage, competence checks may include:A great deal of time and energy has been devoted to thecompletion and collection of questionnaires which have n Arrangements in place to manage health and safetybeen used by several of the parties to CDM to attempt to actively Ð risk assessments, safety policy, appoint-demonstrate competence. The present view of the HSE is ment of competent persons, for examplethat much of this has been unnecessary. The extent of the n Procedures the contractor will follow to develop andenquiries and what is reasonable depends on the sort of implement the Health and Safety Plan
44 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 4n Arrangements for training of site management and and ability to carry out the duties. Checks made on other employees contractors will also be relevant to this appointment Ð then Specific approaches to deal with high-risk activities Principal Contractor is only a contractor with heightened identified in the pre-tender Health and Safety Plan responsibilities. Therefore, the steps taken to make checks (which may well not specify detailed control steps) which will be considered reasonable by the enforcingn The people who will be managing and carrying out the authority will also be valid for other contractors: work Ð qualifications, competence, training, skillsn The time allocated to do the work with minimum risk n The people who will be managing the work Ð their to health and safety skills, knowledge, experience, training, numbers, relevant qualificationsMaking checks by questionnaire is not mandatory Ð as n The time allowed to complete various stages of thementioned above, the HSE indicates that excessive reliance workon documentation may be unwise, and that more personal n Knowledge of health and safety requirements and theapproaches such as interviews, project visits and taking up way compliance will be ensuredreferences are likely to yield better-quality information. n Ability to work with other contractors and co-ordinate themThe client is required to make a number of specific checks n Technical and managerial approach to dealing with theabout the competency of the Planning Supervisor before risks identified within the Health and Safety Planmaking the appointment, in respect of his knowledge and n The technical resources available to aid staffability to carry out the duties. Steps which will be con-sidered reasonable by the enforcing authority include ask- The Health and Safety Fileing questions about: The Health and Safety File is a collection of documentsn Knowledge of construction practice relative to the showing the methods and means of construction of a particular project structure, for the benefit of anyone who carries out con-n Familiarity with and knowledge of the design function struction work on the structure at any time after comple-n Knowledge of health and safety requirements tion of the current project. It provides information whichn Ability to work with and co-ordinate the activities of otherwise might rest only in the minds of those who built or different designers modified the structure, or in documents which mightn Ability to facilitate dialogue between designers and otherwise have been destroyed at the end of work on it. constructors Regulation 14 of CDM requires the Planning Supervisor ton The number, experience and qualifications of the amend and add to the file so that it contains the required employees who will carry out the duties and functions, information when handed over to the client. The client is both internally and externally resourced then placed under a duty by Regulation 12 to make the filen The management systems to be used to monitor the available for inspection and pass it to the next owner of the correct allocation of his people and resources structure.n The time allocated to carry out the various dutiesn Technical resources available to aid staff The contents of the file are detailed in Regulation 14, and expanded within the Approved Code of Practice which givesSimilarly, the client is required to make specific checks on practical examples of potential contents. The following isthe competency of his proposed Principal Contractor an illustrative example.before making the appointment, in respect of knowledge
4 TECHNIQUES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY MANAGEMENT 45A sample Health and Safety FileDrawings Record drawings and plans used and produced throughout the construction process, along with any design criteriaMethod details Construction techniques, methods, materials used and any special characteristicsEquipment Details of the structures equipment and its maintenance facilitiesMaintenance Details of the maintenance requirements and procedures for the structure as a wholeManuals Those produced by specialist contractors and suppliers in relation to equipment and plant installed as part of the structure, outlining maintenance and operating procedures, schedules and the likeUtilities Details of the location and nature of utilities and services installed or supplied to the structure, including emergency and fire fighting systems.
5 The Safety PolicyPrevious chapters have discussed the main principles of to make sure the policy does not contain a hopeful list ofsafety management Ð but what do they mean in practice? wishes that are never likely to be fulfilled.How do they relate to the employee? Communicating thepractices and procedures developed by a business requires Legal requirementsa powerful tool, and this is the safety policy Ð the coredocument in the management of safety anywhere, not just The original legal requirement for employers to create andin the construction industry. publish safety policies is to be found in section 2(3) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. This requiresManagement commitment must be demonstrated by the written safety policy statements to be created by allmost effective means. For most contractors, the law employers, except for the smallest organisations (thoserequires that this is done by issuing a safety policy state- with fewer than five employees). The statement itself is anment, a document signed and dated by the most senior expression of management intention, and as such does notmember of the management team. The continuing role of need to contain detail. What is usually referred to as `themanagement is then to ensure that the requirements of the safety policy will contain this statement, together withpolicy are actively carried out by managers, supervisors and the details of the organisation (responsibilities at eachemployees alike. level within the operation) and the arrangements (how health and safety will be managed, in detail). These con-Lack of firm management direction encourages the belief tents are prescribed by the Act, which gives no furtherthat `safety is someone elses business. Without active advice on the content or the level of detail required.support at all levels in an organisation, any attempt at thecontrol of accidents and ill-health will be useless Ð or even As the key document pulling all the threads of the man-worse than useless, since there may be an illusion that agement process together, the safety policy will detail theenvironment, safety and health concerns are identified and arrangements made to comply with relevant regulations,under control, resulting in complacency. The management including the Management of Health and Safety at Workof these concerns requires a sustained, integrated effort Regulations 1999 (MHSWR), which cover effective planning,from everyone Ð directors or partners, contract and pro- organisation, control, monitoring and review of controlject managers, planners, buyers, site managers, super- measures, and the Provision and Use of Work Equipmentvisors, foremen and everyone who works on site, in an Regulations 1998. Many regulations contain words likeoffice or in any other premises managed by the business. `adequate, `suitable and `sufficient, which need to be defined in the organisations own terms. The safety policyPolicies are under constant scrutiny from a variety of is the place to do that.interested parties, because only senior management canprovide the authority to ensure that safety management is The policy in practiceproperly co-ordinated, directed and funded. Its influencewill be seen in the way the policy is written, the amount of Safety policies, as written statements of the intentions ofattention it gets and what happens to anyone who decides management, acquire a quasi-legal status. Among othernot to follow it. Most construction employers now have things, they serve as a record of the intended standard ofsafety policies in place, but they need to be kept up to care to be provided by the employer. This offers a usefuldate. The objective is to reflect what actually happens, and method of evaluating an organisation in terms of health and
5 THE SAFETY POLICY 47safety, especially because its standards, beliefs and com- Some employers have devised their safety policy as partmitments are on public view and potentially measurable. of a documentation system set up for BS EN ISO 9000 andTherefore, sight of the document will be useful when 14000 purposes, and there is much to commend an inte-evaluating another contractors competence. grated approach to the management of safety, health and quality. However, it must be remembered that possessionIn the construction industry, evidence of competence in of an adequate safety policy is a legal requirement, andhealth and safety terms can be hard to find, although to do the law will not be complied with if the safety policy isso is a legal requirement under the Construction (Design hidden or hard to find so that it is not effectivelyand Management) Regulations (CDM). Any `safety paper- `brought to the attention of all employees as required bywork generated by a contractor will be asked for, and may the Act.be evaluated by people with little or no training in safety,using a checklist. Some checklists refer to more than 150 Policy contentsitems which the senders expect to be contained in a safetypolicy. Keeping a policy simple and straightforward makes The length of the document is not necessarily an indicationit understandable to the employees Ð who are the people of worth or usefulness, although a policy which occupieswho have to be able to read and understand it, and comply only a page or two in total is unlikely to contain the detailwith it. On the other hand, keeping it simple may lead to required, regardless of the size of the business. What isomissions, which may in turn result in failure of the policy important is that the employers general statement is shortto pass `inspection by third parties. but comprehensive, and that the policy document describes the organisation and arrangements that areThe most recent guidance from the HSE indicates that actually in force.passing out questionnaires may be unproductive, and thatthere are likely to be more effective ways to gauge com- The general statement of policy should contain anpetence. These include partnering exercises and setting up expression of the employers intentions. This should notinterviews with prospective contractors where their place primary reliance on the safe behaviour of employees.responses can be gauged more accurately. Demands that employees take care of themselves, and comply with what is all too often a long list of `dontsOthers may wish to use a safety policy for different pur- backed by disciplinary threats, are not likely to be met withposes Ð to gauge the record and intentions or ability of a approval by anyone looking for evidence of managementpossible business partner, and, importantly, for the pur- competence. The following should be covered in the gen-pose of establishing an employers self-assessed standard of eral statement:care as a prelude to making a civil claim for damages.Claimants may be able to use any extravagant wording or n A clear statement of intent to provide safe and healthyundertakings to back up compensation claims, as any fail- working conditionsure to achieve whatever commitments are made in a safety n A clear declaration of intent that work will notpolicy may be viewed by courts as amounting to negligence. adversely affect others or the environmentSimilarly, the duties of employees set out in the safety n Reference to arrangements made for joint consulta-policy may define for a court what constitutes taking tion with employees`reasonable care of themselves and others. n Commitments to: N provide adequate funds and facilities to ensure the success of the policyManuals and QA systems N comply with all applicable legal requirementsIt is important to distinguish between a safety policy and a N seek the co-operation of all employeessafety manual Ð these are not the same thing, but are often N bring the policy to the attention of all employeesfound combined. The safety policy will refer to the manualfor details on technical points. The main problem is that the At the foot of the general statement, the policy documentlikelihood of a document being read is inversely propor- should be signed and dated by the top person in the busi-tional to its length and complexity! Current opinion is that ness Ð usually the Managing Director or Chief Executivesafety policies should be shorter rather than longer, and Officer. Dating the policy should act as a prompt for itsaccompanied by explanatory manuals. regular review and reissue, probably annually, while sign-
48 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 5ing it provides the commitment from the top that is an assessments are to be recorded where there are five oressential part of safety management. more employees. The practicality of attaching risk assess- ments in full to the safety policy document is such that itThe part of the policy dealing with the organisation is may be simpler to include only the significant risks identi-usually considered to require a clear recording of duties fied and their controls. A manual of risk assessments canand responsibilities at all levels Ðnot just of management easily be referred to from within the safety policy docu-but also of the employees. To avoid mistakes and omissions, ment, whereas the inclusion of the assessments within theeverybody needs to know exactly what they have to do, and policy itself will make for unnecessary bulk.what their personal responsibilities are. One of the functions of the policy document is to serve as aAn essential requirement for management involvement at focus for induction training, and so enough information onall levels is to define health and safety responsibility in each topic should be included so that employees under-detail within the written document, and then to check at stand what happens. Topics which should be considered forintervals that the responsibility has been adequately dis- inclusion in the `arrangements section of the safety policycharged. This is accountability Ð the primary key to man- will depend on the particular business activities beingagement action. It is not the same thing as responsibility; covered by the policy.accountability is responsibility that is evaluated andmeasured, possibly during appraisal sessions. Final and The following list of matters which may be considered forformal responsibility should be given to a named director or inclusion under `Arrangements has been compiled frompartner, who will be held formally responsible for health several sources, notably the many detailed checklists usedand safety matters in the business. by local authorities to evaluate the safety policies of con- tractors. It is likely to be impossible to satisfy all those withResponsibilities should be defined specifically for: an interest in the subject, and these suggested main headings are offered as a guide only. It is also possible ton The formal appointment of competent person(s) to argue a case that several of the topics will have been assist and advise on compliance adequately covered elsewhere by risk assessments.n Making risk assessments for all work activities Ð including manual handling, issue of personal protec- n Role and functions of health and safety professional tive equipment, users of display screen equipment and staff other work equipment, and for COSHH substances n Allocation of finance for health and safetyn Assessing safety training needs within the business and n Systems used to monitor safety performance (not just providing the training injury recording)n Ensuring the competence of subcontractors n Identification of main hazards likely to be encounteredn Compliance with CDM requirements by the workforcen Monitoring compliance with the policy, including site n Generic risk assessments Ð significant findings visits by senior management n Any circumstances when specific risk assessments willn Attending pre-start meetings with other contractors be requiredn Responding to employee initiatives and requests or n Arrangements (or cross-references) for dealing with suggestions thesen Maintaining contacts with external sources of advice n The use of method statements within the organisation n Safety training policy, and summary details ofThe `arrangements part of the policy should describe how arrangementsthings actually get done. All except the most general of the n Design safety policyarrangements should be derived from or checked against n Fire and emergency arrangements for sites and officesthe risk assessments required by the MHSWR and others. n Responsibilities under CDM Ð design, safety plan,The assessments need to be mentioned in the policy, safety filebecause someone will have been given the responsibility to n Maintenance of required documentationcarry them out, and so the method by which the assess- n Safe systems of work appropriate to the business,ments are made Ð the arrangements Ð should be detailed. including permit to work systemsMHSWR requires that the significant findings of risk n Arrangements for inspecting, testing and maintaining
5 THE SAFETY POLICY 49 mechanical and electrical work equipment and Circulation/distribution of the policy is important Ð it systems must be `brought to the attention of all the employees.n Certification of those working with identified equip- This means that it must be read and understood by all those ment such as dumpers, lifting equipment and transport affected by it. How this is best achieved will be a matter forn Arrangements for working in occupied premises discussion.n Occupational health facilities, including first-aidn Environmental impact statement In some organisations, a complete copy is given to eachn Environmental monitoring policy and other arrange- employee. In others, a shortened version is given out, with ments a full copy available for inspection at each workplace.n Purchasing policy (e.g. on safety of plant, noise, Members of the management team should be familiar with chemicals) the complete document. If it is likely to be revised fre-n Methods of reporting and investigating accidents and quently, a loose-leaf format will be advisable. This is incidents especially true if the names and contact phone numbers ofn Arrangements for the qualification of subcontractors staff are printed in it; these are likely to change frequently.n Control of visitors to sitesn Personal protective equipment policy, requirements, A growing problem is the increasing use of workers whose availability native language is not English. It is hard to see how an Worker consultation arrangements (e.g. the role and document can be brought to someones attention if they functions of safety committees and employee repre- are unable to read it, and this implies translation of the sentatives) policy into relevant languages.n Revising the policy itself Ð arrangements, frequency, document distribution `Off the shelf safety policies Experience suggests that policies written by someone elseOther safety policy considerations may fail to achieve the desired practical, or maybe evenThe inclusion of an organisation chart can be helpful, legal, effects. Several commercially-available `boilerespecially in larger organisations, to clarify the reporting plate model policies can be bought, including one by thelines between different functional areas of the business. HSE, but they all require adjustment to the particular needs of the organisation. Because of the many uses toRevision of safety policies should be done at regular which the safety policy is put, it is well to be aware thatintervals, ideally annually. The purpose of this is to ensure legal compliance is only the first of the requirements for athat the stated organisation and arrangements are still successful policy to meet. Successful policies are thoseapplicable to the organisations needs. After changes in which satisfy all the needs of the organisation.structure, senior personnel, work arrangements, processesor premises the hazards and risks may change. After inci- As with risk assessments, the administrative burden ofdents and accidents, one of the objectives of the investi- producing a safety policy falls more heavily on the smallergation will be to check that the arrangements in force had organisation. Nevertheless, there is value for them inanticipated the circumstances and foreseen the causes of carrying out the exercise Ð small construction businessesthe accident. If they had not, then a change to the policy tend to have proportionally more accidents to their work-will be required. The revision mechanism should be written ers, can engage in high-risk activities and will benefit frominto the policy arrangements section. a review of the hazards their employees face.
6 Assessing the RisksThere are at least two senses in which risk assessment has order to take decisions on controls which are both appro-been carried out subconsciously over a long period. Firstly, priate and cost-effective.we all make assessments many times each day of therelative likelihood of undesirable consequences arising Types of risk assessmentfrom our actions in particular circumstances. Whether tocross a road by the lights or take a chance in the traffic is There are two major types of risk assessment, which are notone such. In making a judgement we evaluate the chance of mutually exclusive. The first produces an objective prob-injury and also its likely severity. ability estimate based upon known risk information applied to the circumstances being considered Ð this is a quanti-The second sense of risk assessment is based on the tative risk assessment. The second type is subjective,employers requirement under many sections of the Health based upon personal judgement backed by generalised dataand Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 to take reasonably prac- on risk Ð the qualitative assessment. Except in cases ofticable precautions in various areas to safeguard employees especially high risk, public concern, or where the severityand other parties. This requires the making of a balanced consequences of an accident are felt to be large andjudgement about the extent of a particular risk and its widespread, qualitative risk assessments are adequate forconsequences against the time, trouble and cost of the their purpose Ð and much simpler to make. The legalsteps needed to remove or reduce it. If the cost is `grossly requirements refer to this type of assessment unless thedisproportionate, as a judge once put it, we are able to say circumstances require more rigorous methods to be used.that the steps are not reasonably practicable. Thus, in avery real sense, risk assessments have been carried out at Because of the dynamic nature of construction work Ð withleast since 1974 in the UK. fast-moving, changing hazards, for example Ð the risk assessment process can be more difficult than in an industryThe difference between these assessments and those where the work process is essentially static and repetitive.required by the MHSWR is that the significant results must For this reason, many construction employers use genericbe recorded by most employers, and information based on or model assessments covering the generalities of parti-them is to be given to employees in a much more specific cular tasks or activities, which can then be made site-way than before. When the formal requirement first came specific relatively quickly. These are most appropriateinto force at the beginning of 1993, those carrying out the where there is a similarity to activities, and the hazards andstatutory assessments found that some activities were risks associated with them, although they will be carriedbeing viewed afresh for the first time. The exercise was out in different physical areas or workplaces. In principle,useful as it forced challenges to long-held assumptions the use of generic risk assessments has much to commendabout the safety of traditional work practices Ð which it. It saves reinventing solutions for commonplace tasksoften did not stand up to the scrutiny. where the risks are likely to be much the same each time the task is done. But, where they are used, it is very important to make sure that they have been tailored to theBenefits particular situation so as to evaluate the actual risks andRisk assessment is done to enable control measures to be not just `average or `hypothetical ones.devised. We need to have an idea of the relative impor-tance of risks and to know as much about them as we can in In the construction industry there are likely to be
6 ASSESSING THE RISKS 51situations in specific areas or on specific occasions where assessment which will satisfy minimum requirements in thea generic assessment will not be sufficiently detailed, and view of the enforcing authority. For example:those circumstances should be indicated in the safetypolicy to alert to the need to take further action. There `An assessment of risk is nothing more than a carefulmay also be work situations where hazards associated examination of what, in your work, could cause harm towith particular situations will be unique, so that a special people so that you can weigh up whether you have takenassessment must be made every time that the work is enough precautions or should do more . . .done. A more sophisticated approach will often be requiredTo describe the safe system of work which such a risk where hazards and risks are changing frequently, as in theassessment shows to be necessary, a method statement construction industry, and also where clients, work part-may be required Ð for example: for demolition work, the ners and other external organisations seek evidence oferection of steel structures and asbestos removal. Method more detailed analysis than `Five Steps to Risk Assessmentstatements will be discussed later in this chapter, but it is is likely to provide. There is no shortage of more compli-worth observing at this point that risk assessments are used cated commercial systems, and these are often computer-to generate method statements which are themselves a based so as to enable quick updating in changing conditionsstated sequence of events designed to minimise risks by and rapid review.giving advance warning, knowledge and information to therecipients. The above comments have been directed at general activity risk assessments. It is easy to forget that more specific assessments could be required in order to complyContents of risk assessments with (for example) the Manual Handling Operations Regu-Significant findings are to be recorded where five or more lations, the Display Screen Equipment Regulations (whichpeople are employed by an employer. According to the apply to display screens in use in site offices) and theMHSWR Approved Code of Practice, the record should assessment requirements within the Personal Protectivecontain a statement of the significant hazards identified, Equipment Regulations. These are addressed in more detailthe control measures in place, the extent to which they later in this chapter.control the risk(s) and the population exposed to therisk(s). Cross-reference can be made to manuals and other Hazard evaluationdocuments. Any risks which remain uncontrolled should behighlighted; some companies collate them in `residual risk The hazards to be identified are those associated withregisters for easy reference. machinery, equipment, tools, procedures, tasks, processes and the physical aspects of the plant and the site orAs the regulations require review of assessments in speci- premises where the work will be done Ð everything. Eva-fied circumstances, and as it will be necessary to review for luation of the hazards is achieved by assembling informa-changed circumstances over time, it would be prudent to tion from those familiar with the hazards, such as insuranceinclude in the documentation a note of the date the companies, professional societies, government depart-assessment was made and the date for the next regular ments and agencies, manufacturers, consultants and tradereview. Similarly, it would be wise to include a note to unions. Learning from records, including old inspectionemployees reminding them of their duties under MHSWR to reports (both internally and externally produced), accidentinform the employer of any circumstances which might reports and standards is also important.indicate a shortcoming in an assessment. Even so, some hazards may not be readily identifiable, andIn 1994 the HSE published guidance entitled `Five Steps to there are techniques which can be applied to assist in thisRisk Assessment, a leaflet setting out the most basic steps respect. These include inductive analysis, which predictsin the process and providing a specimen format for failures Ð failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA) is onerecording the findings of assessments. The leaflet has since of these; job safety analysis (JSA) is another. Inductivebeen updated and reissued. The simplistic approach pre- analysis assumes failure has occurred and then examinessented has much to commend it. Comments contained in ways in which this could have happened by using logicthe text give useful pointers to the approach to risk diagrams. This is time-consuming, and therefore expen-
52 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 6sive, but it is extremely thorough. MORT (management It is very important to involve those actually doing the joboversight and risk tree) analysis is an example which is not in the analysis process. They are likely to have mostdifficult to use. knowledge of how the job is actually done, and also fre- quently volunteer practical solutions which may not be evident to those without personal experience of the work.Job safety analysisOnce a task has been identified as hazardous, controls No matter what system is used in job safety analysis, theneed to be applied. For complex tasks, analysis may be process is time-consuming and there must be a selectionrequired to sort out the component parts of what is actu- process to avoid unnecessary effort. Factors influencingally going to be done. This can result in task improve- selection will include known levels of risk (what could goments and risk reduction. A formal technique for doing wrong and the extent of loss or damage if it did), any legalthis is known as job safety analysis, which has developed requirements, the number of people carrying out the taskfrom work study practices. Essentially, the task is and whether they are familiar with it. The resulting writtenobserved, and broken down into steps or stages which are safe system of work will be very useful for training pur-then examined for the level of risk involved (Table 6.1). poses, as it will detail all the problems and the selectedControl measures are then worked out, and the paper- solutions. It will also be available to managers and super-work is then used to generate a written safe system of visors.work. Naturally, the tasks selected need to be reviewedat intervals to make sure that the analysis and solutions Ranking hazards by riskremain valid over time. There may be occasions when a priority list for action will be called for. Techniques for producing a ranking vary from Table 6.1: Analysis of potential hazards in complex the very simple to the very complex. What is looked for is a tasks by job safety analysis (JSA) priority list of hazards to be controlled, on a `worst first Select the job/task to be analysed basis. Break the job into logical steps The following system gives a simple way to determine the relative importance of risks (Table 6.2). It takes account of Identify the hazards in each step the consequence (likely severity) and the probability of the Devise risk elimination or reductions for the hazards event occurring. Estimation of the first is easier than the identified second, as data may not be available for all hazards. Esti- mates derived from experience can be used. It is possible to Record the JSA carry out ranking using a simple formula, where risk = severity estimate 6 probability estimate. These estimates Review and update the JSA as necessary can be given any values, as long as they are consistently used. The simplest set of values offers a 16-point scale byIn practice, the most difficult part of job safety analysis is multiplying the estimates (Table 6.2).to split tasks up into a sequence of steps. A computerprogram is a series of steps, but this would be far too The categories are capable of much further refinement.detailed for these purposes. One obvious step could be `Get Words like `time can be defined, increasing if necessaryinto the driving position, and some hazard might be then the number of categories. Many organisations increase theidentified such as the potential to slip on bodywork while categories to take account of numbers exposed to thedoing so, leading to the job safety instruction `Always use hazard as well as the duration of exposure. However, thethe step and handhold provided. A computer program more precise the definitions, the more it will be necessarywould be operating at the much more detailed level of `Lift to possess accurate predictive data.right foot, extend right leg, place foot on vehicle, and soon. The need is to identify the critical steps which add It should also be noted that ranking systems of this kindsomething to the task. For this reason it is always necessary introduce their own problems, which must be addressed, orto begin the analysis by observing the task, possibly making at the least known to the user. One is that longer-terma video as a reference. health hazards may receive inadequate evaluation because
6 ASSESSING THE RISKS 53 this Ð a 3- to 5-year period is often associated with health Table 6.2: Assessment of the relative importance of and safety improvements. Using these techniques can risks direct an organisations resources to where they will be Severity rating of Hazard Value most effective. Catastrophic Ð imminent danger exists, 1 hazard capable of causing death and illness Controlling the risks on a wide scale. Critical Ð hazard can result in serious illness, 2 It is necessary to be aware that some corrective measures severe injury, property and equipment are better able to produce the desired results than others, damage. and that some are very ineffective indeed as controls. The Marginal Ð hazard can cause illness, injury 3 safety precedence sequence shows the order of effec- or equipment damage, but the results would tiveness of measures: not be expected to be serious. Negligible Ð hazard will not result in serious 4 n Hazard elimination (e.g. use of alternatives, design injury or illness, remote possibility of improvements, deciding not to attempt the work) damage beyond minor first aid case. n Substitution (e.g. replacement of a chemical with one with less risk, using a more appropriate (safer) piece of Probability rating of hazard Value equipment) Probable Ð likely to occur immediately or 1 n Use of barriers: shortly N isolation (removes hazard from the worker, puts Reasonably probable Ð probably will occur 2 hazard in a box, e.g. physical isolation of noisy in time plant) Remote Ð may occur in time 3 N segregation (removes worker from the hazard, Extremely remote Ð unlikely to occur 4 puts worker in a box, e.g. a plant drivers cabin) n Use of procedures: N limiting exposure time, dilution of exposureof lack of data. Another is that hazards of low severity but N safe systems of work, which depend on humanhigh frequency can produce the same risk score through responsemultiplication as high severity, low frequency ones. n Use of warning systems Ð signs, instructions, labels,Although the scores may be the same, the response to them which depend on human responsein terms of priority for correction may be very different. n Use of personal protective equipment Ð depends onAccess to good data, and evaluation and categorisation by human response, to be used as a sole measure onlyexperts are possible cures. when all other options have been exhausted, personal protective equipment (PPE) is the last resortDecision-making Regulations require that PPE should only be used if there isThis process requires information to be available on alter- no immediately feasible way to control the risk by morenatives to the hazard, also on other methods of controlling effective means, and as a temporary measure pendingthe risk. Factors which will influence decision-making are installation of more effective solutions. Disadvantages oftraining, the possibility of replacement of equipment or PPE include: interference with ability to carry out the task,plant, design modification possibilities and the cost of the PPE may fail and expose the wearer/user to the fullsolutions proposed. Cost benefit analysis will be used effect of the hazard and continued use may mask the pre-formally or informally at this point. sence of the hazard and may result in no further preventive action being taken.Cost benefit analysis requires a value to be placed upon thecosts of improvements suggested or decided upon. These Communal protection by incorporating fixed barriers andwill include the cost of reducing the risk, eliminating the guardrails into designs reduces the need for use of personalhazard, any capital expenditure needed and any ongoing protective equipment by contractors and maintenancecosts applicable. An estimate of the pay-back period will be staff. PPE always requires at least one positive human actneeded. Decisions on action to be taken are often based on before it can be effective Ð that of making use of it.
54 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 6Monitoring It may be helpful to consider the use of generic assessments that can be made site-specific as required; a commercialRisk assessments must be checked to ensure their validity, system marketed by Hascom Network Ltd is shown here byor when reports indicate that they may no longer be valid. permission (Fig. 6.1). The classification of risks into simpleIt is important to remember that fresh assessments will be categories avoids the use of numbers as discussed aboverequired when the risks change as conditions change, and and the system allows most of the work to be done inalso when new situations and conditions are encountered advance. All that is required is for any hazards not identi-for the first time. Other information relevant to risk fied on the front page to be written up together with theirassessments will come from monitoring by way of inspec- control measures on the back page, the identification oftion, air quality monitoring and other measurements, and `serious and imminent danger as required by MHSWR to behealth surveillance. made and the document signed off. Space is allowed to draw the users attention to any circumstances that willHealth surveillance require an extra or more detailed examination to be made of the circumstances. The Quick Reference Guide in Part 2Risk assessments will identify circumstances where health of this book contains details of the sort of information thatsurveillance will be appropriate. Legal requirements for should be written into the generic section of the form for asuch surveillance extend beyond exposure to substances range of construction activities.hazardous to health. Generally, there will be a need ifthere is an identifiable disease or health condition relatedto the work, there is a valid technique for its identification, Project risk assessmentsthere is a likelihood that the disease or condition may occur Before work begins it will be necessary to make a preliminaryas a result of the work, and the surveillance will protect risk assessment of the work to be carried out, in order to drawfurther the health of employees. Examples where these up a pre-construction phase safety plan to comply with CDMconditions may apply are vibration white finger and forms and best practice. The project risk assessment is an eva-of work-related upper limb disorders (WRULDs). luation of the principal hazards believed likely to be present during the construction phase of the work, allowing due importance to be placed on them and the allocation ofInformation to others necessary resources and planning to reduce the risk of injuryMHSWR requires co-operation and sharing of information to an appropriate and acceptable level. The project riskbetween contractors working on the same site, and assessment should take place at an early stage, and itsbetween contractors and clients or owners of property completion is intended to provide sufficient information foraffected by the work. Risk assessments will form the basis the writing or reviewing of the sites safety plan.of that information. In formal circumstances of contract,there may be a contractual or legal requirement to Regardless of who will carry out this task, experience showsexchange risk assessment data. The information given to that the simplest way of doing this is to form a small teamothers about risks must include the health and safety of people likely to be associated with the project. Togethermeasures in place to address them, and be sufficient to with copies of the drawings and other relevant informationallow the other employers to identify anyone nominated to such as specifications and designers information, the workhelp with emergency evacuation. can be broken down into steps in the same way as for a job safety analysis. If the project is complex, or many con- tractors are going to be involved, then organisations willFormat of risk assessments find it useful to draw up a checklist to make sure that all theThere is no prescribed format for risk assessments. Health hazards have been included in the discussion. The checklistand Safety Executive guidance is limited to `Five Steps to could be based upon a list of construction hazards known toRisk Assessment, which is considered to be insufficiently produce the highest risks, but there are many ways ofdetailed for construction industry needs, and specimen arriving at the same result.examples in the guidance material associated with theManual Handling Operations Regulations and the Health The output of the exercise should be a list of those activitiesand Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations (see where contractors work needs to be co-ordinated or wherebelow). special training and skills will be required, where a particular
6 ASSESSING THE RISKS 55method of work must be specified in advance, and where risk should be added, carrying the names of those who took partassessments and method statements need to be produced by in the risk assessment and the date. The work should also bethe contractor before work is authorised to start. The signed off by the person who will be in charge of the workexercise will also identify matters that must be addressed in where they were not involved in the assessment process.site-specific fire, emergency and environmental plans.There is no required method of carrying out a project risk Scoring guideassessment. It is suggested that whatever method is used,the deliberations and results should be recorded in some (a) Consequences (consider health, property damage,form so that decisions taken can be justified by reference to environment, programme loss as well as injury)a `paper trail if necessary. Where decisions about what is Score: 3 Ð First aid treatmentreasonably practicable are taken, recording the process will 6 Ð Lost-time injury`show the working. The important issue is to achieve the 9 Ð Major injury/permanentobjective of risk assessment rather than to use any particular disablementmethodology. Although the major risk assessment work will 12 Ð Fatalitybe carried out prior to writing the safety plan, it should be 15 Ð Multiple fatalityremembered that risks change with circumstances, and theassessment as well as the safety plan must be kept under (b) Number of workers exposed to hazardreview to enable both to accommodate changes. Score: 2 Ð 1 4 Ð 2Ð5The checklist that follows contains some additional 6 Ð 6Ð20features that require explanation. One method of deciding 8 Ð 21Ð100whether a method statement will be required is to put a 10 Ð 101+numerical value on the size of the perceived risk. In thiscase the parameters used to estimate the size of the risk (c) Probability of harm with control measures inare the consequences (severity of the outcome), the placenumbers exposed to the hazard and the probability of harm Score: 4 Ð Happens once or twice annuallyoccurring with the stated control measures in place. Values throughout the country or regionfor the first and last categories can be supplied in advance 8 Ð Happens regularly throughoutof the use of the form if desired. The formula used for regionderiving the risk rating is not based upon any particular 12 Ð Happens once or twice locally onpiece of research; it shows only one possible view of the sitesrelative importance of the three categories selected. 16 Ð Happens regularly locally on job- sitesOnce the risk rating is established in relation to a particular 20 Ð Certain or very likely to happentask or activity, the risk rating can be compared with the on this sitescale to see whether a method statement should be calledfor. Of course, an organisation may wish to set a higher Upon the risk assessment charts (Fig. 6.2), place a boldstandard than this by revising the formula, or the scale itself. dot . in the appropriate places in order to obtain a visualSeveral companies have decided that they will always ask for impression of the risk areas.a method statement from every contractor; this system is The risk rating can be calculated from the formula:designed simply to offer a decision method which may proveof interest to the reader. Intermediate values can be used Ð risk rating = a (b + c)the scoring is not restricted to the numbers shown. Determine the risk category from the following scale of risk ratings:The reader is invited to develop the principle of thechecklist to make it relevant for particular needs. It is not 18 60 90 130 450implied that the questions used here constitute a complete Low Moderate Substantial Highreview of all those activities likely to prove hazardous on a Risk Categoriesparticular site. At the end of the checklist a sign-off sheet
56 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 6PRACTICAL COMPLIANCE requires suppliers to provide the necessary information. It is a good plan to keep all this information together in a fileAlthough this chapter deals with the subject of risk for easy reference. Employers have the responsibility forassessment, for the readers convenience the wider issue of making the risk assessments; the only requirement is thatcontrol measures following some types of assessment is also the person doing the assessment knows what the regula-covered here. This is intended to avoid the need for con- tions require, and has the information and knowledgestant reference to other chapters. needed to make decisions about risks and controls. Most employers are able to make adequate assessments forCOSHH assessments themselves, except for complex substances and for com- plex risks.The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations2002 (COSHH) are very detailed, and contain several pro- Employees and safety representatives should be involved invisions which will not concern contractors directly. For the process, as they often have practical information onpractical purposes, they can be complied with by following risks at work which may not be known to management. Theseven basic steps: law requires that they are told about the results of the assessment.n Carrying out risk assessments of `COSHH substances Ð see Part 3 for definitions of these COSHH requirements extend to the assessment of risks ton Working out what precautions are needed to deal with other people and the provision of control measures. This the hazards identified and introducing control means that visitors to premises, and those employees who measures to prevent or control exposure to the work on the premises of others, must have any risks to them hazardous substance assessed by the employer.n Ensuring that the control measures are used by employees and that they are effective In order to judge the level of risk involved, a number ofn Monitoring the exposure of employees, which may factors must be considered. These include the quantity of involve health surveillance the substance used or produced, how often it is workedn Providing information, training and supervision as with, how hazardous it is and whether exposure is likely to necessary exceed the occupational exposure standard (if one isn Regular review of the assessments and their validity in listed). For example, a degreasing agent, paint or an the light of experience adhesive containing solvent may be relatively harmless when being used in the open air, but in a confined space with poor or no ventilation, significant exposure to it may1. Assessing the risks be life-threatening.The first step is to make a list of all hazardous substanceswhich are likely to be present at work. The easiest way to The manufacturer or supplier should give information aboutdo this is to collect the suppliers information on all the these matters in the documentation accompanying thesubstances which have been bought for use, and read them. substance (often called hazard data sheets or materialThere may also be other potentially harmful substances safety data sheets (MSDS)). There should be advice aboutwhich can be produced by the work process Ð welding rods storage, spillage procedures and disposal instructions.which produce fumes for example Ð and information on Details should also be provided on the `entry route, whichthese should be obtained from standard reference sources. is the way that the substance may get into the body: by absorption through skin contact, by inhaling (breathing itCOSHH require that employers do not carry out any work in) or ingestion (eating it knowingly or unknowingly).which could expose employees to hazardous substancesbefore carrying out a risk assessment. So, for each sub- Information provided in hazard data sheets is often verystance, it is necessary to think about the risks involved. If it detailed, and may not cover the actual conditions of use.is believed that there is no risk, or only a very small one, This is why the data sheet by itself cannot be consideredthen no further action is needed. as a COSHH assessment. Many employers provide hazard data sheets to employees, thinking that they have providedSection 6 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 an assessment. To be legal and effective, the assessment
6 ASSESSING THE RISKS 57should be easy to understand, state the hazards and the risk depend upon the individual circumstances. A rule of thumblevels, cover the precautions and control measures is that it will usually be considered adequate if most peoplerequired and the way in which the substance is to be used, would not suffer any adverse health effects if exposed tostored and disposed of. the substance at that level day after day.Written assessments must therefore be made as appro- 3. Ensuring control measures workpriate, setting out the problems and the precautions, andbe shown to the employees who are exposed. They need to Employees are required by COSHH to make proper use ofknow what to do, and this forms part of the information any control measures the employer provides, and to tellemployers are required to provide. The crucial point about their employer about any defects in them. They needCOSHH assessments is that they must be job-specific, and information, training and supervision to ensure that theynot merely a general statement about the subject. are aware of what is required of them. It is not sufficient merely to rely upon reports from employees Ð checks mustAssessments also need to be kept up to date. Experience be made by the employer at appropriate intervals to ensuremay lead to revisions in the control measures. Assessments that the controls are in place and that they work.should be dated, so that it is clear when they were made,and they should also contain an automatic review date. There are requirements within the COSHH Regulations on the examination and testing of engineering controls such as dust and fume extraction systems, and records of the tests2. Working out what precautions are needed must be kept for at least 5 years. Usually, this will onlyWhere a significant risk is identified, COSHH requires apply to construction companies with fixed workshops suchemployers to take reasonably practicable steps to prevent as joineries.exposure, either by changing the process or work toeliminate the requirement for the substance to be used or 4. Monitoring exposureproduced, or to replace the substance with another sub-stance with a lower level of risk, or to use the substance in a In some circumstances, employers are required to measuresafer form Ð by dilution, by using in a solid form rather than the concentration of hazardous substances in the air. Theseliquid, etc. If it is not reasonably practicable to do any of include where the employer cannot be certain that setthis, then COSHH requires exposure to be adequately con- exposure limits are not being exceeded or that specifictrolled by: control measures are not working. In general, measuring concentrations is a job for specialists, although there aren Total enclosure of the process, or if not, then some simple techniques which can be used in-company.n Partial enclosure and use of extraction equipment, or if not, then Health surveillance is a more specific examination ofn Use of general ventilation employee health, made for a purpose. It has been men-n Introduction of systems of work and procedures to tioned elsewhere in this chapter that COSHH requires this minimise the chance of leaks, spills and other escapes to be done where: of the hazardous substancen Reduction of the numbers of people exposed, or the n There is exposure of employees and others to a sub- duration of their exposure (only where the earlier stance known to produce a specific adverse health measures cannot be put into operation) effect or disease, and n It is reasonable to expect it to occur under the parti-Use of personal protective clothing or equipment (PPE) is cular working conditions, andonly allowable if none of the above steps can be taken and n It is actually possible to detect the effect or disease inthe desired result is achieved. There is no reason why PPE that waycannot be provided as an extra safeguard to any of the moreeffective measures, but its use as the sole defence must be A relevant example could be dermatitis, a common skinseen as a last resort. The reason for this is simply that none condition, which can be produced by contact with a numberof it works 100% of the time for 100% of the people using it. of substances commonly used in construction such asWhat the law considers as `adequate controls will always cement dust. Doctors or nurses usually carry out health
58 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 6surveillance, but there is no reason why trained supervisors Regulations and technical aspects of manual handling iscannot make basic checks and ask appropriate questions. contained elsewhere in this book.Where health surveillance is carried out, the employer isrequired to keep a simple record of the results, and to keep Any breach of the Regulations may provide grounds for athat record for 40 years. claim following injury, including failure to make an assessment where one was required; that is, for all manual handling operations, where there is a possible risk of injury5. Providing information, training and and it is not reasonably practicable to avoid moving thesupervision load or to automate or mechanise the operation.The COSHH Regulations require the employer to givenecessary information, training and supervision to It is important to appreciate that the major thrust of theemployees about the substances they work with and the Regulations is to avoid manual handling operations whererisks created by exposure to them, and about the pre- reasonable to do so, and to limit those which do take placecautions to take. They will need to know the control as far as is reasonable. Therefore, for every task, ameasures decided on and how to use them, about any PPE reduction in the amount and extent of manual handlingprovided, emergency procedures if appropriate, and also should be sought, regardless of the loads involved. There isthe general results of any health surveillance and moni- no safe limit; the majority of injuries happen as a result oftoring. It is important to remember that it is employees progressive degradation of an affected area rather thanwho are at risk so there is no point in doing the assessments following one particular overload.and working out the controls without then ensuring that theemployees know what they are and how to use them. The Regulations establish a clear hierarchy of measures to obviate the risk of injury when performing manual handling tasks. To summarise, manual handling operations which6. Review of assessments present a risk must be avoided so far as is reasonablyRisk assessments and controls should be reviewed at regular practicable; if these tasks cannot be avoided, then eachintervals. For this reason, it is sound practice to include the task must be assessed and as a result of that assessment,date of assessment, and for the review, on the COSHH the risk of injury must be reduced for each particular taskassessment form. Annual review is usual, although any identified so far as is reasonably practicable.incident involving the substance should trigger a review aswell. Changes notified by suppliers in the contents of data 1. Assessing the riskssheets, or the specification of the substance, will alsoprompt a review of the assessment. What is required initially is not a full assessment of each of the tasks, but an `appraisal of those manual handling operations which involve a risk that cannot be dismissed asManual handling assessments trivial, to determine whether they can be avoided. If, as aThe responsibility for carrying out these assessments rests result of the `initial appraisal, manual handling operationswith the employer in each case, and with the self-employed. which present a risk cannot be avoided, then a moreThis means that contractors and subcontractors must pro- detailed assessment of them will be a legal requirement.duce their own risk assessments where appropriate. For guidance purposes only, Figure 1 of the Appendix to theUnder previous legislation, the employers liability for Guidance to the Regulations indicates that a possible riskinjuries to employees was limited to cases where the will arise when lifting any load of more than about 10 kgemployer had failed to ensure that employees were not from the floor or above shoulder height, and a maximumrequired to lift a load `so heavy as to be likely to cause load for the optimum condition (lifting from a bench atinjury to him (her). In addition, the general duty of care waist level using both hands in a stable body position) is putrequired the employer to take reasonable steps to provide a at 25 kg. These values are for males, for females theysafe system of work, place of work and safe work equip- should be cut by about a third.ment. The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992are much less specific, and do not contain a Regulation These basic guideline figures for lifting and lowering shouldbarring their use in civil claims. More information on the be reduced if twisting of the trunk is required; the values
6 ASSESSING THE RISKS 59should be reduced by 20% for a 908 twist and 10% for a 458 ences of the employer, including accident/ill-healthtwist. Repetition reduces the values by half where the information relating to manual handling and the generalaction is repeated five to eight times a minute, and by 80% numerical guidelines contained in official guidance (seefor more frequent repetition. Carrying loads more than above).about 10 m will prompt a reduction in the guideline values.Pushing and pulling actions carry a guideline figure for 2. Is it reasonably practicable to avoid moving the load?further assessment of about 25 kg, where the force is Some work is dependent on the manual handling of loadsapplied through the hands held below shoulder height. Lack and cannot be avoided. But, if it is reasonably practicableof opportunities for rest and recovery are significant to avoid moving the load then the initial exercise is com-limiters, as is handling more than about 5 kg while seated. plete and further review will only be required if conditions change.In any particular case, an assessment should be made ifthere is even a marginal doubt as to the continued 3. Is it reasonably practicable to automate or mechaniseacceptability of an operation. Partly, this is because liabi- the operation? If the manual handling of loads cannot belity will be hard to disprove in the case of any injury to an avoided completely, then automation or mechanisationemployee where an assessment has not been made. must be considered. However, introduction of these measures can create different risks (introduction of fork-These values are only given as a general indication of risk of lifts creates a series of new risks, for example) whichinjury, and are not limits. It may be acceptable to exceed require consideration in this `initial appraisal.them if an assessment indicates it is appropriate to do so,given the controls in place. Equally, it may be that the The views of staff and employees can be of particular use invalues need to be reduced significantly if there is any identifying manual handling problems. Involvement in thetwisting of the trunk, repetitive movement, or movement assessment process should be encouraged, particularly inmore frequent than about once every 2 minutes. The reporting problems associated with particular tasks.guideline figures are based on a number of assumptions Records of accidents and ill-health are also valuable indi-which are not likely to hold true in the construction cators of risk as are absentee records, poor productivityenvironment. Therefore, the guidelines require careful and morale, and excessive product damage.consideration when applying the figures provided. Theassumptions include that: The aim of the assessment is to evaluate the risk associated with a particular task and identify control measures whichn The handler is standing or crouching in a stable body can be implemented to remove or reduce it (which may position with the back substantially upright include the use of handling devices and/or training). Then The trunk is not twisted during the operation assessments made under this requirement will have to ben Both hands are used to grasp the load written down for all but the simplest of tasks or where then The hands are not more than shoulder width apart task is straightforward, of low risk, lasting only a short timen The load is positioned centrally in front of the body and and the time needed to record it would be dispropor- is itself reasonably symmetrical tionate. Relevant assessments will have to be kept readilyn The load is stable and readily grasped available and where a safety policy has been prepared (ton The work area does not restrict the handlers posture, comply with Section 2(3) of the Health and Safety at Work and etc. Act 1974) employers should outline their general policyn The working environment and any PPE used does not and arrangements for manual handling in it. interfere with the performance of the task For varied work (for example construction and refurbish-Consideration of a series of questions will be useful in ment) it will not be possible to assess every single instancecompleting this stage of the exercise. of manual handling. In these circumstances, each type or category of manual handling operation can be identified1. Is there a risk of injury? A grasp of the basic principles and the associated risk assessed. Assessment should alsoof safety in manual handling will be required here (e.g. an extend to cover those employees who carry out manualunderstanding of the types and causes of injury). This handling operations away from the employers premisesunderstanding will be supplemented with the past experi- (such as site workers and delivery drivers).
60 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 6Schedule 1 to the Regulations specifies four inter-related handler, with the risk of injury increased if pushing orfactors of which the assessment should take account (the pulling is carried out with the hands much below waisttask, the load, the working environment and the indivi- height or above shoulder height. The risk of slipping shouldduals capabilities) and further questions relating to each also be considered as this too could result in injury.are also identified in the Schedule. Consideration of thesefactors forms the basis of an appropriate assessment, some Does the task involve a risk of sudden movement of theof which can be done in advance in a general way by means load? If the load becomes free and the handler is unpre-of generic assessments. pared, sudden unpredictable stresses can be imposed upon the back. The risk can be increased if the handlers posture is unstable.(a) The taskIs the load held at a distance from the trunk? Failure to Does the task involve frequent or prolonged physicalkeep the load close to the body will increase the stress on effort? The frequency of handling a load can increase thethe lower back and make it less easy to counterbalance it risk of injury. A quite modest load, handled frequently, canwith the weight of the body. Also, the benefits of using the create a significant risk of injury. Fatigue can result frombody to support or steady the load will be lost. prolonged physical stresses, which can be made worse by a relatively fixed posture.Is poor posture experienced? Poor posture introducesadditional risks of the loss of control of the load and sudden, Does the task involve insufficient rest or recoveryunpredictable increases in physical stress. Risk of injury also periods? Insufficient rest during physically demanding workincreases if the feet and hands are not well placed to increases ill-health and reduces output.transmit forces efficiently between the floor and the load. Handling while seated Handling loads whilst seatedDoes the task involve twisting? Stress on the lower back is imposes physical constraints, such as preventing the use ofincreased if twisted trunk postures are adopted or if the legs, with most of the work having to be done by thetwisting occurs while supporting a load. weaker muscles of the upper limbs. Lifting from below the level of the work surface can result in twisting and stoop-Does the task involve stooping? Stooping reduces the safe ing, which will increase the risk of injury.capacity that can be lifted significantly whether thehandler stoops by bending the back or by leaning forward Team handling Handling by two or more people can solvewith the back straight. some problems, but can also introduce additional risk fac- tors which will need consideration during the assessment. ACombining risk factors? Safe capacity is reduced if twisting formalised system of work will be required for such tasks tois combined with stooping or stretching. be efficiently carried out.Does the task involve excessive lifting or lowering dis- (b) The loadtances? Stresses are increased when loads are handled atthe extremes of vertical movement. Also, if the load has to Is the load heavy? Contrary to popular belief, the weightbe handled through large distances more physical demand of the load is only one of the factors which can affect theis placed on the individual. risk of injury. Other factors which need consideration include its resistance to movement and its size, shape orDoes the task involve excessive carrying distances? In rigidity.general, if a load can safely be lifted and lowered it can alsobe carried without endangering the back. However, if the Is the load bulky or unwieldy? The shape of the load willload is carried for an excessive distance (as a rough guide affect the way in which it can be held and may also affectgreater than 10 m) physical stresses are prolonged, leading vision. The risk of injury may also be increased if the load isto fatigue and increased risk of injury. unwieldy or difficult to control. In these circumstances, well-balanced lifting may be difficult to achieve, the loadDoes the task involve excessive pushing or pulling of the may hit obstructions, or it may be affected by gusts of wind.load? Pushing and pulling can present a risk of injury to the If the centre of gravity of the load is not centrally
6 ASSESSING THE RISKS 61positioned, then inappropriate handling may result, women the range of individual strength and ability is large,increasing the risk of injury. and there is considerable overlap. Individual capability also varies with age.Is the load unstable, or are its contents likely to shift?Instability of the load can result from a lack of rigidity or Does the task put at risk those who are pregnant or havethe shifting of the contents resulting in unexpected stresses health problems? Allowance should be made for womenfor which the handler is unprepared. who are pregnant as well as any health problem which might have a bearing on the ability to carry out manualIs the load sharp, hot or otherwise potentially damaging? handling operations in safety, such as occupational asthma.Sharp edges, rough surfaces and hot or cold surfaces canresult in injury as well as impairing grip and discouraging Does the task require special knowledge or training forgood posture. Protective clothing may help here in redu- its safe performance? Inadequate knowledge and trainingcing such risks. can increase the risk of injury when carrying out manual handling tasks. For example, ignorance of safe systems or characteristics of the load can result in injury. If mechan-(c) The working environment ical aids are to be used for such tasks, training may beDo space constraints prevent good posture? The working required in their safe use.environment can hinder good posture, increasing the risk ofinjury (restricted headroom will enforce a stooping pos- 2. Working out what precautions are neededture, for example). (a) Mechanisation possibilitiesAre there uneven, slippery or unstable floors? These willincrease the likelihood of slips, trips and falls and can Mechanical handling aids which can reduce risk include thecreate additional unpredictability. use of a lever, which would reduce the force required to move a load. A hoist can support the weight of a load whilstAre there variations in level of floors or work surfaces? a trolley can reduce the effort needed to move a loadSteps, steep slopes, etc., can increase the risk of injury horizontally. See page 62 for some examples which may beadding to the complexity of movement, as will excessive useful sources of ideas.variation between the heights of working surfaces. (b) Possible housekeeping improvements toAre there extremes of temperature, humidity or air minimise risksmovement? Thermal conditions can increase the risk ofinjury. High temperatures or humidity can cause rapid n Maintain a tidy site, remove tripping hazardsfatigue and perspiration on the hands, reducing grip. Work n Level and maintain groundat low temperatures may impair dexterity. n Provide stable walkways on water-logged sites n Reduce gradientsAre there poor lighting conditions? Dimness or glare cancause poor posture and contrast between areas of bright (c) Possible personal protective equipment forlight and deep shadow can aggravate tripping hazards and manual handlershinder accurate judgement of height and distance. Reli-ance only on task lighting to illuminate general access n Overallsroutes can result in manual handling problems as well as n Safety boots and shoesslips, trips and falls. n Gloves and gauntlets/arm protectors n Safety helmet n Leather apron(d) Individual capabilityDoes the task require unusual strength, height, etc.? The (d) Changes in the taskability to carry out manual handling tasks in safety variesbetween individuals. Generally, the lifting strength of Changes in the layout of the task can reduce the risk ofwomen is less than that of men. However, for both men and injury by, for example, improving the flow of materials or
62 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 6 Examples of mechanisation possibilities Concrete pump Lorry offloading Ð crane Forklift HIAB Hand-powered hydraulic lift tail lift Conveyor belt Tower crane Pallet truck Mobile crane Gin wheel and basket Hoist Hand-held power tools Ð electric Excavator (lifting certificated) diesel Dumper air Power wheelbarrow Mixer Vibro tamp rails Hydraulic jack Scissor lift jack Wheelbarrow Hose pipe Trailer Trolley for sheet materials Sack trolley Ramp Temporary working platform Sling Stretcherproducts. Improvements which will permit more efficient (f) Improving the working environmentuse of the body, especially if they permit the load to be This could be done by removing space constraints,held closer to the body, will also reduce the risk of improving the condition and nature of floors, reducing workinjury. Improving the work routine by reducing the fre- to a single level, avoiding extremes in temperature andquency or duration of handling tasks will also have a excessive humidity and ensuring that adequate lighting isbeneficial effect. Using teams of people and PPE will also provided.contribute to a reduced risk of injury. All equipment sup-plied for use during handling operations, for examplehandling aids and PPE, should be properly maintained, (g) Improvements in individual capabilityand there should be a defect reporting and correction Particular consideration should be given to employees whosystem. are, or recently have been, pregnant, or who are known to have a history of back trouble, hernia or other manualSpecific solutions which may offer some ideas are: handling injury. It is easy to forget that the Regulations force attention to be paid to manual handling in the officen Reduce size and weight of delivery packages as well as in the stores or on site. Typists carrying boxes ofn Palletise material deliveries paper, or equipment, are equally vulnerable to injury. Then Transfer materials into smaller containers health, fitness and strength of an individual can clearlyn Erect rubbish chutes affect their ability to perform manual handling tasks. Selection of suitable handlers is an important tool in(e) Reducing the risk of injury from the load selection for manual handling tasks, and is a requirement of the Management Regulations.The load may be made lighter by using smaller packages/containers or specifying lower packaging weights. Addi-tionally, the load may be made smaller, easier to manage, 3. Ensuring control measures workeasier to grasp (for example by the provision of handles), As with COSHH assessments, for manual handling it is notmore stable and less damaging to hold (clean, free from sufficient merely to rely upon reports from employees Ðsharp edges, etc.). However, doing this may well increase checks must be made by the employer at appropriatethe frequency of the task! intervals to ensure that the controls are in place and that they work. In the construction industry the biggest
6 ASSESSING THE RISKS 63advances are being made at the design and specification user, so that where equipment is used by more than onestages, as well as in the increasing availability of handling person, adjustability and training will be the key to satis-equipment. fying the legal requirements. The assessment process is an illustration of practical ergonomics, the matching of equipment to the people who use it rather than the other4. Recording the results way round.The Health and Safety Executives guidance booklet on theRegulations includes a specimen form which may be used, The most useful approach is to encourage the user of theand also a worked example. There is no fixed requirement workstation to take an active part in the assessment. Thefor recording assessment results in any particular way, but main priorities are to establish that the chair and workthis format is generally considered to be the most appro- surface can, if necessary, be properly adjusted to suit thepriate and its use is commended to the reader. user. Adjustment should aim to achieve a posture where the forearms can be parallel to the floor and work surface when the hands are positioned at the keyboard. To make5. Providing information, training and this possible, the chair height may need to be altered, andsupervision in turn a footrest may be needed.Provision of information on the nature and weight of theload, and its centre of gravity, is a requirement of the Sufficient desk space is required, and the keyboard must beRegulations. Where this cannot be done easily, training positioned in front of the user so that the hands are neithershould incorporate giving advice on ways of gauging weights splayed outwards nor inwards when working. The height ofof loads from their shape and size, and their likely density. the monitor screen should be adjustable so that its top isManufacturers of products used in the industry are now just below the eyeline of the user.used to the need to provide weight indications on thepackaging and the product itself, where reasonably prac- When adjustments have been made satisfactorily, a checkticable to do so. must be made for screen glare. This can come from external light sources, overhead lighting or reflections. Where it is difficult to establish the source of glare, a handDisplay screen equipment assessments mirror placed on the screen and viewed from the usersDisplay screen equipment used in the construction industry position can often identify it. The screen must be adjustedis normally found in the site or construction office. Details to remove any glare. Positioning it at right angles to majorof the requirements of the Regulations can be found else- light sources is likely to be a cheap and effective cure, alsowhere in this book, where information can be found on the fitting blinds to external windows. An anti-glare screen maydefinition of `user, which will trigger a written assessment be useful if these simple remedies do not or cannot haveof the workstation concerned. The advice which follows is any effect.given in an attempt to `demystify the process of assess-ment, focusing on the objectives to be achieved, and is not A full review of aspects of the equipment used, and a moreoffered either as `all you need to do to make an assessment technical discussion of the principles, can be found in theor as a substitute for training in the requirements and Guidance to the Regulations.techniques. Assessments are personal to the individual
64 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 6Figure 6.1a: Sample form for generic risk assessmentYOURCO LTD GENERIC RISK ASSESSMENTACTIVITY COVERED: SIGNIFICANT HAZARDS ASSESSMENT OF RISK LOW MED HIGH 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9ACTIONS ALREADY TAKEN TO REDUCE THE RISKS:Compliance with:[Insert relevant Regulations, Codes of Practice, Standards]Planning:[Insert pre-planning actions taken, such as design, layout, testing, measurements taken]Physical:[Insert general physical controls always required for the task or activity wherever they are done]Managerial/Supervisory:[Insert required actions and role of management in relation to the activity]Training:[Insert statutory and organisation requirements for training, induction etc related to the activity]THIS GENERIC ASSESSMENT MUST BE COMPLETED BY THE ADDITION OF SPECIFIC SITE DETAILS FILEON THE REVERSE REFERENCE:
6 ASSESSING THE RISKS 65Figure 6.1b: Sample form for generic risk assessment (reverse) SITE-SPECIFIC ASSESSMENTOn each site the generic assessment overleaf must be reviewed to ensure that all significant hazards and their risksare identified and controlled.SITE/LOCATION:MAXIMUM NUMBER OF PEOPLE INVOLVED IN ACTIVITY:FREQUENCY AND DURATION OF ACTIVITY:ADDITIONAL SPECIFIC HAZARDS IDENTIFIED ON THIS SITE:ADDITIONAL CONTROL MEASURES REQUIRED ON THIS SITE:ASSESSMENT OF RESIDUAL (remaining) RISKS: Insignificant / Low / Medium / HighSERIOUS AND IMMINENT DANGERS IDENTIFIED: Yes / NoEMERGENCY ACTION REQUIRED:NAMES OF COMPETENT PERSON(S) APPOINTED TO TAKE ACTION:CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH WILL REQUIRE ADDITIONAL ASSESSMENT: CIRCULATION OF RISK ASSESSMENTCONTRACTOR SITE COPY EMPLOYEESSUBCONTRACTOR OTHER OCCUPIER OF PREMISES CLIENTON-SITE ASSESSMENT DATE: FILE REFERENCE:SIGNED:
Figure 6.2: Risk assessment charts 66 YOURCO LTD PROJECT RISK ASSESSMENTSite or project title / number: ___________________________________Nature of work: ___________________________________No. Hazard present YES/NO Describe the hazards Likely Number of Probability of Risk rating Extra control and obvious control or consequences of workers harm (c) and risk measures protective measures an accident (a) exposed to category necessary necessary hazard (b) 3 6 9 12 15 2 4 6 8 10 4 8 12 16 2001 Are there any specific client safety requirements for the work?02 Have site archaeological issues been identified and evaluated?03 Has a geotechnical survey been carried out, and if so do the results indicate hazards which require control measures?04 Is the site adjacent to or over public transport (railways etc.)?05 Is the site adjacent to or over water?06 Is the site adjacent to, over or under any services or drains etc.? PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY07 Is the site adjacent to, 6 over or under any public buildings?
608 Are there any other local hazards such as overhead power cables?09 Is the site on contaminated or unstable ground? ASSESSING THE RISKS10 Will the ground contours present any construction problems?11 Will any demolition works be necessary?12 Is there any asbestos removal involved?13 Are there any radiation sources involved?14 Will any excavation works take place?15 Will any works involve `live sewers? If YES will sewer entry be required?16 Are there any specialist processes required (i.e. exposives, HP fluids, etc.)?17 Is there any confined space or tank entry work involved?18 Will any piling take place? If YES, what type of piling?19 Will this involve any pile entry? If YES who will be required to enter? 67 Contd
Figure 6.2: Contd 68No. Hazard present YES/NO Describe the hazards Likely Number of Probability of Risk rating Extra control and obvious control or consequences of workers harm (c) and risk measures protective measures an accident (a) exposed to category necessary necessary hazard (b) 3 6 9 12 15 2 4 6 8 10 4 8 12 16 2020 Will any steel erection works be taking place?21 Will tower cranes be provided or heavy lifting operations taking place?22 Will mobile work platforms, cradles or abseiling be necessary?23 Have site haulage requirements been identified?24 Is the access to the site adequate for vehicles and pedestrians?25 Is there access available to the site for the public?26 Will concrete pumping be carried out?27 Have arrangements been made or co-ordinated for temporary electric supplies?28 Have site lighting needs been identified for all stages of the work? PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 6
629 Will any accommodation/ office units be located inside a building?30 Are floors metal decking?31 Are floors pre-cast ASSESSING THE RISKS concrete?32 Will there be any RC frame erection works taking place?33 What is the type of roof construction? Evaluate fall hazards34 Will there be any cladding or curtain walling taking place?35 Are pre-fabricated elements to be installed?36 Are there any `Hot Works to be undertaken?37 Are electrical items to be installed?38 Will there be any lift installation works?39 Will there be any escalators to install?40 Have formwork requirements been identified?41 Is the project a fire risk? 69 Contd
Figure 6.2: Contd 70No. Hazard present YES/NO Describe the hazards Likely Number of Probability of Risk rating Extra control and obvious control or consequences of workers harm (c) and risk measures protective measures an accident (a) exposed to category necessary necessary hazard (b) 3 6 9 12 15 2 4 6 8 10 4 8 12 16 2042 Have all environmental issues been evaluated and controlled?43 Are there any specific fall protection hazards not already assessed?44 Are there any additional hazards which have been identified as being site specific and which are not covered by the foregoing? If YES, note here: PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 6
Control Strategies for 7 Construction WorkDesigning for safety and health n The designers response to those constraints influences construction activity Ð possibly giving incorrect infor-Safety in construction begins with design, where some of mation leading to an inappropriate process andthe fundamental decisions are taken which can have serious increased riskconsequences for those who build structures, maintain n `Inappropriate process includes planning, control,them and work in them. In some cases, designers may be operation and site conditions, plus inappropriatethe only people who can eliminate a hazard at source Ð the actions by those working on sitebest possible control strategy as it eliminates a foreseeablerisk. Designers are also well placed to reduce unnecessary Readers interested in the latest views on the role of designlevels of risk in the industry. All too often, a design decision in construction safety are referred to the proceedings of aestablishes a hazard, and the contractor, maintenance conference recently held on the subject. The reference isstaff and even premises workers are then left to manage given at the end of this chapter.the risk as best they can. A review of a design from a safety, health and environ-Research carried out by the European Union shows that a mental standpoint is established best practice, especiallymajority of construction injuries have their origin at least in where errors can be expected to have disastrous con-part in the preconstruction phase of work. Recent studies sequences for a business after, as well as during, con-have also shown that, while failures can be found in the struction Ð as, for example in some process industries.technical aspects of design (inaccurate or inappropriatecalculations, for example), design problems are by their Formal analytical techniques such as failure modes andnature related to planning and organisational issues. As a effects analysis, HAZOP and HAZAN are beyond the scope ofresult, concentration upon the purely technical aspects can this book. Contractors should not hesitate to ask their clientsmislead, and a broader based view is desirable. for assurance that these techniques have been used where the contractor has not been a party to the design process.A new theory of construction accident causation has beenintroduced by Suraji and Duff, which includes a much wider Legal responsibilities of designersrange of features than previous models. These featuresinclude project conception, design, management and Under the Construction (Design and Management) Regula-construction. The various deficiencies are classed as tions 1994 (CDM), the term `designer has a specific legalproximal (nearby) and distal (further away), which allows definition Ð any person who carries on a trade or business inthe incorporation of the influences of designers and their connection with which he prepares a design or arranges fordesigns into the construction activity. Fundamental con- any person under his control to do so. In turn `design has acepts of the theory as it relates to designers are: wide definition also; in relation to any structure, the term includes drawings, design details, specifications and bills ofn They may introduce factors that lead to accidents quantities. directly or indirectlyn Designers work within a variety of imposed constraints Designers duties are mostly covered by Regulation 13 of Ð clients decisions, other participants, the designers CDM. The extent of any liability of designers had previously own organisation, for example been a `grey area within the terms of the Health and
72 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 7Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and CDM clarifies the posi- n Selection of a reversible window type which can betion, at least as far as criminal prosecution is concerned. cleaned from the insideThe issue of civil liability is a matter of debate, but most n Detailing a design for items to be lifted to includeauthorities agree that the setting out of designers duties attachment points to support the loadwithin CDM had provided an example of `reasonable care n Avoiding low level pipe runs in plant roomswhich could result in a definitive standard of care in civil n Specifying early erection of stairways to provide meanslaw, thus civil liability could result indirectly from failure to of escape in case of firecarry out the sort of process required by CDM. Designers can n Avoiding designs which involve temporary instabilitystill take some comfort from the fact that, in common with during erectionthe bulk of the CDM Regulations, breach of their duties n Incorporating principles of temporary support into theunder Regulation 13 does not confer a direct right of action designin civil proceedings. n Providing fall protection systems for maintenance which can also be used by constructorsIt is appropriate to set out here the CDM designer duties. n Designing for a reduced frequency of maintenanceDesigners must: For the contractor, review of the design is closely allied1. Ensure that any design prepared for construction work with the selection of appropriate construction methodol- pays adequate regard to three needs: ogy. For example, if a particular hazard is identified as Need 1: to avoid foreseeable risks to health or safety present in a large number of similar situations during a of constructors, cleaners on or in the structure, and project, steps can be taken during the pre-construction third parties affected by their work phase to design solutions and specify appropriate work Need 2: to combat at source risks to those classes of systems. people, and Need 3: to give priority to measures which protect Collaboration between designers, Planning Supervisor and those classes of people over measures which only contractor can achieve significant reductions in risks Ð protect individuals specification of an erection method for steelwork can lead2. Ensure the design contains information about any aspect to more prefabrication, bolting up at ground level and of the project, structure or materials which might affect finally from underneath using an elevated working platform the health or safety of the above classes of people Ð and a new need to check the floor slab loading. Many of3. Co-operate with the Planning Supervisor and any other these preconstruction activities are closely connected, and designer connected with the same project or structure, it should not be a surprise that as many as 65% of fatalities to enable each of them to comply with their duties, and in the industry can be attributed in whole or part to a4. Ensure the client is aware of the duties of clients under failure to recognise and control potential hazards at this CDM before starting the design stage.The designer is required to address the first two needs only Design choices frequently determine construction meth-to the extent that it is reasonable to expect the designer to ods: failure to recognise this and force the process in thehave done so at the time the design is prepared, and to the opposite direction leads to muddle and make-do.extent that it is reasonably practicable to do so. No personcan arrange for a designer to prepare a design unless he is Planning the workreasonably satisfied that the designer has the necessarycompetence. Gathering information together must be done before a risk assessment is made for a project, and this in turn isAdvice on checking the competence of designers is given in necessary before an adequate safety plan can be written orthe Approved Code of Practice. The Planning Supervisor reviewed. This will contain clear information on all sig-must be in a position to give advice on competence, as nificant hazards likely to be present, and should be sent torequired specifically by Regulation 14(c). subcontractors at an early stage. If tenders and bids are made with knowledge of requirements for safety, healthExamples of positive actions which can be taken by and the environment, contractors are much less likely todesigners include: complain about lack of advance knowledge, so reducing
7 CONTROL STRATEGIES FOR CONSTRUCTION WORK 73complaints that the required safety items and precautions Emergency procedureshave not been priced for. The most obvious emergency is fire. The safety plan should contain an appropriate emergency plan, written to coverRelevant information will be available from a variety of the detailed arrangements on a project. Other potentialsources: the client, design staff, contract documents, emergency situations which may require activation of theequipment and material suppliers, and standards and emergency plan include flooding and multiple injuries fromlaws. any cause.Information about the previous uses of the site, and any A more common form of emergency is the need to evacuateunusual features, can give guidance on hazards which may an injured person. It is always necessary to think about howbe present. Especially important is information about the an injured person can be evacuated from the most inac-presence, now or in the past, of: cessible area of the project, and how long that could take. Also consider the full response time Ð how long it couldn Chemical contamination, including the presence of take between an injury occurring and arrival at a treatment asbestos centre. This should always be evaluated and reassessed asn Overhead power lines and underground services construction work proceeds.n Unusual ground conditionsn Public rights of way or accustomed access across the Planning for emergencies begins with the goal of minimising site their likelihood. The aim of publishing an emergency plan isn Nearby schools, roads, railways and waterways to ensure that everyone on site can be alerted in ann Other activities on the site, for example the clients emergency, knows what the emergency signal is and what existing business to do. Emergency routes need to be identified, signed, adequately lit and kept clear.Common facilities When planning emergency procedures, routes and exits,In recent years there has been a growing awareness of the the following should be taken into account:need to plan for safe moving traffic on sites. The basicprinciple is to keep the movements of vehicles and people n Site size, and characteristics of the site and the workphysically apart Ð this may require barriers and designated being doneroutes on site. Also, pedestrian crossing points will have to n How to raise the alarm under those conditionsbe established, with adequate lighting. So plan for safe n Plant and equipment being used (may impede exits, foraccess to and around the site. How will vehicles be kept example)clear of pedestrians, especially at site entrances and exits, n How many people are likely to be present (are the exitsloading and unloading areas and anywhere where the dri- wide enough?)vers vision may be restricted? n Properties of substances likely to be present n Location of the nearest emergency services and theirSite boundaries should be fenced off and signed suitably. In capabilitiesmultiple-occupancy situations, who controls which areas? n Access to the site for emergency servicesSite rules may be needed to keep the construction workapart from other activities. What precautions are needed Fire and fire precautionsfor night-time working? What methods will be used to closethe site when no work is being done? There are two methods of dealing with fire in construction work Ð preventing it happening, and preparing for andSuitable welfare facilities must be available for all workers controlling the consequences if it should happen. Bothduring all working hours. As a minimum, these will be require equal attention during the planning process. Theaccess to toilet and washing facilities, a supply of clean three ingredients of fire are fuel, oxygen and a source ofdrinking water, a place to take breaks and meals and store ignition. Remove any one of them and there will be no fire.clothing, shelter in bad weather, and first aid facilities.Most, if not all, of these will be covered by local or national Much of fire prevention takes place at the planning stage,regulatory requirements. where simple rules apply:
74 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 7n Use less flammable materials (water-based or low Means of fighting fire Fire extinguishers will be required solvent adhesives, for example) for hot work, but there will also be a general need to haven Keep the quantity of flammables on site to a minimum. them at identified fire points around the site. Where pos- Supplies of materials should be enough for half a day or sible, halon-containing extinguishers should not be used. a single shift, and the remainder kept in stores Fire doors should never be locked, left open or removedn Store flammable solids, liquids and gases safely, once fitted. separated from each other and from oxygen cylinders or oxidising materials Site tidiness Fire precautions include tidiness Ð rubbish,n Arrange for ventilated secure stores or outdoor storage offcuts and waste materials act as fuels, and they are also areas for flammables tripping hazards and obstructions to emergency routes.n Make sure that rubbish is removed regularlyn Ban smoking in appropriate areasn Require hot work to be done under a permit-to-work Special fire issues system Storage of `volatile flammable materials This termThese can all be dealt with in principle at the planning includes LPG and LNG, many solvents, flammable gas andstage. During construction, ongoing attention is required to oxygen cylinders. In internal storage areas, good ventila-prevent fires, and the most important matters to keep tion is necessary to avoid the build-up of dangerous levelsunder constant review in addition to the above are: of gases. This can be obtained by having high and low level openings in an external wall, but these should not ventilaten Close valves on gas cylinders when not in use and check into the surrounding structure. For flammable liquid hoses for wear and leaks storage, the size of the openings should be at least 1% of then Prevent oil or grease from coming into contact with total square area of the floor and walls combined. For oxygen cylinder valves flammable gases and oxygen cylinders, the opening sizen Do not leave bitumen and other boilers unattended should be at least 2.5%. when alightn Insist that welding or cutting producing sparks is done External stores in the open air must be in well-ventilated with a fire extinguisher close at hand areas at least 3 m away from the boundary of the nearestn Check the site at break times and close of work to make building and any drains or excavations. Leaking gas may sure that plant which might start a fire is turned off collect at lower levels. If stores must be placed alongsiden Hot working should be stopped an hour before close of buildings, then: work 1. There should be a fire-resisting partition between theFire precautions are actions and facilities which allow store and the building (unless the building elevationpeople to escape safely from a fire if one should break out. concerned is fire-resistant 3 m either side of the storeThe following are the main points to consider: and 9 m above it) and 2. Drains and excavations must be sealed unless a spillageMeans of sounding the alarm A system should be estab- retention wall or bund is placed around the storelished, which can vary from a fixed alarm unit down to awhistle or word of mouth on a small site. The warning must All stores of volatile flammable materials should have twobe distinctive, audible above other noise and known to exits, both unlocked when anyone is inside. The exceptioneveryone. is when the store is small, so that nobody has to travel more than 12 m to an exit. Lock all stores except during use.Means of escape Escape routes must be planned. There External stores should be protected by a 1.8 m high wire-should be well separated alternative ways of exiting a work mesh fence for security.area where possible. Escape routes must give access to asafe place where people can assemble and be accounted Small quantities of LPG can be kept safely in a lockablefor. Signs are likely to be needed, also adequate lighting for wire cage with a single exit, as long as it is clearly markedenclosed escape routes. This may include emergency and at least 1 m away from any other structure. LPG mustlighting sufficient to enable safe escape. not be stored in unventilated huts or metal boxes. Small
7 CONTROL STRATEGIES FOR CONSTRUCTION WORK 75quantities (up to 50 litres) of flammable materials such as should be to minimise the need for manual handling ofpaints and solvents can be kept in lockable steel chests or loads, and the reduction of distances where manual hand-cabinets. ling is required.Oxygen cylinders must always be stored by themselves, It will also be necessary to consider environmental con-and not in company with other gas cylinders such as those sequences at this time, and `good neighbour policies. Usecontaining LPG and acetylene. of checklists enables monitoring to be carried out during internal and external audits. A copy of each completedProtective coverings Covers are often used to protect checklist should be held on file on projects for ease offinal features against damage, but they can add sig- reference. It is important that all checklists are signed offnificantly to the potential for fire where ignition sources by project management when completed. Sample check-are common. Their use to protect features in escape lists are included (Figs 7.1 to 7.4).stairways should be avoided where possible. Risks can bereduced by using flameproof coverings or coverings coated Safe place of workwith flame retardant. At least one escape stairway shouldhave no such coverings within it. Risk can be reduced by The concept of `safe place of work is derived from the law,installing features needing protection as late as possible, which has long recognised the duty of the employer toand specifying flame-retardant coverings to be used. provide a safe place of work and a safe means of access to it and egress from it. But the concept is not just a techni-Handling flammable liquids Fires have been caused by cality. To ensure safety, hazards need to be identified andfailure to limit the likelihood of spills and the release of avoided Ð possibly by changing the design or work method.vapour. Standard precautions are: If this cannot be done, then control is required, and this extends to others who may be affected by the work Ð othern Provide drip trays to contain spillage during decanting contractors, employees or third parties. and dispensingn Do not permit the decanting of liquids inside flam- If the `safe place of work concept is used as the guiding mable liquid storage areas principle, many of the decisions required on access topics,n Do not permit contaminated rags to be carried about for example, can be simplified. It can be seen that a safen All work operations should be carried out in well ven- working platform is preferable to working from a ladder tilated areas (for an extended period). The person has more space ton Flammable liquids should be kept in closed-top con- work, guardrails or barriers to prevent falls, and does not tainers need to carry materials. Third parties can be protectedn Dispose of contaminated waste safely from falling materials. This does not mean that work from a ladder may never be done, but indicates some of the risk factors involved when making a choice about a safe place ofSetting up the site work.Preparation for construction operations should be basedupon an overall project risk assessment, which identifies Planning and control strategies should be aimed at makingthe major hazards likely to be encountered during the work decisions about such issues by management, rather than(see the previous chapter). Physical features of the area leaving them to site workers who will not normally bewill normally dictate the layout of the site, including aware of all the constraints. For example, a subcontractortemporary roads, storage areas and the siting of facilities may attempt to put up ladders or a temporary scaffold toincluding offices and welfare facilities. gain access to the outside of a structure, unaware that the spot chosen is on a major access route that happens to bePreparatory work should include early decisions on removal quiet at the time. Third parties should not have to makeor diversion of power lines and cables where necessary, decisions about ensuring their own safety Ð they should beland clearance, demolition and access issues. Decisions will excluded from work areas where they may be at risk.be recorded in the pre-tender safety plan, with details tobe added by the principal contractor in the finalised con- Another example is the separation of vehicles from peoplestruction phase safety plan. One of the aims of site planning by planning traffic routes to provide a safe means of access
76 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 7and egress. Left to themselves, drivers and pedestrians activities where the HSE expect method statements to bemostly make reasonable decisions about speed and direc- provided include demolition work, asbestos removal andtion, but they cannot guarantee the control of shifting structural steel erection.loads, road conditions and perception which are threemajor factors in the rising numbers of incidents on site Some principal and management contractors impose theirinvolving transport and people. own stricter requirements concerning the production of method statements Ð the trend is to require them for all activities. They are entitled to do so if they wish, as com-Safe systems of work pliance with the safety management system will be a con-It has been estimated that at least a quarter of all fatal dition of the contract. Most principal contractors areinjuries at work involve failures in systems of work Ð the prepared to assist smaller organisations to prepare theirway things get done. A safe system of work is a formal method statements.procedure that results from a systematic examination of atask in order to identify all the hazards and assess the risks, Risk assessments can usefully form the basis for methodand which identifies safe methods of work to ensure that statements, but there will usually be more detail in athe hazards are eliminated or the remaining risks are method statement than in a risk assessment. Those readingminimised. Where elements of risk remain, a safe system of method statements need to know how what is proposed towork will be required. Some examples where safe systems be done will or could affect them. A method statement thatof work will be part of the controls are: fails to give that information is not adequate.n Cleaning and maintenance work Method statements normally include the following infor-n Changes to normal procedures, including materials and mation: methodsn Working alone 1. Originator and daten Dealing with plant and equipment breakdowns and 2. A brief description of the work emergencies 3. Identification of individual(s) who will be responsiblen Interactions between contractors and clients workers for the whole operation and for compliance with the on the clients premises method statement. Key personnel responsible forn Vehicle loading, unloading and movements particular operations may also be named 4. Training requirements for personnel carrying out tasksSafe systems of work are often documented in the form of which have a competency requirement. (Examples aremethod statements, or formalised into permit-to-work crane and fork-lift drivers, testing and commissioningsystems. Some safe systems can be verbal only Ð where staff)instructions are given on the hazards and the means of 5. Details of access equipment which will be used, safedealing with them, for short duration tasks. These access routes and maintenance of emergency routesinstructions must be given by supervisors or managers, 6. Equipment required to carry out the work, including itsbecause leaving workers to devise their own method of size, weight, power rating, necessary certificationwork is not a safe system of work. A more formal analysis 7. Locations and means of fixing the stability of any liftingmay be required, and the result can be used to train new equipment to be usedworkers in the required method. This technique is called 8. Material storage, transportation, handling and securityjob safety analysis, and is discussed elsewhere. details 9. Detailed work sequence, with hazard identification and risk control measures, including co-operationMethod statements between trades which may be requiredThe key feature of method statements is that they provide 10. Special considerations, including any limitations fol-a time-frame and order Ð a sequence for carrying out an lowing part completion of works, any temporary sup-identified task; some work activities must be done in ports or supplies required or other specialsequence to ensure safety. In such cases, it is necessary not circumstancesonly to know what the control measures are, but also to 11. Details of all personal protective equipment and othercarry the work out in a particular order. Examples of measures such as barriers, signs, local exhaust venti-
7 CONTROL STRATEGIES FOR CONSTRUCTION WORK 77 lation, rescue equipment, fire extinguishers, gas of the work Ð the fitting of locking devices to controls, for detection equipment example. Most permits are designed to cover work lasting12. Any environmental limitations which may be applic- up to 24 hours and require an authorisation signature for able, such as wind speed, rain, temperature any time extension. Permit systems that regularly allow13. Details of measures to protect third parties who may be work over a longer period than this are likely to be defec- affected tive.14. Mention of any site-specific rules that may apply to the work Key features of permit systems are that experienced,15. The means by which any variations to the method trained and authorised persons will assess the hazards and statement will be authorised risks involved in the proposed work, and will then complete16. Distribution list of those who need the information and sign a certificate giving authority for the work to go ahead under controlled conditions specified on the permit. Nobody should be in a position to authorise a permit forPermit-to-work systems themselves to do the work.Systems of work often operate under the control of a per-mit system, known as a permit-to-work. Because of the The permit should specify:administration needed to run them, permit systems arerelatively uncommon in construction. They are more com- n Details of the work to be donemon in industries where the hazards are associated with n Details of all the precautions requiredhigh risk levels and their use is well established in many n Emergency proceduresorganisations. They require certain precautions to be taken n Any limits on the work, work area or equipmentin order to control them. Examples include hot work per- n Written acceptance by the person who will do themits, electrical lock-out systems and vessel or other con- workfined space entry systems. n Written signed confirmation that the work has been completed and the area restored to safetyThe main requirements of formal permit-to-work systems n Any permitted time extension for the workare: n How the permit is to be cancelledn Specification of the control measures It has been established in law (notably R. v. Octel) that anyn Planning of job sequences if necessary company which operates a permit-to-work system mustn Specified safe means of access and egress to the work accept liability for its adequacy and safe operation. area Therefore, whoever issues a permit must accept personaln Conditions which must be verified before work starts responsibility for ensuring that the required and listedn Clean-up at the completion of the task safety precautions have in fact been taken, before issuingn Adequate communication the permit against the signatures of those involved. Use of an No exceptions permitted permit system does not absolve contractors of theirn Training required for management and workers responsibilities to provide a safe place and safe systems ofn Monitoring to ensure the system remains appropriate work. and is being complied withn Not a substitute for controls not depending upon Permits-to-work are not alternatives to the provision of people to make them work other permanent safeguards, as they suffer from the chief disadvantage that they depend upon people to operateThese written safe systems of work will be found where the them and to work within the conditions they lay down.risks are high, the precautions needed are complicated and Purely verbal instructions are never a safe alternative to aneed written reinforcement, and where the activities of permit system. At the heart of a permit system is the basicdifferent groups of workers or multiple employers have to requirement that a written statement (the permit) con-be co-ordinated to ensure safety. firms that all necessary precautions have been taken to reduce risks and is in the possession of the person directly inPermit systems usually use preprinted forms that list charge of the work, before the work begins.specific checks and/or actions required at specified stages
78 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 7Model permit-to-work system General permit Ð type G (Figure 7.5)A model permit system is shown in Table 7.1, containing a This permit can be used for situations where a more spe-suite of permits comprising a general all-purpose format cialised permit is not required. Examples include, but areand special applications. The table shows the sequence of not limited to:actions involved in a permit-to-work system. Where there isexpected to be significant use of any or all the permits, it is n Alterations or installation of plant or machinery whererecommended that a self-carbon pad of each is printed, in mechanical, toxic or electrical hazards may be presentorder to allow easy sequential numbering and filing of n Work on or near overhead crane installationsrecord copies. n Work on pipelines with hazardous contents n Work with radiation n Work on pressurised systems operating at plus or minus 0.5 bar or greater Table 7.1: Operation of a permit-to-work system TASK and SEQUENCE 1. Request for work permit* 2. Assessment of hazard Permit types 3. Selection of permits General Ð G Confined space Ð CS HV electrical Ð E Hot work Ð HW Excavation Ð EX Possible specific precautions 4. Raise permit and state precautions** Isolation 5. Undertake initial precautions Protective clothing 6. Verify precautions taken before releasing permit Special equipment Breathing apparatus Fire fighting equipment Fire watchers Removal of waste Potential need to test 7. Sampling and testing Toxic concentrations Flammable concentrations Lack of oxygen 8. Issue permit to competent person in charge of the work 9. Carry out work in accordance with precautions Monitoring considerations 10. Monitor conditions Sampling Spot checks Shift changes 11. Completion of work and hand back 12. Cancellation of permit 13. Keep record of permit* When permits to work are in use on a project or site, their use should be covered as part of the induction training of all workers on site, and during pre-start meetings held with contractors.** No permit can be issued until the persons issuing and receiving the permit have personally satisfied themselves that the permit is properly filled in, and have visited the scene of the work to inspect the task and verify that the specified precautions are all in place.
7 CONTROL STRATEGIES FOR CONSTRUCTION WORK 79Confined space entry permit Ð type CS (Figure 7.6) Accidents can easily occur when plant and machinery are started up during repair and maintenance, and also duringThis permit can be used to confirm that necessary pre- installation. Safety devices provided on equipment maycautions have been taken before entry into any confined often protect both operators and maintenance workers,space, such as a chamber, tank, vat or pipe where there but on large machines and process plant total isolation maymay be insufficient oxygen or toxic fumes from any source be difficult, construction workers may have to enter the(including from the work itself). plant to carry out their work, and vision may be restricted. In order to minimise the risk of injury, a written permit-to-Excavation permit Ð type EX (Figure 7.7) work system will be needed.Where buried cables, sewers or pipes are present, or where Other special circumstances where a permit system iswork involves breaking into existing sewers or pipes, appropriate include work on overhead travelling cranes andappropriate measures are required to identify the hazards on chemical plant. Contractors should be aware that, forand specify necessary precautions. These must be identi- these cranes, analysis of accident causes shows that anfied on the permit. effective safety system must prevent the crane from approaching those working in the area. Complete electricalHot work permit Ð type HW (Figure 7.8) isolation together with the use of stop blocks on the crane tracks are the precautions required to achieve this.`Hot work means work involving cutting, welding, leadburning and soldering, or other application of heat usingportable equipment. It also includes drilling and grinding Completion of the G permit (Figure 7.5)where a flammable atmosphere may be present or may bereleased. Unless the work is to be carried out in a special Generalarea prepared for the purpose, the use of a hot work permit The person responsible for issuing the permits must com-system should be considered during the project risk plete sections A to D inclusive. Additionally, Section E1 mustassessment. be signed and the time limit completed in E3. The details of the permit must be fully discussed with the person in chargeHigh voltage electrical work permit Ð type E of the work, who will then sign it at section E2, accepting the(Figure 7.9) permit. A copy must then be made and given to the person inEquipment over 650 volts is conventionally designated as charge of the work. This copy must be displayed in the work`high voltage. Errors during work on this kind of equipment area, and all details must be fully explained to those doingare likely to result in fatality, and precautions other than the work. After completion of the work, the person in chargethe use of competent electricians will usually be required of the work must sign at section F1 on both copies, followingto protect anyone likely to be affected by the work. which the issuer signs both copies to cancel the permit. One copy must be kept on file by the issuer, and the person in charge of the work should retain his copy as a record.Using the model systemThe general principles of use are the same for each type of Section Apermit. Notes on the use and completion of each type ofpermit are contained in the following sections. The permit is to be addressed to the person in charge of the work to be done. A clear description is to be given of the area or equipment, and of the work to be done, to ensureGeneral permit Ð type G accurate identification and no ambiguity.The general permit has been designed to ensure adequateisolation of machinery, plant and pipework, and it also Section Bcovers most general circumstances other than those dealtwith by the specialised permits listed above. It may be Required isolations must be clearly indicated by the personnecessary to raise more than one kind of permit for a par- issuing the permit. The person in charge of the work mustticular task, such as a hot work permit, in addition to the ensure that each isolation is initialled by the person whogeneral permit. has carried it out.
80 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 7Section C A confined space is defined as any chamber, room, vat, tower, pipe, duct or similar place, open or closed, intoAdequate information must be given to ensure that the which people may enter and where:correct type of equipment is used. Details of any atmo-spheric tests required must be written on the back of the n There is or is liable to be a dangerous liquid, gas, fume,permit, stating the intervals between tests at C5 if vapour or dust, orrequired. n There is or is liable to be a deficiency of breathable oxygen, orSection D n There is a fire, explosion or radiation risk, or n There are mechanical hazards, orThis section is used to identify other permits which may be n There are physical hazards such as noise and extremesrequired to cover different aspects of the same work. If of temperature.additional signatories are not required, the person issuingthe permit must delete D5 and 6. Where they are required, The following list shows examples of such places.the person issuing the permit must obtain them beforeissuing the permit. Examples of confined spacesSection E Agitators Ducts Settling tanks Boilers Flues SewersE1 must be signed by the person issuing the permit, who Bunkers Gas mains Steam drumsmust identify the person to whom the permit is issued, Culverts Poorly-ventilated Stillsand state the time limits in E3. Time extensions are per- Cold stores tunnels Tanksmitted up to 24 hours, at which time a fresh permit must Drains Towers Vatsbe raised and issued. The person issuing the permit mayextend its life for up to 24 hours, but must satisfy himselfthat it is safe to extend the limit before doing so. Exten- The hazards which may be present during entry worksion details must be written on the back of the permit. E2 include:must be signed by the person in charge of the work to bedone, who must explain the permit to those doing the n Gassing by toxic vapours which may result fromwork and then display the original permit near the place material in the confined space, from reaction betweenof work. Where there is a change in the person in charge the vessel contents and the structure, from gradualof the work, the person issuing the permit must ensure releases from sludge or scale, from leakage throughthat the permit is properly transferred and an additional interconnected systems because of failure to dis-signature obtained at E2. connect or blank off pipelines or ducts, or from the type of work being carried out in the confined space n Asphyxiation Ð lack of oxygen to breathe, which canSection F be caused by chemicals replacing or displacing oxy-F1 must be signed by the person in charge of the work, on gen in the spaces atmosphere, inadequate ventila-completion. F2 must be signed by the person issuing the tion during the work, use of flames, or absorption ofpermit, cancelling it and describing the state of the oxygen in closed clean vessels by rusting of the wallequipment and/or area concerned. metal n Drowning Ð due to ingress of liquids or sludge in sumps, sewers and vesselsConfined space entry permit Ð type CS n Fire or explosion Ð flammable materials can be pro-Stringent precautions must be taken before anyone is duced from the contents of the space or by the workallowed to go into a confined space. Also, rescue must be being done, ignited by ignition sources such as static,carried out quickly and efficiently if anything goes wrong. electrical faults and mechanical sparksThe purpose of this permit is to identify and control the n Electric shock Ð from portable tools and equipmentprecautions and to confirm the presence of necessary res- n Injury from mechanical equipment Ð especially fromcue facilities. installed equipment being started inadvertently
7 CONTROL STRATEGIES FOR CONSTRUCTION WORK 81n Corrosive and heat burns Ð from opening of steam or Completion of the CS permit (Figure 7.6) other valves, use of welding equipment, contact with introduced or leaked chemicals Generaln Physical hazards Ð falls, falling objects and collapse The person responsible for issuing the permits must com- of materials or structures plete sections A to D inclusive. A clear description of the confined space must be given in A1. Each isolation must beA general checklist of precautions includes: signed off when confirmed by the person carrying out the isolation, in section B. Section E1 must be signed by theIsolation and opening Ð delivery pipes and ventilation issuer, and the time limit completed in E3. The details ofducts into confined spaces should be broken and blanked the permit must be fully discussed with the person inoff or sealed. Manhole covers should always be removed to charge of the work, who will then sign it at section E2,admit air. accepting the permit. A copy must then be made and given to the person in charge of the work. This copy of the permitDraining and cleaning Ð residual products, sludge and must be displayed in the work area, and fully explained toother material should be removed from the outside, so that those doing the work. After completion of the work, thethe space is clean, and outlet pipes disconnected. person in charge of the work must sign at section F1 on both copies, following which the issuer signs both copies toVentilation Ð mechanical means such as portable blowers cancel the permit. One copy must be kept on file by theshould always be advocated to remove dangerous fumes issuer, and the person in charge of the work should retainand to introduce clean air. his copy as a record.Gas testing Ð the atmosphere within a confined space mustbe tested for toxic gases and lack of oxygen, and the test Section Amust be repeated each time a change might have occurred The permit is to be addressed to the person in charge of thein the atmospheric conditions or at such regular intervals as work to be done. A clear description is to be given of theare specified on the permit. confined space, and of the work to be done, to ensure accurate identification and no ambiguity.Mechanical hazards Ð isolators controlling power to anymoving parts within the confined space must be locked off(with the keys being held by a responsible person) and Section Bwarning notices placed on the isolators. Fuses should be Required isolations must be clearly indicated by the personwithdrawn as an additional precaution. issuing the permit. The person in charge of the work must ensure that each isolation is initialled by the person whoProvision for rescue Ð lifting tackle, if necessary on a has carried it out.tripod, should always be rigged for use before entry into theconfined space if there is a possibility of this being needed.An evaluation of the means of evacuating a casualty is always Section Crequired, which must also consider removal to ground level. Adequate information must be given to ensure that theRescue teams must be properly equipped with breathing correct type of equipment is used. Details of any atmo-apparatus, and trained to use it and in their duties in the spheric tests required must be written on the back of theevent of an emergency. Rescue watchers must be aware of permit, stating the intervals between tests at C10 ifthe action to take in the event of an emergency. There must required.always be at least one external watcher, and where rescuemay be physically difficult or there is more than one lifeline Section Din use, more will be required. At least one watcher must haveno other work to do than to give undivided attention to those If additional signatories are not required, the person issuingwithin the confined space. The extreme end of each lifeline the permit must delete D5 and 6. Where they are required,must be tied off and held taut by the watcher. No rescuer is the person issuing the permit must obtain them beforepermitted to enter the confined space unless wearing issuing the permit. Personnel controls will depend upon thebreathing apparatus. conditions within the confined space.
82 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 7Section E pated cables, pipes or drains are discovered, the existing EX permit must be cancelled and a new one issued to coverE1 must be signed by the person issuing the permit, who the new circumstances.must identify the person to whom the permit is issued, andstate the time limits in E3. Time extensions are permitted EX permits cease to be valid after 2 weeks from the date ofup to 24 hours, at which time a fresh permit must be raised issue.and issued. The person issuing the permit may extend itslife for up to 24 hours, but must satisfy himself that it is safe Where alterations are carried out or new buildings areto extend the limit before doing so. Extension details must erected, a detailed plan showing the location of pipes,be written on the back of the permit. E2 must be signed by cables, hydrants, sewer systems, etc., must be kept in athe person in charge of the work to be done, who must safe place. The adequacy of a permit system for excava-explain the permit to those doing the work and then display tions depends upon the possession of accurate and up-to-the permit near the place of work. Where there is a change date plans.in the person in charge of the work, the person issuing thepermit must ensure that the permit is properly transferredand an additional signature obtained at E2. Completion of the EX permit (Figure 7.7) GeneralSection F The person responsible for issuing the permits must com-F1 must be signed by the person in charge of the work, on plete sections A to D inclusive. Additionally, section E1completion. F2 must be signed by the person issuing the must be signed and the time limit completed in E3. Thepermit, cancelling it and describing the state of the details of the permit must be fully discussed with the per-equipment and/or area concerned. son in charge of the work, who will then sign it at section E2, accepting the permit. A copy must then be made and given to the person in charge of the work. This must beExcavation work permit Ð type EX displayed in the work area where possible, and theThe excavation work permit has been designed to ensure details must be fully explained to those doing the work.that excavations can proceed without putting people or After completion of the work, the person in charge of theprocesses at risk as a result of contact with buried services, work must sign at section F1 on both copies, followingcables, main drains and other underground obstructions. which the issuer signs both copies at F2 to cancel the per-The permit does not cover the method of excavation and mit. One copy must be kept on file by the issuer, and thethe standard precautions which should be taken. person in charge of the work should retain his copy as a record.Issue of an EX permit does not invalidate or alter any otherrequirements which may be contained in G or CS permits Section Awhich may apply to a location. Where such permits apply,they must be obtained and issued independently of an EX The permit is to be addressed to the person in charge of thepermit. work to be done. A clear description is to be given of the area, and of the work to be done, to ensure accurateWhere there may be a hazardous atmosphere or deficiency identification. The description of the excavation shouldof oxygen in the area where excavation is to take place, include its location, direction, width and depth, and aatmospheric tests must be carried out before work starts sketch plan should accompany the permit.and if necessary during the course of the work. If theexcavation becomes a confined space as defined above, a Section BCS permit will be required and must be issued before entryinto the excavation. A hot work permit may also be Known obstructions must be clearly indicated by the personrequired in some cases. issuing the permit. In each case the section should be initialled by the person providing the information.During the course of work which is covered by an EX permit,if the programmed work must be changed, or if unantici-
7 CONTROL STRATEGIES FOR CONSTRUCTION WORK 83Section C using portable equipment. It also includes drilling and grinding where a flammable atmosphere may be present orAdequate information must be given to ensure that the may be released.correct type of appliances and equipment are used. Detailsof any atmospheric tests required must be written on the Arcs and flames from cutting and welding equipment areback of the Permit, stating the intervals between tests at rarely the direct cause of fire. Other ignition sources areC6 if required. produced in their vicinity as sparks of hot slag which may rain down through openings to start fires in remote loca-Section D tions, and be a cause of eye injuries. Many fires have started inside ducts not completely cleared of combustibleThis section is used to identify other permits which may be residues. Flammable liquid containers, tanks or pipeworkrequired to cover different aspects of the same work. If may explode on contact with a cutting torch, unlessadditional signatories are not required, the person issuing effectively cleaned and purged. `Flammable liquid meansthe permit must delete D5 and 6. Where they are required almost any liquid which will burn, because at weldingthe person issuing the permit must obtain them before temperatures the liquid will vaporise.issuing the permit. Fires can also be caused by poorly maintained or defectiveSection E equipment, including faulty valves, poor hoses and badly made connections.E1 must be signed by the person issuing the permit, whomust identify the person to whom the permit is issued, Wherever possible, items requiring hot work should beand state the time limitation in E3. Validity of permits taken to a safe place in the open, or an exempt area whereshould not be extended beyond 2 weeks from the date of the permit system does not apply. The need for such anissue, at which time a fresh permit should be raised and exempt area should have been identified during the projectissued. E2 must be signed by the person in charge of the risk assessment. No work involving vessels, pumps, pipework to be done, who must explain the permit to those or plant which contain flammable liquids or residuesdoing the work and then (where the nature of the work should be done without a permit.allows) display the permit near the place of work. Wherethere is a change in the person in charge of the work, the The standard precautions to be taken against fire duringperson issuing the permit must ensure that the permit is hot work are listed in section C of the HW permit. All thoseproperly transferred and an additional signature obtained which are appropriate to the circumstances should beat E2. adopted. If hot work is to be done on a metal wall or par- tition, combustible material on the other side will need protection against conduction and radiation of heat. AnSection F additional fire watcher may be required in some circum-F1 must be signed by the person in charge of the work. F2 stances.must be signed by the person issuing the permit, cancellingit and describing the state of the area concerned. Safer alternatives to open hot work include removing the work to a safer place, using cold cutting or electric saws, or using other methods of fixing.Hot work permit Ð type HW`Hot work hazards are associated with many types of A fire watcher can be any competent worker, who has beenconstruction, maintenance, repair and demolition work. trained in the use of appropriate fire fighting and protec-The main sources of danger appear to be obvious, but tive equipment and is familiar with the means of escape inexperience shows that some are not, and those which are the area. He should extinguish fires and call for assistancerecognised are often treated as `traditional hazards of the when necessary. He should also be given the authority toindustry. stop the hot work if he considers the conditions have become unsafe.`Hot work is defined as work involving cutting, welding,lead burning and soldering, or other application of heat
84 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 7Completion of the HW permit (Figure 7.8) life of a permit up to 24 hours, but must satisfy himself that it is safe to extend the limit before doing so. Extension mustGeneral be written on the back of the permit. D2 must be signed by the person in charge of the work to be done, who mustThe person responsible for issuing the permits must com- explain the permit to those doing the work and then displayplete sections A to D inclusive. Additionally, section D1 the permit near the place of work. Where there is a changemust be signed and the time limit completed in D3. The in the person in charge of the work, the person issuing thedetails of the permit must be fully discussed with the per- permit must ensure that the permit is properly transferredson in charge of the work, who will then sign it at section and an additional signature obtained at D2.D2, accepting the permit. A copy must then be made andgiven to the person in charge of the work. This copy of thepermit must be displayed in the work area, and the details Section Emust be fully explained to those doing the work. After E1 must be signed by the person in charge of the work. E2completion of the work, the person in charge of the work must be signed by the person issuing the permit, cancellingmust sign at section E1 on both copies, following which the it and describing the state of the equipment and/or areaissuer signs both copies to cancel the permit. One copy concerned.must be kept on file by the issuer, and the person in chargeof the work should retain his copy as a record. High voltage electrical work permit Ð type ESection A Unless all the necessary safety precautions are taken, work on high voltage equipment can result in fatal injuries.The permit is to be addressed to the person in charge of thework to be done. A clear description is to be given of the `High voltage means any voltage in excess of 650 volts.area or equipment, and of the work to be done, to ensure `High voltage equipment means any equipment (includingaccurate identification and no ambiguity. cables and switchgear) operated at a voltage exceeding 650 volts.Section B Those persons who are appointed by contractors to work onThe precautions indicated in this section are in addition to high voltage equipment must possess the necessary training,any which may be required by other permits in force, or technical knowledge and experience for the work to be doneother aspects of the work. Some or all may require approval safely, and a high level of personal responsibility. Experi-or authorisation by the client. The person issuing the per- ence of work on lower voltage systems only is not sufficient.mits must ensure that each precaution is in place beforethe permit is issued. The type E permit specifies exactly what high voltage equipment it is safe to work on. As with other permits, it is issued to the person in charge of the work. It is essentialSection C that all instructions for the safe operation of equipment areFire watchers are extremely important, and have saved unambiguous. The person receiving the instructions shouldmany premises from serious damage as a result of fire from repeat them as a check that the requirements have beensmouldering material or structures. In general, at least one understood correctly. Switching must not be carried out onof the controls should apply to each permit issued for hot the basis of pre-arranged signals or after agreed timework. intervals. Entry to substations, switchrooms and other enclosuresSection D containing high voltage equipment must be restricted toD1 must be signed by the person issuing the permit, who workers positively identified as competent, as above, andmust identify the person to whom the permit is issued, and to persons accompanied at all times by them. All thosestate the time limits in D3. Time extensions are permitted entering and about to carry out work on any part of highup to 24 hours, at which time a fresh permit must be raised voltage equipment must be fully aware of the nature andand issued. The person issuing the permit may extend the extent of the work to be done.
7 CONTROL STRATEGIES FOR CONSTRUCTION WORK 85High voltage electrical equipment can only be worked on in be fully discussed with the person in charge of the work,safety if either the part of the apparatus or equipment to who will then sign it at section C2, accepting the permit. Abe worked on is permanently and adequately earthed, so copy must then be made and given to the person in chargethat it is electrically dead at all times, or the apparatus or of the work. This copy of the permit must be displayed inequipment is first made safe by earthing, tested for ver- the work area, and the details must be fully explained toification, and then released for work by the issue of a E those doing the work. After completion of the work, thepermit. Before any work is carried out on remotely or person in charge of the work must sign at section D1 on bothautomatically controlled equipment such as circuit break- copies, following which the issuer signs both copies toers and isolators, the automatic or remote controlled fea- cancel the permit. One copy must be kept on file by thetures must first be rendered inoperative. issuer, and the person in charge of the work should retain his copy as a record.Special issuing conditions for E permits Section AThe person issuing an E permit is personally responsible forthe safe custody of all keys for any locks fitted to prevent The permit is to be addressed to the person in charge of thedanger. The number of E permits issued must be limited, work to be done. A clear description is to be given of theand in particular at any one time there must be only one system or equipment to be worked on. Section A is avalid E permit for any specific piece of equipment. When an statement that the system or equipment is safe, and theE permit is to be issued, the person issuing it must accom- person issuing the permit must satisfy himself that this is sopany the person receiving it to the place of work and ensure before issuing it. It also contains details of the means ofthat the person receiving the permit has correctly identi- earthing the system, and where warning notices have beenfied the apparatus before any work is started. The person placed.receiving the permit should be asked to read it aloud to theperson issuing it. The receiver of the permit must then Section Bsatisfy the issuer that the apparatus or equipment is elec-trically dead and safe to work on. The person issuing the E Section B is an unambiguous statement of the work to bepermit must then sign both copies of the permit in the done, to ensure accurate identification and that thosepresence of the person receiving it. doing the work are aware of the limitations of the safe environment and what precautions have been taken toE permits are valid only for work under the supervision of make it safe.the person to whom they are issued, and are not transfer-able to any other person or work under any circumstances. Section CIf the person to whom the permit is issued ceases to haveresponsibility for the work permitted, the permit must be C1 must be signed by the person issuing the permit, whocancelled immediately and all persons withdrawn from the must identify the person to whom the permit is issued. Ework until another permit is issued. permits should be issued for specific tasks, and will not normally be subject to time limits. The permit will last forHigh voltage equipment and apparatus can only be made the duration of the work or until conditions change. Noready for use after the E permit has been cancelled, as this handovers can be made; a fresh permit must be issued toinvolves removing earthing, locks, danger notices, etc. the new person in charge of the work to be done, who must explain the permit to those doing the work and then displayThe future requirement for work of this type should have the permit near the place of work. Doing so confirms thebeen identified in the project risk assessment. supervisors understanding of the nature of the work, the working conditions and the control measures in place.Completion of the E permit (Figure 7.9) Section DGeneral D1 must be signed by the person in charge of the work, onlyThe person responsible for issuing the permits must com- after the workers have been withdrawn. This section indi-plete sections A, B and C1. The details of the permit must cates that the system or equipment is no longer safe to
86 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 7work on. Cancellation using section E should take place Referencesimmediately. Gibb, A.G.F. (ed.) (2000) Proceedings, Designing for Safety and Health Conference, June 2000. European Construction Institute,Section E c/o Loughborough University, LE11 3TU. Suraji, A. and Duff, R. (2000) Constraint-response theory of con-This must be signed off by the permit issuer on both copies, struction accident causation. In: Proceedings, Designing forkeeping one on file and returning one to the person in Safety and Health Conference, June 2000, (ed. A.G.F. Gibb).charge of the work for record purposes. European Construction Institute, c/o Loughborough University, LE11 3TU. Figure 7.1: Sample checklist: good neighbour Project: NO. STANDARD YES NO COMMENTS 1 Has the project Safety Plan taken the following items into account (as they apply to the project)? 2 Has a `good neighbour policy been established with occupiers of premises in the immediate vicinity of the site? 3 Are perimeter boundary fences to be erected? Are there arrangements to keep them maintained in good repair, well lit as necessary, signed and kept clean? 5 Is pedestrian footway disruption being considered and kept to a minimum? 6 Where necessary, are crash barriers, safety nets and pedestrian tunnels provided and maintained? 7 Has provision been made for public viewing locations? 8 Is the external level of lighting being maintained as the existing lighting is disturbed (i.e. footpath lighting levels? 9 Is traffic flow scheduling for material delivery/collection satisfactory? 10 Is optimum use being made of off-site fabrication to reduce traffic flow to the site? 11 Are site and delivery vehicles maintained in good condition? 12 Are security procedures effectively preventing unauthorised access to the site? 13 Are all adjacent roads/footpaths kept clean? 14 Is all rubbish being cleared from site regularly? 15 Are dust control measures effective? 16 Are the locations of services clearly marked? 17 Is effluent and waste from the works effectively controlled? 18 Are passers-by harassed by site work in any way? Checklist completed by: Date:
7 CONTROL STRATEGIES FOR CONSTRUCTION WORK 87Figure 7.2: Sample checklist: noise controlProject: NO. NOISE CONTROL YES NO COMMENTS 1 Has a survey of planned site activities been made to establish potential high noise level activities? 2 Have all contractors been asked to identify and control activities likely to produce high noise levels? 3 Where such activities have been identified, and it appears likely that acceptable or permissible noise levels will be exceeded, have any of the following actions been instigated by the contractors? (a) Silencing the noise at source? (b) Controlling the spread of noise? (c) Reducing the noise exposure duration? (d) Providing hearing protection and warning signs? 4 Where feasible has all noisy plant been located away from sensitive areas? 5 Where this is not possible has the noisy plant been acoustically screened effectively? 6 Have contractors provided suitable hearing protection for their workers? 7 Have arrangements been made for regular maintenance of noisy plant? 8 Has substitution been considered for noisy plant or procedures? 9 Is the necessary information, instruction and training on noise control techniques given to site workers?Checklist completed by: Date:
88 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 7Figure 7.3: Sample checklist: pollution controlProject: NO. POLLUTION CONTROL YES NO COMMENTS 1 Dust Emissions (a) Have the operations/processes which create dust emissions been identified? (b) Are they critical activities or can they be deleted? (c) If critical, is there an alternative process? 2 Dust Control Measures (a) Can dust be suppressed at source by either wet processes or forced air extraction? (b) Can the process be contained by localised sheeting or containment within the structure itself? (c) Is ventilation or filtration required? (d) Can the process be relocated to a less sensitive location? 3 Site Roads and Exits (a) Are the site roads a source of dust? (b) Can the surface of the roads be compacted sufficiently to prevent dusting? (c) Is the road surface regularly cleaned (using a dust-free wet method)? (d) Are site roads watered to reduce dust emissions in hot weather? (e) Are wheelwash facilities required at site exit points? If so, are they fully operational and staffed continuously? (f) Do all vehicles leaving the site have to use the wheelwasher? (g) Is the wheelwasher water cleaned appropriately before dispersal? 4 Local Roads (a) Is the status of roads local to the project site monitored for cleanliness and condition? Is this done daily/weekly/ less often/adequately? (b) Are facilities available to clear roads of any mud or debris deposited (power sprays, road sweepers etc.)? 5 Air Monitoring (a) Has air monitoring been implemented to establish the amount of dust or other significant contaminants in the air? (b) Have initial readings been taken to establish ambient (background) levels before work commenced? 6 Discharges to Watercourses (a) Are there any surface water courses within, adjacent or downstream of the project/site? Contd
7 CONTROL STRATEGIES FOR CONSTRUCTION WORK 89Figure 7.3: ContdProject: NO. POLLUTION CONTROL YES NO COMMENTS (b) If so, are these vulnerable to pollution by: n Chemical spillage n Diesel/oil spillage n Waste materials n Soiled water (c) How are these sources of pollution to be avoided? (d) How will the effectiveness of any control measures be monitored? 7 Discharges to Drains and Sewers (a) Are the locations of drains and sewers on or adjacent to the project/site known? (b) Are these vulnerable to pollution by: n Blockage n Stored chemical spillage n Diesel/fuel spillage n Waste materials (c) How are these sources of pollution to be avoided? (d) How will the effectiveness of any control measures be monitored? (e) Are facilities available on site to clear and clean blocked drains? 8 Material Storage (a) Are storage areas located downstream from watercourses, drains and sewers? (b) Are diesel/fuel oil and chemical storage areas bunded to contain spillages? (c) Are facilities available on site to deal with on site spillage of pollutants? 9 Statutory Authorities (a) Has the relevant local authority been notified of works affecting watercourses, drains and sewers? (b) Has the authority issued any conditions regarding either permitted dust in air levels or watercourse protection? (c) If so, how are these conditions to be complied with and how will they be monitored? (d) Have these conditions been passed to a qualified Safety Manager for comment?Checklist completed by: Date:
90 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 7Figure 7.4: Sample checklist: waste controlProject: NO. WASTE CONTROL YES NO COMMENTS 1 Are you aware of local waste disposal requirements which must be complied with by the project? 2 Have you identified the types of waste that will be disposed? Examples are: n Wood n Metals n Builders waste n Chemicals n Hazardous substances n Flammable substances (those with flash points exceeding 218C Ð check the data sheet) n Toxic waste 3 Is it a requirement that waste be sorted by type prior to disposal? 4 Are contractors obligations for proper waste disposal clearly identified in the Tender and/or Contract documents? 5 Are contractors required to: (a) Control and dispose of all their waste? (b) Remove waste to agreed collection points for removal by others? (c) Contribute to a Service Team with necessary labour/ funding/equipment? 6 Where required, are the waste removers and the disposal tips licensed to receive the type(s) of waste being disposed of? 7 Who controls the issue of transfer or consignment documentation, where this is required? 8 How long are disposal records required to be maintained? (UK = a minimum of 2 years) 9 Can waste materials be recycled? 10 Can the level of waste material be reduced by design/ quality control? 11 Is rubbish burning banned on site?Checklist completed by: Date:
7 CONTROL STRATEGIES FOR CONSTRUCTION WORK 91Figure 7.5: General permit to work Ð G To: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Company: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Project: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .EVERY ITEM MUST BE COMPLETED OR DELETED AS APPROPRIATEA JOB DETAILS1. Area or equipment to which this permit applies: 2. Work to be done:B ISOLATIONS (specify where necessary) Initials and comments1. Circuit breaker locked out/fuses withdrawn/isolator locked off YES/NO2. Circuit tested and confirmed to be dead YES/NO3. Mechanical or physical isolation YES/NO4. Valves closed/locked off/spades inserted YES/NO5. Pipelines drained/purged/disconnected/vented to atmosphere YES/NO6. Documented isolation procedure attached YES/NO7. Other YES/NOC PRECAUTIONS (to be taken as indicated, additional to those specified on other permits)1. Protective clothing Yes/No Type . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2. Respiratory equipment Yes/No Type . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3. Protected electrical equipment Yes/No Type . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4. State additional precautions required (if none state none)................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................5. Atmosphere tests are not/are required at intervals of . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . and results must be recorded overleaf.D ADDITIONAL PERMITS AND SIGNATURES REQUIRED BEFORE WORK STARTS1. Confined Space Entry Ð CS Yes/No 5. In my opinion the engineering precautions are adequate.2. HV Electrical Ð E Yes/No Signed (Engineer) . . . . . . . . . . Date . . . . . . . . . .3. Hot Work Ð HW Yes/No 6. In my opinion the precautions against special hazards4. Excavation Ð EX Yes/No within my knowledge are adequate Signed (Specialist) . . . . . . . . . . Date . . . . . . . . . .E ISSUE AND RECEIPT BEFORE WORK STARTS1. Issue 2. ReceiptI have examined the area specified and permission is given I have read and understood the conditions of this permitfor the work to start, subject to the conditions hereon, Signed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Date . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .under the control of . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3. This permit is valid from . . . . . . . . . . . . . . hours toSigned . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Date . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . hours (max 24 hours)F CLEARANCE AND CANCELLATION AFTER WORK1. Clearance 2. Cancellation Yes No I have notified those affected.All workers under my control have been withdrawn. The Work complete This permit is cancelled.permitted work is/is not complete. Isolations removed Area/Equipment Signed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Signed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . is safe to use Date . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Date . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
92 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 7Figure 7.6: Confined space permit Ð CS To: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Company: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Project: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .EVERY ITEM MUST BE COMPLETED OR DELETED AS APPROPRIATEA JOB DETAILS1. Area or equipment to which this permit applies: 2. Work to be done:B ISOLATIONS (specify where necessary) Initials and comments1. Circuit breaker locked out/fuses withdrawn/isolator locked off YES/NO2. Circuit tested and confirmed to be dead YES/NO3. Mechanical or physical isolation YES/NO4. Valves closed/locked off/spades inserted YES/NO5. Pipelines drained/purged/disconnected/vented to atmosphere YES/NO6. Documented isolation procedure attached YES/NO7. Other YES/NOC PRECAUTIONS (to be taken as indicated, additional to those specified on other permits)1. Protective clothing Yes/No Type . . . . . 5. Safety belt/harness Yes/No Type . . . . . . . . . . . .2. Respiratory equipment Yes/No Type . . . . . 6. Lifting tackle Yes/No Type . . . . . . . . . . . .3. Protected electrical equipment Yes/No Type . . . . . 7. Special ventilation requirements Yes/No Specify:4. Hot work permit Yes/No .......................................8. State additional precautions required (if none state none)................................................................................................................................................................9. Rescue procedures are in place (specify) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .................................................................................10. Atmosphere tests are not/are required at intervals of . . . . . . . . . . . . . . and results must be recorded overleaf.D ADDITIONAL PERMITS AND SIGNATURES REQUIRED BEFORE WORK STARTS1. Maximum number of persons allowed in space at any 5. In my opinion the engineering precautions are adequate. one time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Signed (Engineer) . . . . . . . . . . Date . . . . . . . . . .2. Maximum duration each person is allowed for each 6. In my opinion the precautions against special hazards entry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . within my knowledge are adequate3. Length of rest pauses to be taken between entries . . . Signed (Specialist) . . . . . . . . . . Date . . . . . . . . . .4. Number of external watchers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .E ISSUE AND RECEIPT BEFORE WORK1. Issue 2. ReceiptI have examined the area specified and permission is given I have read and understood the conditions of this permitfor the work to start, subject to the conditions hereon, Signed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Date . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .under the control of . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3. This permit is valid from . . . . . . . . . . . . . . hours toSigned . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Date . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . hours (max 24 hours)F CLEARANCE AND CANCELLATION AFTER WORK1. Clearance 2. Cancellation Yes No I have notified those affected.All workers under my control have been withdrawn. The Work complete This permit is cancelled.permitted work is/is not complete. Isolations removed Area/Equipment Signed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Signed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . is safe to use Date . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Date . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
7 CONTROL STRATEGIES FOR CONSTRUCTION WORK 93Figure 7.7: Excavation Ð EX To: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Company: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Project: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .EVERY ITEM MUST BE COMPLETED OR DELETED AS APPROPRIATEA JOB DETAILS1. Area to which this permit applies: 2. Work to be done:B KNOWN OBSTRUCTIONS Ð specify and initial1. Electrical 4. Gas2. Water services 5. Process pipeline and drains3. Telephone/cable 6. Other:C PRECAUTIONS (to be taken as indicated, additional to those specified on other permits)1. Personal protective equipment YES/NO Type: Helmets/Gloves/Footwear/Clothing . . . . . . . . . . .2. Respiratory equipment YES/NO Type . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3. Protected electrical equipment YES/NO Type . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4. Hand digging only YES/NO5. State additional precautions required (if none state none)................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................6. Atmosphere tests are not/are required at intervals of . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . and results must be recorded overleaf.D ADDITIONAL PERMITS AND SIGNATURES REQUIRED BEFORE WORK STARTS1. General Permit to Work Ð G Yes/No 5. In my opinion the engineering precautions are adequate.2. Confined Spaces Entry Ð CS Yes/No Signed (Engineer) . . . . . . . . . . Date . . . . . . . . . .3. HV Electrical Ð E Yes/No 6. In my opinion the precautions against special hazards4. Hot Work Ð HW Yes/No within my knowledge are adequate Signed (Specialist) . . . . . . . . . . Date . . . . . . . . . .E ISSUE AND RECEIPT BEFORE WORK STARTS1. Issue 2. ReceiptI have examined the area specified and permission is given I have read and understood the conditions of this permitfor the work to start, subject to the conditions hereon,under the control of . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Signed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Date . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Signed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Date . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3. This permit is valid until . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (date)F CLEARANCE AND CANCELLATION AFTER WORK1. Clearance 2. Cancellation Yes No I have notified those affected.All workers under my control have been withdrawn. The Work complete This permit is cancelled.permitted work is/is not complete. Isolations removed Area/Equipment Signed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Signed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . is safe to use Date . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Date . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
94 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 7Figure 7.8: Hot work permit Ð HW To: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Company: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Project: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .EVERY ITEM MUST BE COMPLETED OR DELETED AS APPROPRIATEA JOB DETAILS1. Area or equipment to which this permit applies: 2. Work to be done:B PRECAUTIONS (to be taken as indicated) Client approval/authorisation 1. Isolation of service (simple) YES/NO 2. Sprinkler system in service YES/NO 3. Extinguishers or hose reels present YES/NO 4. Means of sounding fire alarm present YES/NO 5. Cutting or welding equipment in good condition YES/NO 6. Floors cleared of combustible materials YES/NO 7. Combustible floors suitably protected YES/NO 8. Flammable liquid containers removed, including empties YES/NO 9. If answer to No. 8 is yes, the containers are suitably protected YES/NO10. Wall and floor openings suitably protected YES/NO11. Walls, ceilings, roofs suitably protected YES/NO12. Area on other side free from combustible material YES/NO13. Area to be wetted or fire blankets used YES/NO14. State additional precautions required (if none, state none): . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................C PERSONNEL CONTROLS AND AUTHORISATION1. Trained fire watcher required throughout duration of YES/NO work2. Trained fire watcher required for 30 minutes following YES/NO end of work3. Fire inspection to be carried out at end of shift YES/NO following end of workD ISSUE AND RECEIPT BEFORE WORK1. Issue 2. ReceiptI have examined the area specified and permission is given I have read and understood the conditions of this permitfor the work to start, subject to the conditions hereon, Signed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Date . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .under the control of . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3. This permit is valid from . . . . . . . . . . . . . . hours toSigned . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Date . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . hours (max 24 hours)E CLEARANCE AND CANCELLATION AFTER WORK1. Clearance 2. Cancellation Yes No I have notified those affected.All workers under my control have been withdrawn. The Work complete This permit is cancelled.permitted work is/is not complete. Isolations removed Area/Equipment Signed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Signed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . is safe to use Date . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Date . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
7 CONTROL STRATEGIES FOR CONSTRUCTION WORK 95Figure 7.9: HV electrical permit Ð E To: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Company: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Project: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .A EQUIPMENT/SYSTEM ON WHICH IT IS SAFE TO WORK B WORK TO BE CARRIED OUTIt is safe to work on the following HV equipment/system, Only the following work is to be done:which is dead, isolated from all live conductors and isconnected to earth/ground:LOCATION:EQUIPMENT/SYSTEM:EARTHING/GROUNDING DETAILS: SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS TO BE TAKEN:POINTS AT WHICH WARNING NOTICES HAVE BEEN PLACED:C ISSUE AND RECEIPT BEFORE WORK STARTS1. Issue 2. ReceiptI have examined the area specified and permission is given I have read and understood the conditions of this permit,for the work to start, subject to the conditions hereon, and understand that work is restricted to the equipmentunder the control of . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . specified above.Signed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Date . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Signed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Date . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .D CLEARANCE E CANCELLATIONThe work for which this permit was issued has been This permit to work is cancelledcompleted/suspended, and all workers under my controlhave been withdrawn and warned that it is no longer safeto work on the equipment specified in this permit. All Signed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Date . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .tools and temporary earthing/grounding connections havebeen removed. Time . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Signed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Date . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
8 The Health and Safety PlanAlthough a requirement of the Construction (Design and obtain an overview of significant hazards and risks, and ifManagement) Regulations 1994 (CDM), the development of necessary to specify solutions to them. Many contractorsproject- and site-specific Health and Safety Plans is a have developed systems to do this; early resistance to therecognised part of best practice in safety management in concept on the grounds of time lost and difficulty can bethe construction industry worldwide. Only a legal require- removed by the demonstration of its worth. Benefitsment in the member states of the European Union and include the advance identification of problems so that theyAustralia, their use is now encouraged in many other can be managed by organising rather than by `fire fighting.countries and mandated by contractors wishing to achievemaximum levels of control of site work. In this Chapter, Pre-tender Health and Safety Plan`Safety Plan is used as an abbreviation for `Health andSafety Plan. A summary of the matters which should be addressed at the pre-tender stage is given in an Appendix to the ApprovedThe Safety Plan is produced to assist and contribute to the Code of Practice to the Regulations, which should always beestablishment of a safe, healthy and environmentally sound consulted. This shows the topics which should be coveredworking environment, so as to benefit all workers and where relevant to the project:management personnel on site, neighbours and third par-ties, and to minimise the environmental impact of the n General description and location of the work, withwork. It should include details of the project and its safety, details of those involved including the client andhealth and environmental requirements, anticipated site Planning Supervisor, and any safety requirements ofhazards and conditions and their means of control. It will the client (probably in relation to interfacing with thealso contain rules developed following consideration of all clients own operations)significant hazards and their risks, and other items which n Time and programme Ð including stage start and finishare important for the safe and efficient conduct of the dateswork. `Significant hazards in this context refers to those n Existing off-site conditions Ð adjacent land use,hazards which a competent contractor could not be ground instability and contamination, traffic systemsexpected to identify in advance. and restrictions, potential for trespass or vandalism, restrictions on noise and other nuisancesIt must be the responsibility of every contractor to be n Existing on-site conditions Ð status and location ofaware of the Safety Plan and its contents, and to make buried and overhead services, traffic conditions andknown to their workers all specific provisions which they restrictions, site investigation reports, undergroundare required to comply with. One particular benefit of the obstructions, ground contamination and ground waterSafety Plan is that, when made available in its preliminary conditionsform at the bid stage, it allows contractors foresight of n Hazards from existing structures which might ariseconditions which may alter their bids. `I didnt know you from demolition and refurbishment Ð presence ofwanted me to allow for doing it that way has been a fre- asbestos, fragile materials, fire damage, post-quent complaint of contractors in the past. tensioned concrete structures and structural insta- bilityThe Safety Plan cannot be developed until a project risk n Existing records Ð available drawings of existingassessment has been made, in order to list all the issues and structures, the health and safety file if available,
8 THE HEALTH AND SAFETY PLAN 97 previous site investigation reports, historical maps if n Achieve a positive organisational safety culture, where relevant risk control is accepted as a normal part of life rathern The design Ð principles and assumptions of design for than an add-on. structures, including suggestions for methods or sequence of erection/assembly, specific inherent risks The level of detail required in the Safety Plan should be in where the contractor will be required to state how he proportion to the risks involved. As with other control will avoid or control them, significant hazards not documents, the intention is for it to describe the practical eliminated by the design arrangements made to control those risks.n Site layout and management Ð access egress, storage and unloading arrangements, site offices and welfare The contents of the plan are not specified within the CDM facilities Regulations, but guidance is given on them in the Approvedn Site rules and procedures Ð security arrangements, Code of Practice. The list of topics given in Table 8.1 permit-to-work procedures, site rules from statutory illustrates the comprehensive nature of the plan, but those bodies and emergency procedures that are not relevant to a particular project can be left out.n Procedures for review of the Safety Plan itself Ð pro- Many of the topics are discussed elsewhere in this book. cedures for managing design changesn Information required for the health and safety file Project safety management commitmentn Arrangements and format for the Safety Plan statementn Arrangements for communication and liaison between all parties It has been found useful to require the most senior membern Issues which will arise when the project is located in of the project management team to sign the Safety Plan, occupied premises thus demonstrating commitment to it. In some cases, principal contractors require the production of a project- specific statement of commitment to be placed in the frontDeveloping the construction phase Health of the plan. For example see page 99.and Safety PlanThe principal contractors role is to take the pre-con- Roles and responsibilities of project staffstruction plan and breathe life into it. In so doing, theprinciples of prevention must be followed, as required by The numbers and levels of management on a project will beSchedule 1 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work proportional to its size and complexity. The following sug-Regulations 1999: gested duties and responsibilities of senior management may be found useful. Roles can be combined wheren Where possible, avoid risks altogether Ð by doing the appropriate on smaller projects. work a different way without introducing new hazardsn Evaluate risks that cannot be avoided by risk assess- Project Director / Senior Project Manager mentn Combat risks at source, for example by removing a 1. Understand and be responsible for the implementation problem rather than posting a warning sign of the company safety, health and environmentaln Adapt work to the individual, and give them control policy, and policies, practices and procedures devel- over speed of work where possible, rather than making oped in compliance with it to meet the needs of the the individual adjust to the work projectn Make use of technological progress Ð mechanical 2. Co-operate in the co-ordination of safety, health and handling, for example, replacing manual handling environmental activities between all contractors andn Have a policy of active risk prevention based on con- clients, and any other contractors who may be working tinuous improvement on the projectn Give priority to solutions protecting the whole work- 3. Appoint one or more members of staff to monitor the place rather than individuals Ð guardrails rather than standards of safety, health and environment awareness safety harnesses and action on the projectn Make sure everyone knows what they need to do to 4. Ensure that all relevant legislation is observed on the remain safe and healthy project
98 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 8Table 8.1: Safety Plan contentsTopic heading Examples of detail that may be appropriateProject introduction Description of the work, project safety policy or statement of intent, restrictions on work such as traffic flows and noise limits, work activities of the client, contractors layout for the site including storage areasProject management Management structure and responsibilities of the principal contractors project team, arrangements for co-ordination meetingsSafety, health and environmental Any special codes and conditions to be complied with, possibly set by the clientstandards set for the projectInformation for contractors Information that must be passed to on to lower tier contractorsPrincipal contractors selection This may be relevant on larger projects where substantial procurementprocedures for contractors, designers continues throughout the projects lifeand suppliersCommunications Examples are: how information is to be communicated to project teams and workforce, how co-operation is to be achieved between contractors, how design changes will be carried out and authorisedHazardous activities Arrangements including method statement requirements for dealing with the effective management of hazardous activities, of which examples are: n Storage and distribution of materials n Waste control and disposal n Means of access and places of work n Mechanical plant n Temporary services n Temporary support structures n Commissioning n Permit-to-work arrangements n Fall prevention and protection n Protection against falling materials n Exclusion of unauthorised people from work areas n Protection of the publicEmergency Plan or procedures Dealing with injuries, fire and other dangerous occurrences, including remediation Ð see belowReporting of incidents and other Arrangements for reporting incidents under RIDDOR, and statistical informationinformationWelfare Responsibility for provision and maintenance of welfare facilities, statement of what is availableInformation and training for workers Induction training and site orientation requirements, toolbox talks or task instructionConsultation arrangements Communication with workers and/or their representativesSite rules Any site rules established by the principal contractorHealth and Safety File Requirements for the collection and handling of information to enable the file to be preparedMonitoring arrangements Compliance with the law, the site rules, procedures and standardsProject review System for applying lessons learned, including continuing evaluations of contractor competence
8 THE HEALTH AND SAFETY PLAN 99Example of a project-specific statement of n The presence of a nominated person on site whosecommitment role will be to manage safety on site, including the identification and rectification of any potentially[YOURCO] is committed to the provision of a safe and dangerous situationshealthy working environment for all employees and n Establishing the site so that all necessary safecontractors, as well as other people affected by our working procedures and equipment are imple-work. These may include employees of the client or mented and usedowner, our own visitors and those of contractors, and n Ensuring that all workers are given inductionthird parties such as the general public. training prior to access to the site, and making appropriate arrangements to brief visitorsWe recognise that the project work will result in the n Establishing a site safety committee with regularcreation of a potentially dangerous work environment, meetings and follow-up actions, to which eachand our aim is to achieve our objectives by eliminating contractor is to nominate a representativeall potential life-threatening and disabling situations, n Keeping our client advised in advance of any worksand to minimise the occurrence of all incidents which that will affect their operationscould lead to personal injury, damage to or loss ofproperty and plant, and damage to the environment. As the senior Project Manager for this project, I have reviewed the contents of this Health and Safety Plan,To achieve these objectives, we are committed to the and will ensure the necessary support and resources tofollowing: achieve the above objectives and the provision of a safe and healthy workplace.n Identification in advance of potential hazards, and organising the work activities so as to minimise the risks arising from themn Setting and achieving essential basic standards for ........................... safety, health and the environment, and aiming to achieve best construction practice through a pro- Project Manager cess of education and development5. Ensure the prompt reporting of injuries suffered on the 8. Ensure that pre-start kick-off meetings are held with project, and the investigation of pollution incidents, contractors and that adequate safety and health plans significant incidents and other matters which may be or method statements have been prepared by them required by company policy to be investigated or which establish work methods and sequences of recorded operations, together with the precautions to be6. Reprimand any member of staff failing to discharge adopted satisfactorily the responsibilities allocated to him/her 9. Act as Chairman of the project Safety and Health7. Ensure that adequate information is received regarding Committee and ensure that safety and health are dis- matters which might affect safety, health and the cussed and recorded as part of the agenda of all project environment in order to determine at the planning and progress meetings held with contractors stage: 10. Be responsible for the planning, implementation, (a) The most appropriate order and method of working publication, operation and review of the written Pro- (b) Allocation of responsibilities with contractors and ject Major Emergency Plan, and ensure that the pro- others posed Emergency Plan meets the objectives of (c) Facilities for welfare and sanitation company policies on safety, health and the environ- (d) Necessary fire precautions ment (e) Hazards which may arise from overhead or 11. Appoint a senior manager to act as Fire and Emergency underground services and other situations which Procedures Co-ordinator may lead to unnecessary improvisations on site 12. In the event of an emergency, act on advice from the (f) Provision of adequate power supplies and lighting Fire and Emergency Procedures Co-ordinator and
100 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 8 activate the Project Major Emergency Plan where 3. Carry out weekly formal inspections of the project and appropriate record the results, giving copies to the contractors13. In relation to company and statutory environmental concerned and keeping a file record requirements: 4. Investigate all injuries reported, to identify the cause (a) Ensure the removal of waste in accordance with and determine responsibility statutory requirements, or best practice 5. Accompany visiting company and contractors safety (b) Implement measures necessary to control ground, staff and local enforcement officials during their visits river and coastal water pollution to the project (c) Implement measures necessary to control noise 6. Set a personal example pollution (d) Implement a `good neighbour policy All employees (e) Prevent the atmospheric discharge wherever possible of ozone-depleting gases such as CFCs 1. Develop a personal concern for their own safety and and halons health whilst at work, and for that of others, especially (f) Protect wherever possible and as appropriate wild new employees life, flora including trees, archaeological and 2. Report defects in equipment or plant, and any obvious heritage remains health or environmental risks, to their superior (g) Promote sustainable development, minimise 3. Be aware of the principles of the company policy on materials wastage, promote recycling options and safety, health and the environment, and promote these conserve water, paper and energy 4. Comply with any company and project rules on safety (h) Investigate and report on environmental inci- and health as they affect their work, particularly in dents, taking preventative action against repeti- regard to the wearing or use of personal protective tion clothing and equipment (i) Operate vehicles where possible on unleaded 5. Set a personal example fuels to minimise exhaust pollutants14. Set a personal example Project Major Emergency Plan The objective of a Project Major Emergency Plan (PMEP)Assistant Project Manager(s) is to ensure that all members of the projects manage-1. Organise the project and supervise to ensure that work ment are able to respond to a major emergency quickly is carried out to agreed standards of safety and quality, and systematically, by following a sequential plan of with minimum impact on the environment and risk to action. There is no statutory requirement to include a workers, equipment and materials PMEP within the Health and Safety Plan, but their value2. Co-ordinate the activities of contractors, and monitor has been proved beyond doubt. The remainder of this that legislation, site rules and other instructions are chapter offers suggestions on the format and develop- being complied with ment of a PMEP.3. Ensure that first-aid and welfare facilities are available as planned, and that their location is known to all workers A major emergency can be defined as a situation where, in4. Be familiar with the details of the Project Major Emer- the opinion of the senior member of the project manage- gency Plan, and managements role in it ment, significant loss or damage has been caused to the5. Set a personal example project, persons working on the project in any capacity, or the surrounding area, and where external rescue, emer- gency or regulatory agencies and the media are likely toAppointed site safety person become involved.1. Supervise to ensure that work is carried out to agreed standards of safety and quality, with minimum impact Examples of major emergencies include (but are not on the environment and risk to workers, equipment and restricted to) multiple injury incidents, fires which cannot materials be controlled by site facilities, natural disasters such as2. Monitor that legislation, site rules and other instructions floods, earthquakes and exceptional wind speeds, and sig- are being complied with nificant structural failures.
8 THE HEALTH AND SAFETY PLAN 101The PMEP will contain details specific to the project, and remain behind to look after essential operations untilinformation under the following suggested headings: their evacuation becomes absolutely necessary n Details of who is responsible for making emergencyEmergency planning Before physical work begins on the notifications for situations that may occur outsideproject, and at intervals throughout its duration, the fol- normal working hourslowing should be reviewed: exposure to risks arising from n Safe or refuge areas offering safety to occupantsfire, structural collapse, terrorist attack, risks to the pending evacuation. Such an area is created by usinggeneral public outside the site perimeter and the like- barriers that either fold across or shut, to provide alihood of trespass or other unauthorised access to the space protected from fire and smoke, such as inpremises. At the same time, the major work tasks enclosed stairwaysinvolved should be reviewed to identify those with highrisks which, in combination with the nature, size and Arrangements for personnel head count after emergencylocation of the project structures, will make it necessary evacuation has been completed. Generally, evacuatedfor special emergency arrangements to be put in place. staff should be directed to a known assembly point a safeThe plan should begin with a statement of the projects distance and location away from the evacuated premises.exposure to these and other risks, and the significant Supervisors should then make sure that all their staff arework tasks. accounted for, and confirm this to the Emergency Pro- cedures Co-ordinator or person deputising.Details of notifications made and the dates of notifica-tions The local police and fire authorities should be Visitors to the project should be accompanied at all timesadvised in writing of project start and estimated end dates, by a responsible person in the organisation being visited,and key personnel contact telephone numbers during and who must ensure their safety at all times and account foroutside normal working hours them at the head count. This requirement should be covered during the kick-off briefing for contractors.Notification priority list Who needs to know and in whatorder? Emergency evacuation drills The need to practise emergency evacuation cannot be over-emphasised. With-Posting of emergency telephone numbers Outside nor- out such drills, it is unlikely that an adequate response in amal working hours contact telephone number for notifica- real emergency will be achieved. The PMEP should containtion of an emergency/incident, and details of project appropriate arrangements for them, but their frequencymanagement outside hours numbers should be supplied to will depend on individual needs, and these are likely tocontractors representatives and posted on noticeboards as alter at different stages of a project. Accordingly, theirwell as included in the PMEP. scope and frequency must be kept under constant review and revisions given appropriate publicity.Evacuation plan, including emergency escape proceduresand routes. It is important that everyone working on a Rescue and medical duties for those/any employees whoproject knows what actions they are expected to take in are to carry them out. It is important to make sure that onlyemergency situations that may require evacuation of the those who have a detailed knowledge of the project layoutpremises. The main points of the PMEP will therefore need and any processes involved are allowed to undertake rescueto be covered during induction training. operations. These people should be in possession of current first-aid qualifications where possible, and be properlyThe plan should include: equipped with personal protective equipment so as to minimise the risks to themselves.n Floor plans or maps clearly showing the emergency escape routes and assembly areas Ð these may need to Security Effective security arrangements are important be updated frequently in emergency planning. The security unit should be locatedn Location of safe or refuge areas in high-rise buildings away from potential disaster areas, in a commanding and other premises where speedy evacuation may not position. It should be fire-proof and contain a copy of the be possible emergency contact numbers, the PMEP, and plans showingn Procedures to be followed by any workers allowed to fire points, emergency exit routes and assembly areas, dry/
102 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 8wet fire main inlet points and access route for emergency 1. Assess the situation, determine whether the PMEPservices. should be activated and advise the senior member of the project management accordinglyIt will normally be necessary to detail the arrangements 2. Take charge of the work of the Emergency Managementmade for project security within the PMEP. Security staff Teamhave a valuable role to play, especially outside normal 3. Direct all efforts in the area, including taking charge ofworking hours, and they should be involved in any rehearsal the evacuation process and minimising property damageof arrangements. It is also possible that they may them- and lossselves be involved in an incident, and so the personnel head 4. Ensure that outside emergency services are called incount must also include security staff. where necessary, and liaise with the senior person controlling those services, especially concerning theSite fire precautions Summary details of the project fire number and locations of any persons not accounted for,precautions should be included in the PMEP, and will be and for handover of control where appropriateuseful as a basis for decisions on what situations may 5. Direct the shutdown of project operations as necessaryrequire activation of the plan. Immediate action following activation of theOut of hours incidents The PMEP should provide for PMEPemergency notification for situations that may occur out- The decision to activate the PMEP will be taken by theside regular working hours, including nights, weekends and senior member of management. The decision will be takenholidays. Security staff should be given specific instructions on the basis of advice given by the Emergency Proceduresto call the senior person in charge of the project. In the Co-ordinator or person deputising. The guiding principleevent of a fire or serious injuries, the appropriate emer- should be that the safety of site personnel and any persongency services should be alerted before calling the person likely to be affected by the emergency always takesin charge of the project. priority. When the plan is activated, the following steps should be taken without delay:Personnel 1. Evacuate the premises according to the detailed PMEP,Project major emergency plans should be co-ordinated by under the control of the Emergency Procedures Co-someone other than the senior person in charge of a pro- ordinator or person deputisingject, designated the Emergency Procedures Co-ordi- 2. Arrange for a site personnel head count to be taken, andnator. That person should, in conjunction with colleagues, advise the senior external emergency services controllerwrite the PMEP and keep it up to date. The PMEP may if anyone is unaccounted fornominate people to take various roles and act as the 3. Establish an Emergency Management Team for theEmergency Management Team, or the group can be nomi- immediate control of the situation, led by the Emer-nated at the scene. gency Procedures Co-ordinator or person deputising. Ensure that members of the Emergency ManagementThe composition and numbers of the Emergency Manage- Team take prompt steps to advise their own next of kinment Team will depend on the nature, size and complexity of their personal safetyof the project. They should all be familiar with the layout 4. Initiate discussion with external emergency services toand nature of the project and any processes involved, and establish who will be in overall control of the situation.should be given the opportunity to practise their actions in Control should normally be relinquished to externalassociation with fire drills. Members should be sufficiently emergency services, except where they decline tosenior in position to allow them to give instructions where accept thisnecessary, and have experience which allows them to make 5. Notify company management as soon as possible byappropriate assessments of the situation and judgements as telephoneto what actions will be most appropriate under the 6. Pass information to the client, insurers and contractorschanging circumstances. affected by the emergency.In the event of a major emergency, the Emergency Pro- The following tasks should be carried out by the Emergencycedures Co-ordinators job is to: Management Team:
8 THE HEALTH AND SAFETY PLAN 1031. Confirm that full evacuation has taken place 7. Brief the senior member of management on what needs2. Confirm that the PMEP has been properly followed to be done, so that liaison can be maintained with the3. Establish a preliminary view of the nature and scale of client, insurers and contractors, and the necessary the emergency and report this to the senior member of actions agreed management 8. Co-ordinate investigations to determine the cause of the4. Decide what needs to be done to stabilise the situation. emergency For example, is there a need for demolition to remove 9. Obtain clearance to re-enter the premises from rescue unstable materials; is there a safe method for re-entry service and enforcement agencies, where necessary (for into the premises; is there an emergency evacuation example, where there is any question of structural signal and system in place before re-entry is attempted; weakness having resulted) is there a safe temporary exit route?5. Send non-essential personnel home, having decided Management information requirements upon the need for and size of a multi-service crew and clean-up gang Information required by senior management at the begin-6. Alert specialist service contractors of any immediate ning of an emergency is best addressed by the use of a needs, such as temporary equipment, generators, checklist as a scratchpad memory aid (Figure 8.1). pumps, lighting and lifting equipment Figure 8.1: Emergency information checklist What happened? What was the probable cause? When did the incident happen? How many casualties are there? Who is the employer of any casualties? What is the total number of people normally working on the project? How many were present at the time of this incident? Have all those who were present at the time of the incident been accounted for? Has the project site been evacuated? Is anybody trapped? Which emergency services have been involved? How long did it take for them to arrive? What are the details of any injuries? Which hospital (if any) received casualties [address required]? What is the current status of the project in terms of damage and delay to work? Have there been other previous similar incidents on the project?
9 TrainingTraining for health and safety is not an end in itself, it is a Reinforcement training will be required at appropriatemeans to an end. Talking in general terms to employees intervals, which will depend on observation of the work-about the need to be safe is not training; workers and force (training needs assessment), on the complexity of themanagement alike need to be told what to do for their own information needed to be held by the worker, the amounthealth and safety and that of others, as well as what is of practice required and the opportunity for practice in therequired by statute. A knowledge of what constitutes safe normal working environment. Assessment will also bebehaviour in a variety of different occupational situations is needed of the likely severity of the consequences ofnot inherited but must be acquired, either by trial and error behaviour which does not correspond with training objec-or from a reputable source of expertise. Trial and error tives when required to do so. If it is absolutely vital thatmethods extract too high a price in construction work, only certain actions be taken in response to emergencies,where the consequences of forced and unforced errors may then more frequent refresher training will be needed tobe very serious, even catastrophic. ensure that routines are always familiar to those required to operate them. A construction industry example of thisExperience and research also shows that knowledge of safe could be the need to practise the clients imposed eva-behaviour patterns, gained by instruction, films, videos, cuation routine at regular intervals, where premises areposters and booklets, does not guarantee that safe jointly occupied with the client during construction work.behaviour will be obtained from individuals. Training istherefore never a substitute for safe and healthy workingconditions, and good design and planning. Because humans Training needsare fallible, the need is to lessen the opportunities for Three levels of training can be identified within the con-mistakes and unsafe behaviour to occur, and to minimise struction industry. Craft and skills training will involve thethe consequences when it does. acquisition of skills needed to do the particular work, andThree conditions need to be present for any safety training training in environment, health and safety must be part ofto be successful: the active commitment, support and the package. This is recognised in the existence of theinterest of management, necessary finance and organi- certification schemes discussed below. The second level issation to provide the opportunity for learning to take place, that provided by the employer to new employees uponand the availability of suitable expertise in the subject. joining, when the employer complies with legal obligationsThe support of management demonstrates the presence of to provide formal health and safety training as required byan environment into which the trained person can return the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulationsand exercise new skills and knowledge. The management 1999. This will take place as part of the employersteam also demonstrates support by setting good examples; induction programme. Training must also take place whenit is pointless to train workers to obey safety rules if work conditions change and result in exposure to new or increased risks. It must be repeated periodically wheresupervisors are known to ignore them. appropriate, and be adapted to any new circumstances. ByTrainers must not only be knowledgeable in their subject, law, no health and safety training can take place outsidethey must also be qualified to answer questions on the working hours. The third level of training is that given inpractical application of the knowledge in the working relation to the particular site or project the person isenvironment, which will include a familiarity with work working on, usually by means of an on-site induction pro-practices, procedures and rules. cess.
9 TRAINING 105Craft and skills training n British Locksmiths Association n Leadworkers CertificateCertification by an appropriate body should provide con- n Engineering Construction Skills Databasefirmation that the holder is fully trained, competent and n EITB/EMTA (Engineering and Marine Trainingauthorised to do particular types of work. In the UK there Authority) NVQ3 in lift maintenance/installationare many competence-based registration schemes that can engineering (or apprenticeship)be relied on to provide recognised evidence of compe- n UK Register of HVCA Operativestence, as is required by the Construction (Design and n UK Accreditation Service for Gas Installers (BCOP) ÐManagement) Regulations 1994. The most general of these replacement for CORGIis the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS), n Building Engineering Services Scheme (CITB)which at present covers the following occupations: n Gas Distribution Record Scheme n JIB Plumbing Registration Scheme n JIB Gas Grading Scheme Bench joiners Painters and decorators: n JIB Electricians Scheme Bricklayers n decorative n Scaffolding Registration Scheme Built-up roofers n industrial n Steeplejack and Lightning Conductor Fitters Record Carpenters and joiners Partition fixers Scheme Ceiling fixers Piling operatives n Tunnel Miners Record Scheme Construction operatives: Plant mechanics n Scheme for the Certification of Competence of n general Plasterers Demolition Operatives (Topman and Mattockman) n concreting Roof slaters and tilers n Concrete Repair Operatives Record Scheme n drainage Sheeters and cladders n Spray Concrete Registration Scheme n paving Shopfitters: n Drilling and Sawing Operatives Registration Scheme n street working n site fixers n Street Works Excavation and Reinstatement Cornish masons n bench joiners n Construction Skills Register (Northern Ireland) Dry liners Single-ply roofers n Scottish Construction Operatives Registration Execu- Facade cleaners Ë Stonemasons tive (SCORE) Formworkers Wood machinists n International Powered Access Federation MEWP Mastic asphalters Operators `Type Specific Training Programme n Fencing Industry Skills SchemeUnskilled labourers are not covered by the scheme. TheCSCS is administered by the Construction Industry Training The foregoing is not intended to represent a complete listBoard and controlled by a Management Board of employer of schemes; mergers and additions are likely to alter the listorganisations and trade unions, with observer members over time.from other interested parties including the HSE. Member-ship of the scheme is confirmed by the issue of a record Apart from specific legal requirements which may exist, thecard. Full details of CSCS can be obtained from PO Box 114, need for first-aid training in the workplace depends upon aBircham, Kings Lynn, Norfolk PE31 6XD. number of factors. These include the nature of the work and the hazards, what medical services are available in theOther recognised competence-based registration schemes workplace, the number of employees and the location ofand their organisations include: the workplace relative to external medical assistance. Shift working may also be taken into account, also the ratio ofn Certificate of Training Achievement for construction trained persons present to the total number of workers. plant operators (CTA)n BICS Operators Proficiency Certification Scheme Driver training and certification may be a requirement for (cleaning) particular classes of vehicle, according to national or localn Registration and Certification Scheme for Window and regulations in force, and in these cases the detail of the Curtain Wall Installation (administered by Bath Uni- training programme may be defined in law. versity)n UK Register of Electricians A common cause of death both at work and away from work
106 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 9is the road traffic accident. As the loss of a key worker can and activity; accidents have causes and can be pre-have a severe impact upon the viability of an organisation, vented; prevention is the primary responsibility oftraining for all workers who drive should be considered. management; each employee has a personal respon-Defensive driver training has been found effective and cost- sibility for his or her own safety and that of othersbeneficial in reducing numbers of traffic accidents, and has n That site, national and organisational health andbeen extended to members of workers families, particu- safety rules or regulations will be enforced, and thatlarly those entitled to drive the employers vehicles. those violating them may be subject to some form of disciplineFire and emergency training should be given to all n That the health and safety role of supervisors andemployees, and included in induction and on-site induction other members of the management team includestraining. Everyone needs to know the action to take when taking action on and giving advice about potentialfire alarms sound. Knowledge of particular emergency problems, and that they are to be consulted if thereplans and how to tackle fires with equipment available may are any questions about the health and safety aspectsbe given in specific training at the workplace. At whatever of workpoint the training is given, the following key points should n That where required, the wearing or use of personalbe covered: protective equipment is not a matter for individual choice or decision Ð its use is a condition of employmentn Evacuation plan for the project or premises in case of n That in the event of any injury, no matter how trivial it fire, including assembly point(s) may appear, employees must seek first aid or medicaln How to use fire-fighting appliances provided treatment and notify their supervisor immediatelyn How to use other protective equipment, including n That for any work involving repetitive, awkward, sprinkler and other protection systems, and the need heavy physical or timed movements, workers are for fire doors to be unobstructed in occupied premises specifically instructed to report any adverse physicaln How to raise the alarm on projects and in premises symptoms immediately. (These will need to be from call points recorded, and investigated without delay)n Smoking rules n Fire and emergency procedure(s)n Awareness of housekeeping practices which could n Welfare and amenity provision permit fires to start and spread if not carried out, such n Arrangements for joint consultation with other as waste disposal, flammable liquid handling rules employees and their representatives should be maden Any special fire hazards peculiar to the project or known to all newcomers premises On-site induction trainingFire training should be accompanied by practices, includingregular fire drills and evacuation procedures. No excep- Project-specific training is often arranged by the principaltions for senior management should be permitted during contractor, who will provide a training room facility onthese. Evacuation drills on large projects have been found larger projects, and may also provide the trainer. Someto improve the response time dramatically in subsequent clients with existing businesses may require that thereal emergencies. induction process includes knowledge about the processes carried on adjacent to the project, and also about eva- cuation and other rules that must be observed by con-The employers induction training struction workers. This training may be carried out by aThe safety policy of each employer should define the supervisor, but it should be properly planned and organisedstandard of induction training that will be given to by the use of checklists.employees as they join the organisation. Ten key pointswhich should be covered in the employers induction Typically, on-site induction takes between 30 minutes andtraining are: 2 hours, depending on the involvement of the client and other employers in joint-occupied premises. Inductionn Review and discussion of the employers safety policy training should be recorded in a log or register, and may ben The employers safety philosophy; safety is as impor- connected to the issue of identity badges. Newcomers to tant as production or any other organisational value projects should receive induction before they start work, as
9 TRAINING 107it has been found that new arrivals are statistically the It is not sufficient simply to tell site managers and foremenmost likely to be injured, and soon after starting work. that they are responsible and accountable for health and safety; they must be told the extent of the responsibilitiesKey points for site induction programmes should include: and how they can discharge them.n The general requirements of the principal contractor Ten key points to cover in the training of managers are: and the clientn Explanations of applicable safety regulations and n The employing organisations safety policy, organisa- organisation rules and procedures tion and arrangementsn Review of any necessary skills applicable to the work, n The legal framework and the legal duties of the orga- and training in them, such as a demonstration of any nisation, its management and the workforce personal protective equipment which may be required n Specific laws and rules applicable to the organisations and provided for the work (including demonstration of work, and its targets and commitments correct fit, method and circumstances of use and n The causation and consequences of accidents cleaning procedures) n Basic accident prevention techniquesn Hand-over of any documentation required, such as n The control of hazards likely to be present in the work, permit-to-work documents, safety booklets and (for example) roof work, confined spaces, scaffolding chemical information sheets requirements, fire, materials handling, hazards ofn Review of applicable aspects of emergency and eva- special equipment related to the industry and the use cuation procedures of personal protective equipmentn Review of risk assessment findings. (This is proving n The main environmental concepts relating to the popular and worthwhile as a training aid, and by this organisations work, targets and solutions means employers can also fulfil the requirement to n Safety inspection techniques and requirements bring risk assessment findings to the notice of those n Techniques for motivating employees to recognise affected by them) and respond to organisational goals in health and safety n Disciplinary procedures and their applicationTraining for managementSupervisory and general management training at all levels Senior managers should be given essentially the sameis necessary to ensure that responsibilities are known and information, as this gives them a full appreciation of thethe organisations policy is carried out. The legal require- tasks of subordinates, makes them more aware of standardsment for suitable and sufficient training is not confined to of success and failure, equips them to make cost-beneficialsite workers. Management failures which have come to decisions on health and safety budgeting, and allows themlight following investigations into disasters, plant accidents to play an important part in setting organisational measuresand other health and safety incidents have been con- and targets.centrated in the following areas: External assessment of the training given to managementn Lack of awareness of the safety management systems at all levels is desirable. This can be done by training to the in use, including their own job requirements for health appropriate syllabi of national or international professional and safety organisations, and encouraging those trained to take then Failure to enforce health and safety rules adequately relevant examination. In the UK, these are the `Managing or at all Safely and `Working Safely courses moderated by then Failure to inspect and correct unhealthy or unsafe Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), and conditions for professional training courses leading to the two-partn Ignorance of environmental requirements or opportu- Diploma which is administered by the National Examina- nities for improvement of conditions tions Board in Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH).n Failure to inform or train workers adequately The IOSH course `Safety for Senior Executives is particu-n Failure to promote health and safety awareness by larly significant as it aims to secure the commitment of the participation in discussions, motivating workers and most senior management to the organisations safety pro- setting an example gramme.
108 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 9Environmental, health and safety level or via the NVQ system. Professionals who join thespecialists Register of Safety Practitioners (RSP) are required to demonstrate their commitment to continuing professionalAll employers need access to competent advice on the development through a peer review system.environment, health and safety, in order to comply withtheir duties under the Management of Health and Safety atWork Regulations 1999. Whether this is achieved by training Legal requirementsan existing member of staff, employing a full time or part- Many specific pieces of health and safety legislation containtime person or the use of consultants will depend upon an requirements to provide training for employees engaged inassessment of the needs of the organisation in terms of its certain tasks, and the most commonly applicable of thesesize and the nature of the hazards likely to be encountered have been selected for discussion elsewhere in this book. Asin the work. Evidence of professional competence should noted above, there is a general duty placed on employers tobe obtained, and advice sought from one or more of the ensure that all employees are trained (and provided withprofessional organisations involved, which include the information, instruction and supervision in addition) asInstitution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) which necessary to ensure their health and safety so far as ishas a Special Interest Group for its construction industry reasonably practicable. This duty is to be found in sectionmembers, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents 2(2)(c) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. More(RoSPA) and the British Safety Council (BSC). The most specific requirements are contained in the Management ofdemanding of current membership requirements are those Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, and in specificof IOSH. Full membership is accorded to those who can sets of regulations covering tasks and conditions, such assatisfy membership requirements based upon experience confined space entry.and academic achievement via examination at Diploma
10 MeetingsAlmost everyone has been present at meetings where 1994 (CDM) to ensure that only competent contractors arenothing seemed to be accomplished, and they were engaged, and that an adequate Safety Plan is in placegenerally agreed to have been a waste of time. They can before the start of work is authorised. One way of makingeasily turn into rambling unfocused discussions, argu- sure that these duties are complied with is to hold meetingsments, or monologues from one or more participants, between the selected contractors at which safety, healthoften the person leading the meeting. To achieve their and environmental aspects of the work are reviewed. Eachobjective, meetings should be structured communication contractor should provide a detailed Safety Plan, includingsessions, with an agreed goal and outcomes. People have where appropriate a health, safety and environmental riskto be led in order to function effectively and reach deci- assessment.sions appropriate to the organisation. There should be anagenda, to make sure nothing is forgotten and make best A pre-start meeting should be held by the principal con-use of the time of those attending. There should be a tractor with each contractor to review their plan, and therecord made of what was decided and the actions to be overall site Safety Plan, in advance of commencement oftaken. work on site. The meeting can also be used to explain the principal contractors role in safety, health and environ-In addition, meetings must be seen as relevant and impor- mental management, together with any specific require-tant by those who attend them. If the focus wavers, or the ments related to the particular project. A follow-uptask to be achieved is perceived as unimportant, key people meeting may be required.will not make time to attend. Six important rules for suc-cessful meetings are: The objective of the pre-start safety kick-off meeting is thus to ensure that the clients and principal contractorsn Keep them short and to the point policies are known to each contractor, and to allow con-n Make sure everyone knows what will be discussed in tractors adequate time to revise their own plans and pro- advance Ð if necessary, circulate a written summary of cedures where necessary to secure conformance. important information for people to read before the meeting. This minimises unnecessary questions and The meeting should be held as far as possible in advance of comments the start of work on site to allow revision of the plan(s)n Keep a record of what was discussed and what will where necessary and to enable problems to be identified happen as a result and resolved in good time. When completed and accepted,n Set a timetable for the discussions and follow it each contractors plan will be included within the overalln Invite only those people whose presence is absolutely safety plan for the site or project. necessaryn Provide a method of following-up actions between The pre-start meeting should be chaired by the organiser, meetings who may be the client, the principal contractors Package Manager or Senior Project Manager, with a qualified safety professional in attendance where this is practicable. TheMeetings with contractors agenda should be advertised in advance of the meeting, asClients and principal contractors have legal duties under the intention is to make sure all necessary details arethe Construction (Design and Management) Regulations reviewed; the purpose of the meeting is not to catch any-
110 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 10body out. Minutes of the meeting should include the needs of those involved. The recommended topic headingsresponse of the contractor together with any problems are followed by a detailed checklist giving more informa-identified. If a further meeting is required to resolve any tion on the questions that may need to be asked andoutstanding issues, the future meeting date should be answered (Figure 10.1).agreed and minuted. Any variations to the clients orprincipal contractors standard safety procedures should be Weekly safety meetingsnoted. Weekly progress meetings are often the main opportunityA copy of the completed agenda should be signed off and for liaison between contractors and the co-ordinatingretained on file for record and audit purposes. It would principal contractor. On larger or complex projects aalso be advisable to record the holding of the meeting in separate meeting may be held weekly to discuss safety,the weekly or monthly progress log. Also, where circum- health and environmental liaison. In either case the fol-stances require the commencement of work by the con- lowing agenda can be used as a checklist to make sure thattractor without a pre-start meeting having been held, nothing relevant is overlooked.those circumstances should be detailed in the progresslog. PurposeThe following suggested agenda is necessarily lengthy, but Discussion between the principal contractors site man-its purpose is to cover the major issues which are likely to agement staff and contractor management of standingbe found on a major project, and which must be acknow- items and new matters (new issues and future planningledged by the client, the principal contractor and individual items) concerning safety, health and environmental prac-package contractors involved. For smaller work, or less tice on site.complex projects, the agenda can be modified to meet the Agenda for contractor pre-start meeting 1. General introduction for contractor 11. Welfare and first aid facilities 2. Information to be provided by contractor: organisation 12. Inspection requirements chart, names of staff, safety plan, risk assessment(s), 13. Access arrangements method statement(s) 14. Fall prevention and protection 3. Work method review and agreement 15. Lighting arrangements 4. Details of required attendance at review and progress 16. Personal protective equipment meetings 17. Crane and hoisting facilities 5. Project safety meeting details and attendance 18. Site transport and mobile plant: establish training and requirements certification requirements 6. Contractors own safety meetings 19. Noise control 7. Contractors monthly safety report: contents 20. Materials storage requirements 21. Waste disposal: project policy on waste clearance 8. Safety training (management training, induction, skills 22. Housekeeping training, toolbox talks) 23. Permits to work 9. Contract subletting (arrangements for the control of 24. Fire precautions: Emergency Plan review subcontractors) 25. Site access and security: limitations on visitor entry 10. Injury and data reporting requirements: reporting of and movement injuries and dangerous occurrences, recording of hours 26. Public protection worked, major incident procedure
10 MEETINGS 111 Specimen agenda for weekly safety meeting 1. Recorded attendance and absence (q) Manual handling 2. Review of minutes of previous meeting (r) Mechanical handling and lifting devices 3. Standing items: (s) Personal protective equipment (a) Access routes on site (t) Scaffolding (b) Public safety (u) Traffic routes (c) Environment (v) Waste disposal (d) Confined space entry (w) Welfare facilities (site accommodation, first-aid) (e) Control of substances hazardous to health 4. Presentation and review of: (f) Crane safety and slinging (a) Accident/injury statistics (g) Electrical safety (b) Injury investigation reports (h) Excavations/trenching (c) Corrective Action Reports issued to contractors (i) Fall protection 5. Tabled information Ð includes contractors safety (j) Falling objects reports, audit and inspection reports, method (k) Fire prevention and protection statements provided since last meeting (l) Gas cylinders 6. New issues arising not previously raised (m) Tools, plant and equipment 7. Future planning of work Ð long range, middle range and (n) Hot work, welding and burning short range (to be commenced before the next meeting) (o) Access, ladders and stepladders 8. General remarks agreed to be minuted and dates for (p) Laser equipment future meetingsMonthly safety meetings PurposeA monthly safety meeting is normally held at a higher level Discussion between the most senior management of theon larger projects, in order to decide strategic issues rather participators in the work, to review reports and recom-than the detail of day to day work. mendations and to review minutes of the weekly meetings held on site to identify trends and points where executive action is required to implement necessary changes. Specimen agenda for monthly safety meeting 1. Recorded attendance and absence 6. Review of response to Corrective Action Reports issued 2. Review of previous minutes and follow-up reports on 7. Review of environmental concerns outstanding items 8. New issues arising not previously raised 3. Auditors reports since the previous meeting 9. Future planning of work Ð long range, middle range 4. Review of accident/injury experience since the previous and short range (to be commenced before the next meeting and overall meeting) 5. Review of any investigation reports received since the 10. General remarks agreed to be minuted previous meeting 11. Dates for future meetings
112 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 10Figure 10.1: Sample checklist: agenda for a contractor pre-start meetingITEM NO ITEM YES NO COMMENTS 1 Introduction for contractor 1.1 Explain the main principles of the clients or principal contractors safety policy 1.2 Overview of the clients or principal contractors general requirements for contractors 1.3 Review of contractors safety responsibilities 1.4 Provide details of clients or principal contractors safety staff and inspection routines, supply copy of specimen safety report and agree methods of follow-up action 1.5 Explain the need generally to co-operate with the client or principal contractor and advise of any penalties which may apply in the event of failure to do so. 1.6 Supply list of external contacts, including emergency services 1.7 Supply list of clients or principal contractors emergency contacts 1.8 Review of any rules or procedures required by the client, including security 2 Information to be provided by the contractor 2.1 Names of contractors Safety Manager, site safety adviser if appointed, and the site safety supervisor 2.2 Receive copy of contractors organisation chart 2.3 Receive copy of contractors safety plan, including appropriate method statements 2.4 Receive copies of contractors risk assessments (where appropriate) 3 Work method to be reviewed in detail and agreed 4 Review and progress meetings 4.1 Advise that attendance is required and state the frequency of meetings Contd
10 MEETINGS 113 Figure 10.1: ContdITEM NO ITEM YES NO COMMENTS 4.2 Advise that safety, health and environment must feature as the first item on the agenda at every future meeting 5 Project safety meeting 5.1 Advise that attendance is required at these meetings and state their frequency 6 Contractors safety meetings 6.1 Advise that the contractor must hold any such meetings as required by the safety plan. Also, sufficient prior notice must be given to allow the clients or principal contractors safety staff to attend 7 Contractors monthly safety report 7.1 Advise that the contractor is required to provide a monthly written safety report and statistics, as may be detailed in the contract and safety plan 8 Safety training 8.1 Explain the clients or principal contractors policy on training generally 8.2 Obtain details of management and supervisory training provided to site staff 8.3 Obtain details of induction training to be provided. (All workers should go through induction training before they start work on site) 8.4 Skills training Ð advise requirements, especially for certification where required 8.5 Advise of any specialist training requirements of the client 8.6 Toolbox talks Ð state requirements for contractors 9 Contract subletting 9.1 Disclosure of subcontracts 9.2 Obtain details of the arrangements made to control safe working conditions for subcontractors Contd
114 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 10Figure 10.1: ContdITEM NO ITEM YES NO COMMENTS 9.3 Advise that all subcontractor(s) must comply fully with the contract EH & S requirements 9.4 Obtain contractors confirmation that the competence of subcontractors has been checked as regards safety, health and environmental aspects of the work10 Injury and data reporting requirements10.1 Explain the clients and/or principal contractors requirements10.2 Explain that all hours worked by the contractors and any subcontractors workers are to be recorded and notified to the clients or principal contractors project staff10.3 Advise that all injuries requiring first-aid are to be reported to the project staff and details recorded10.4 Advise that the contractor must notify the client or the principal contractor immediately of any injury where the injured person is absent for more than one shift10.5 Advise that fatalities and major injuries are to be reported immediately with full details to project staff10.6 Explain that the contractor is to take all necessary steps to notify the circumstances to the various authorities as required by RIDDOR10.7 Advise that the contractor must not disturb the scene of any major injury or fatality until authorised to do so by the clients or principal contractors project staff10.8 Advise that the contractor must provide facilities and information to enable the proper and full investigation of any injuries Contd
10 MEETINGS 115 Figure 10.1: ContdITEM NO ITEM YES NO COMMENTS10.9 Advise the procedure in the event of a fatality or major incident/injury occurring to anyone engaged by the contractor or any of his subcontractor(s)11 Welfare and first-aid facilities11.1 Explain the facilities provided by the client or principal contractor for general use. The contractor is normally required to provide his own first-aid facility12 Inspections by clients or principal contractors staff12.1 Explain the steps taken by the clients or principal contractors staff to monitor safe working conditions on the project, and the action which is to be taken on receipt of a copy of the principal contractors weekly and monthly inspection reports, and other Corrective Action Reports13 Access arrangements13.1 Explain that the contractor must provide safe and clear access throughout the project at all times for workers and rescue services13.2 Explain the scaffolding and other forms of access to be provided on the project, and the contractors duty to ensure these are used and used properly13.3 Review the arrangements made by the contractor to inspect scaffolding and other access equipment regularly14 Fall protection14.1 Emphasise that falls are the main cause of fatalities on site, and explain specific requirements for fall prevention14.2 Explain the projects requirements regarding fall protection generally, including edge and hole protection, the erection of barriers, fans and nets, the availability and wearing of safety belts and harnesses, and the penalties for not wearing the equipment Contd
116 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 10Figure 10.1: ContdITEM NO ITEM YES NO COMMENTS15 Lighting arrangements15.1 Review the standard and nature of the lighting required for access areas and for the contractors work area(s), and how it will be provided16 Personal protective equipment16.1 Explain the law regarding the wearing of safety helmets at all times indicated, and the penalties for non-compliance16.2 Explain the policy with regard to the provision and wearing of safety footwear16.3 Explain the policy with regard to provision of other protective equipment for the tasks to be carried out, with special emphasis on eye protection16.4 Explain arrangements made for the storage of non-work clothing worn to the project, and for the issue of protective equipment as required17 Crane and hoisting facilities17.1 Explain operational requirements and arrangements made for craneage and/or hoisting facilities on the project17.2 Obtain details of any such facilities to be used or brought onto the project by the contractor or his subcontractor(s), obtaining details of the plant item(s)17.3 Explain the general requirement for third-party certification of all lifting equipment brought to the project before its first use17.4 Summarise project requirements for operators of lifting and hoisting equipment to hold training and competence certificates17.5 Explain requirements for regular checks and maintenance that must be recorded by the contractor18 Site transport and mobile plant18.1 Obtain details of all such plant to be operated by the contractor Contd
10 MEETINGS 117 Figure 10.1: ContdITEM NO ITEM YES NO COMMENTS18.2 Explain any local or client training requirements for operators to hold certificates of training and competence19 Noise control19.1 Explain any local Codes or requirements which may limit the project noise output19.2 If relevant, obtain noise level output estimates and establish that the contractor is aware that measurement may be required20 Materials storage20.1 Explain project requirements for materials storage and establish any special needs of the contractor in this regard20.2 Explain project requirements for materials delivery, including any hours or other vehicle movement restrictions20.3 Explain storage and use requirements for LPG/LNG, oxygen and acetylene, including minimising hose lengths and use of flashback arrestors21 Waste disposal21.1 Explain the clients and principal contractors environmental policy to restrict the potential for environmental damage caused by unplanned waste disposal21.2 Explain the project policy on waste clearance as it relates to the contractor22 Housekeeping22.1 Explain and agree arrangements for storing materials and clearing away rubbish. Explain that if rubbish is not regularly removed, the client or the principal contractor may at its option arrange for its removal and charge the contractor for the costs incurred Contd
118 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 10Figure 10.1: ContdITEM NO ITEM YES NO COMMENTS23 Permits to work23.1 Will the contractor be issued with permits by other contractors or the client? if YES, obtain the procedures in writing and issue to the contractor23.2 Does the contractor need to establish his own permit-to-work system for himself and/or other contractors? If YES, set out the required procedures and confirm them in writing23.3 Establish who is to accept and sign off permits24 Fire precautions24.1 Obtain details of, or instruct on the siting of, the contractors proposed site offices, huts and storage areas, together with details of the proposed fire-fighting equipment for these24.2 Review the emergency plan with the contractor and ensure that it is fully understood with respect to raising the alarm, rescue, and evacuation procedures in the event of an emergency24.3 Review project requirements for the display of emergency information24.4 Assembly points24.5 Establish and review the contractors method for accounting for workers and visitors in the event of an emergency24.6 Explain the responsibility for maintaining escape routes clear and free from obstruction at all times, and the need to make regular inspections to verify this24.7 Consider the contractors specific arrangements for storage of explosive and/or flammable materials25 Site access and security25.1 Identify safe access to the project for vehicles and pedestrians Contd
10 MEETINGS 119 Figure 10.1: ContdITEM NO ITEM YES NO COMMENTS25.2 Describe the requirements for hoarding or otherwise barring access to work areas to those not entitled or required to be there25.3 Explain any limitations to the entry of visitors and their movement on site26 Public protection26.1 Establish whether the contractor or his subcontractor(s) need to provide fans, netting, full edge protection, covered walkways or protective barriers below work areas to safeguard the public Ð or other workers26.2 Review the means of preventing public access to work areas26.3 Explain the requirements and responsibilities for the protection of the public in respect to holes, voids and edgesProject . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Client . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Principal Contractor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Signed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Signed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Date . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .For Client/Principal contractor For contractor
11 Understanding PeopleAccidents in construction (and elsewhere) are `people All these can be found within organisations committed to aproblems at least as much as any other kind of problem. At high standard of excellence in safety and health at work.some point, immediate or distant, people and decisionswere involved. `To err is human; we all make mistakes. It is A full discussion of the interactions between people andthe task of modern safety management systems to recog- their organisation, jobs and working environment, and thenise that fact, and therefore to minimise the opportunities influence of equipment and systems design on human per-for mistakes, and to minimise the harm that can arise when formance, is beyond the scope of this book. The aim of thisthey are made. Awareness of our limitations is needed chapter is to provide an insight into some of the basicbefore we can set up systems successfully which take those concepts involved, and to discuss some of the solutionslimitations into account and maximise safety efforts on currently used to tackle them. A concise and readablesite. summary of human factors in safety can be found in the excellent HSE publication `Reducing error and influencingBehavioural factors, sometimes called `human factors, behaviour.which affect human performance include: Why people failn Perceptual, mental and physical capabilities of people `Human error as a simple catch-all explanation for acci-n Interaction of people with their organisation, jobs and dents is now discredited. The term, if it means anything at working environment all, does not provide an adequate description of the manyn Influence of equipment and systems design on human ways in which the failure of people at all levels in organi- performance sations can contribute to the complex phenomenon we calln Organisational characteristics which influence safety- an accident. It is more useful to think about `human related behaviour failure, which involves both errors and violations, and alson Social and inherited characteristics of people to distinguish between active failures and latent failures.Some of these issues have been discussed previously: Active failures have the potential to trigger an incidentmodern techniques of managing safety and health incor- very quickly, when, for example, a machine operator mis-porate best practice within them so as to produce and judges an action or someone takes a `calculated risk byinfluence a positive safety culture. That means fostering ignoring rules or training. Latent failures are those invol-positive attitudes to safety and health, and this can be done ving people not immediately involved in the activity, suchby: as managers and designers. Latent failures set up the conditions for things to go wrong.n Effective communication Ð passing information to and from, and regular consultation with, the employees Errors are actions or decisions which were not intended andn Achieving a positive commitment to safety by senior which involved a deviation from an accepted standard, rule management that is both real and visible or procedure. They can be divided into slips, lapses andn Maintaining good training standards mistakes.n Maintaining good working environments with a high potential for safe working conditions to be achieved Slips are simple `failures to do it right. From misplacing
11 UNDERSTANDING PEOPLE 121the decimal point in a calculation to moving a lever the available, although some of the solutions may be easier towrong way or too far, they can happen when attention is implement than others. Solutions which avoid consideringdiverted or when a procedure is too complicated. and acting on the human factors and the organisation are unlikely to be effective in the longer term.Lapses involve forgetting to do the right thing, usuallybecause of a distraction, and they can occur in tasks that Ergonomicstake a long time to complete. The individual can remainunaware of both slips and lapses, and so may fail to report Ergonomics is the applied study of the interaction betweenthem for this reason alone during investigations. The aim of people and the objects and environment around them. Insafety management techniques is to minimise the oppor- the context of work, the `objects include tools andtunities for them to occur, by improving the design of equipment, chairs, tables and steps. Ergonomics is notequipment and procedures. limited to the design of chairs Ð it promotes well-being at work by addressing all aspects of the work environment.Mistakes are more complex Ð when making a mistake we do The subject may be hidden within Standards and Codes, butsomething wrong but believe it to be right. This can happen the main emphasis is on designing and specifying tools,because the reasoning behind the action was wrong, or equipment and work places so that the job fits the personbecause the wrong procedure was followed. Slips, lapses rather than the other way around. Ergonomics is concernedand mistakes can happen to experienced and trained with the application of scientific data on human capa-people, and poor communication is often a factor. bilities and performance to the design of workplaces, tools, equipment and systems.Violations happen when people deliberately do the wrongthing. Removing machine guards, driving too fast and not Other aspects of the wide scope of ergonomics includewearing protective equipment are obvious examples, but organisational arrangements, which aim to limit thethe reasons behind them are not simple. potentially harmful effects of physically demanding jobs on individuals. They include selection and training, matchingRoutine violations happen when it becomes standard personal skills to job demands, job rotation and the settingpractice in a group or even an entire organisation to break of appropriate work breaks.the rule or procedure. Lack of knowledge and failure(s) toenforce the rule make the situation worse, and this is one In the construction industry, examples of the positive use ofreason why rules which are actually unnecessary and are ergonomics include the design of tools and the limiting ofnot enforced should be eliminated. weights in sacks and bags. Studies carried out by the former Swedish construction and insurance organisation Bygghal-Situational violations happen when the demands of the san, together with manufacturers and employers haveparticular circumstances are seen as more important than shown that considerable productivity gains can be achievedcompliance with the rule Ð pressure of work, not enough by optimising working conditions using ergonomic solutions.time or equipment to do the job. Better planning and One such study investigated musculoskeletal disorders insupervision can assist. the necks and shoulders of trade workers, including pain- ters and plasterers.Exceptional violations happen when people believe thatsomething has gone wrong and a chance has to be taken, The survey showed that almost half of all constructioneven though it means breaking the rule. Improvisation and workers spend more than 10 hours a week with their armsthe belief that the benefits outweigh the risks are key above shoulder level, leading to increased risk of problemsfactors. Preventive action against exceptional violations in neck and shoulders. Sickness absence due to theseincludes the provision of more training for abnormal and problems increases for individuals over 30 in all tradeemergency situations. categories in the industry, indicating that work-related problems in the neck and shoulders manifest themselvesWe know that accidents are caused by a combination of after 10 to 15 years of exposure.factors rather than simply by carelessness and/or `unsafethings. Multiple causation is an accepted principle, which Recognising that it is impossible to eliminate totally themust be responded to in kind. There is rarely a `simple fix need to work with the hands above shoulder height, ergo-
122 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 11nomists at Bygghalsan looked at alterations in the way the tinue beyond the short term. Psychological and physicalwork was organised, work methods, improved equipment, illness can result Ð anxiety, depression and heart diseaseand techniques to make the work easier. One of the dis- may be work-related, although they can develop fromcoveries made was that the use of micro pauses Ð very short other causes as well.breaks Ð reduced muscular load and resulted in fasterwork. Screws were tightened into a beam at eye level, and At the time of writing, discussion has been initiated by thethose who took a 10-second pause after every other tight- Health and Safety Commission about the extent to whichening did the work 12% faster than those who did not. stress should be regulated. Its Discussion Document con-Interestingly, the workers themselves thought it took more tains a very useful review of knowledge and opinion on thetime to carry out the work with micro pauses than without. subject, and the reader interested in pursuing the subject will find this a useful starting point. It is available on theDesigning work and work equipment to suit the worker can HSE website at http://www.open.gov.uk/hse/condocs/.reduce errors and ill-health Ð and accidents. Examples ofconstruction problems which can benefit from ergonomic Factors which contribute to stress in the constructionsolutions include: industry include:n Hand tools which impose strain on users n The physical work environment Ð noise, cold, heat,n Poor layout of controls on plant and equipment, mak- etc. ing them hard to use or steer n Working conditions, including pay, long hours, traveln Control switches and gauges which are hard to reach or needs read n Change in practices and techniquesn Jobs reported to be found excessively tiring n Volume of work Ð overload or underload n Work design and pace, and the amount of control overAn ergonomic approach is now being used in the Manual the work that people can haveHandling Operations Regulations 1992. The Regulations n Roles within the organisation, including tensionbegin by forcing a review of the needs to handle loads between demands of safety and productionmanually at all, and permit handling only following specific n Relationships with other people at workassessment of the risks associated with the task. The con- n Organisational style, and `office politicstrast with the former approach could not be more marked: n Lack of job securitywe no longer train people to lift heavy weights as the sole n Poor communication and involvement in decision-solution to the problem. making Isolating one or more of these factors as a cause of a par-Stress ticular stress problem is difficult, especially because mostOne definition of stress is the reaction people have to are inter-related. Also, the reactions of individuals to stressexcessive pressures or other types of demand placed on vary widely. Because the causes of stress are likely tothem. While there may be some disagreement over an include non-work components, it is thought that the sub-exact definition, most people believe that it is a serious ject is best considered as a single issue rather than trying toproblem in their organisations. Surveys carried out by the separate work-related stressors from home or life stress. AsTUC and employers organisations show that stress is a a result, introducing or revising legislation which can onlysignificant issue at work. Nearly a fifth of managers sur- be directed at the work environment is likely to meet withveyed in 1997 said they had taken time off work in the only partial success. This is why partnership efforts areprevious year because of stress. Generally, stress is thought being encouraged, to include other government depart-to pose a comparatively high risk and yet to be the least ments, voluntary and professional groups, aiming at pro-well controlled of all risks at work. moting a positive health culture at work.Pressures exist in all areas of peoples lives, and there is Nevertheless, an attempt is required at identifying andsome evidence that we need pressure to be able to function managing stress by the employer. Stress at work is believedat maximum effectiveness. But the responses to pressure, to reduce the individuals effectiveness, increase absen-physical and mental, can be damaging if required to con- teeism and labour turnover, and it may increase the like-
11 UNDERSTANDING PEOPLE 123lihood of injury. In 1999, a former Birmingham City Council the message being given. Trainers need training themselveshousing officer forced to retire on the grounds of ill-health at intervals; knowledge of techniques needs to be acquiredwas awarded compensation of £67 000 after the council and used.admitted liability for the stress she was caused. This wasthe first time that an employer admitted liability for Reportscausing stress. Major factors were said to be lack ofexperience and qualifications for the work, with training Report and procedure writing skills focus on the clearpromised though not given. expression of problems and solutions, and are founded on well tried principles.There are many aspects of current criminal law on safetyand health at work which have a bearing on stress levels, For example, reports should have a clear structure to aidand which lay duties of various kinds on employers. These comprehension. There should be an introduction, contain-duties begin within section 2 of the Health and Safety at ing the reason for writing the report and the scope, fol-Work Act 1974, with its reference to the health and welfare lowed by a summary. If there is no summary, it will beof employees, and continue through the Management necessary to write a conclusion section. Recommendations,Regulations with their requirements for defined manage- if called for, are placed as an Appendix to the report, as arement arrangements and risk assessments. Proving that lists of photographs, plans and drawings, references andcriminal breaches have occurred in relation to stress, and material used or consulted in the preparation of the report.that reasonably practicable (or other) steps were not At some point, probably the introduction, the status andtaken, may be another matter. qualifications of the writer to hold the opinions expressed should be given. The body of the report will contain all the details, divided into sections where this will aid compre-Communication hension. A logical sequence should be followed, so that theVerbal and non-verbal communication govern our personal reader is guided and carried along by the narrative and notrelationship with the outside world Ð with everybody else. left to skip about the report looking for clues.Until a reliable form of telepathy is developed, whatevermessage we want to send or receive to others has to be by Accident investigation reports are likely to be disclosed toword of mouth directly, written, or by gesture and a wide audience, and for this reason should be purely fac-appearance Ð involving the five senses. Sometimes there tual in content. Speculation as to causation and outcomecan be conflicts between the forms of the message. A should be avoided, as should the allocation of blameverbal instruction from a foreman to wear safety shoes, where possible. Whether the accident report is made on awhen the foreman is not doing so himself, causes confusion. standard form, or specially written, it should contain the following:Fortunately, communication skills can be defined andlearned, so that the right messages are received by the n A short summary of what happenedright people with no distortion in their meaning. After the n An introductory summary of events prior to the acci-accident, `I thought you knew what I meant is an admission dentof a failure to communicate. The fact is that no matter how n Information gained during investigationbright and knowledgeable a person is, if necessary know- n Details of witnessesledge and advice cannot be passed to others in an accep- n Information about the injury and any other loss sus-table form then the persons abilities are of no value at all. tained n ConclusionsManaging safety and health requires a good ability to n The date, and the signature of the person(s) involvedcommunicate, and to be personally aware of the potential in the investigationcauses of failure to do so. Verbal skills can be improved by n Appendices Ð supporting material (photographs, dia-attending short courses on presentation techniques which grams, plans to clarify)involve role playing and practice. Often these courses n Recommendationsinclude advice on non-verbal communication Ð unconsciousgestures and habits, wearing appropriate clothes to relate Significant questions that should receive an answer in anyto the target audience, and ways to secure acceptance of report include:
124 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 11n What was the immediate cause of the accident, injury Safety propaganda can be seen as managements attempt or loss? to pass off the responsibility for safety to employees. Pos-n What were the contributory (secondary) causes? ters, banners and other visual aids used in isolation withoutn What is the necessary corrective action? the agreement and sanction provided by worker partici-n What system changes are necessary or desirable to pation in safety campaigns can easily pass the wrong mes- prevent a recurrence? sage. The hidden message can be perceived as `Then What reviews are needed of policies, procedures and management has done all it can or is willing to do. You know risk assessments? what the danger is, so its up to you to be safe and dont blame us if you get hurt Ð we told you work is dangerous.The use of propaganda about safety and health issues is aspecial type of communication. Management can have high expectations of the ability of safety posters to communicate the safety message. This will only be justified if they are used as part of a designedGetting the message across strategy for communicating positive messages.Various forms of propaganda selling the `health and safetymessage have been used for many years - posters, flags, Expose correctly Ð the safety message must be perceivedstickers, beer mats and so on. They are now widely felt to by the target audience. In practice, this means the messagebe of little measurable value in changing behaviour and must be addressed to the right people, be placed at or nearinfluencing attitudes to health and safety issues. Because to the point of danger and have a captive audience. Siteof the long tradition of using safety propaganda as part of accommodation is therefore a good place to give the safetysafety campaigns, however, there is a reluctance to aban- message.don them. Possibly, this is because they are seen as con-stituting visible management concern whilst being both Use `attention-getter techniques carefully Ð messagescheap and causing minimal disturbance to production. In must seize the attention of the audience and pass theircontrast, much money is spent on advertising campaigns contents quickly. Propaganda exploiting this principle tooand measuring their effectiveness in selling products. readily can fail to give the message intended Ð sexual innuendo and horror are effective attention-getters, but asHow can safety messages be effective? The advice which they may be more potent images they may only befollows is based upon a limited range of studies Ð despite remembered for their potency. Other members of thethe huge sums spent on advertising products of all kinds, audience may reject the message precisely because of theremarkably little work has been done on the effectiveness use of what is perceived as a stereotype, for exampleof traditional safety campaigns. `flattering sexual imagery can easily be rejected by parts of the audience as sexist and exploitative.Avoid negativity Ð studies show that successful safetypropaganda contains positive messages, not warnings of the Strangely, the attention-grabbing image may be toounpleasant consequences of actions. Warnings may be powerful to be effective. An example to consider is theineffective because they fail to address the ways in which `model girl calendar. If the pictures are not regarded aspeople make choices about their actions; these choices are sexist and rejected, they may be remembered. But whooften made subconsciously and are not necessarily `rational remembers the name of the sender? This is, after all, theor logical. Studies also show that people tend to make poor point of the advertising.judgements about risks involved in activities, and areunwilling to accept a perceived loss of comfort or money as a Comprehension must be maximised Ð for the most effect,trade against protection from a large but unquantified loss safety messages have to explain problems either pictoriallywhich may or may not happen at some point in the future. or verbally in captions or slogans. To be readily understood, they must be simple and specific, as well as positive. Use of`It wont happen here Ð the non-relevance of the warning too many words or more than one message inhibits com-or negative propaganda needs to be combated. The short- munication. Use of humour can be ineffective; the audi-term loss associated with some (but not all) safety pre- ence can reject the message given, because `only stupidcautions needs to be balanced by a positive short-term gain people would act as shown and this would have no rele-such as peace of mind, respect and peer admiration. vance to themselves or their work conditions.
11 UNDERSTANDING PEOPLE 125Messages must be believable Ð the audiences ability to gradual reversion to previous patterns, unless other actionsbelieve in the message itself and its relevance to them is such as changes in work patterns and environment areimportant. Endorsement or approval of the message by made in conjunction with the propaganda.peers or those admired, such as the famous, enhancesacceptability. The `belief factor also depends upon the Limited experimental observations by the author show thatperceived credibility of those presenting the message. If the effectiveness of safety posters, judged by the ability ofthe general perception of managements attitude is that an audience to recall a positive safety message, is good inhealth and safety has a low priority, then safety messages the short term only. One week after exposure to a poster,are more likely to be dismissed because the management 90% of a sample audience could recall the posters generalmotivation behind them is questioned. details. 45% could recall the actual message on it. Two weeks after exposure, none of the audience rememberedAction when motivated must be achievable Ð safety the message, and only 20% could recall the poster design. Inpropaganda has been shown to be most effective when it both cases the attention of the audience was not drawncalls for a positive action, which can be achieved without specifically to the poster when originally exposed to it.perceived cost to the audience and which offers a tangibleand realistic gain. Not all of this may be possible for any Safety propaganda can be useful in accident prevention,particular piece of propaganda, and the major factor to provided its use is carefully planned in relation to theconsider is the positive action. Exhortation simply to `be audience, the message is positive and believable, and it issafe is not a motivator. used in combination with other parts of a planned safety campaign. Safety posters which are not changed regularly become part of the scenery, and may even be counter-Safety propaganda productive by giving a perceived bad image of managementThere is little evidence for the effectiveness of health and attitude (`All they do is stick up a few old posters).safety propaganda. This is mainly because of the difficultyof measuring changes in attitudes and behaviour which can Referencesactually be traced to the use of propaganda. For postercampaigns, experience suggests that any change in HSG48 Reducing error and influencing behaviourbehaviour patterns will be temporary, followed by a HSC Managing stress at work (discussion document)
12 Joint ConsultationThe desirability of a co-operative approach to health and Court of Justice had ruled that consultation with thesafety has been recognised for many years. The construc- employer on health and safety issues cannot be limited totion industry is unusual because the co-operative approach consultation with trade unions and their appointed safetyrequired for success extends not only to employees of a representatives. Compliance with the Framework Directivesingle employer, but also to all the people working on a site requires more general consultation, and so these Regula-or project, regardless of their employment status. Con- tions require employers to consult, where there aresultation in this wider sense is anticipated within the Con- employees who are not represented by safety representa-struction (Design and Management) Regulations 1994 tives appointed by recognised trade unions under the SRSCR(CDM), but the major statutory requirements to consult provisions, either employees directly or representativeshave an older history. elected by them.A main recommendation of the Robens Committee in 1972 In general, the SRSCR entitlements and functions given towas that an internal policing system should be developed, safety representatives are more extensive than those givenwhereby workforce representatives would play an active under the HSCER. The SRSCR and their accompanyingpart in drawing hazards to the attention of workers and Approved Code of Practice provide a set of entitlements tomanagement, and play a positive role in explaining health consultation to nominees of recognised independent tradeand safety requirements to employees. Provision for these unions. They are given the right to make a number of kindsregulations was made in the Health and Safety at Work etc. of inspection, to consult with the employer, and to receiveAct 1974, which originally contained two subsections dealing information on health and safety matters. The Regulationswith the subject of employee rights to consultation by the also provide for training and time off with pay to carry outappointment of statutory representatives with whom the the functions of safety representation.employer would be required to enter into dialogue. The Safety Representatives and SafetyOne of the subsections allowed for the election of such Committees Regulations 1977representatives from among the workforce; the other gavethe right to nominate safety representatives to trade The right to appoint safety representatives is restricted tounions. The provision for the general election of such trade unions recognised by the employer for collectiverepresentatives was repealed by the Labour Governments bargaining or by the Arbitration and Conciliation AdvisoryEmployment Protection Act 1975, and the right to appoint Service (ACAS). The presence of only one employeesafety representatives is now restricted to recognised belonging to such a union is sufficient to require theindependent trade unions. The Safety Representatives and employer to recognise that person (upon application by his/Safety Committees Regulations 1977 (SRSCR) provided the her union) as a safety representative. The Regulationsdetail of the general entitlement contained in section 2 of place no limit on the number of such representatives in anythe Act, and came into effect on 1 October 1978. They were workplace, or any construction site, although the asso-further amended by the Management of Health and Safety ciated Approved Code of Practice and Guidance Notesat Work Regulations 1992 and 1999. observe that the criteria to consider in making this decision include total number of employees, variety of occupations,In 1996 the Health and Safety (Consultation with Employ- type of work activity and the degree and character of theees) Regulations (HSCER) came into force. The European inherent dangers. These matters should be negotiated with
12 JOINT CONSULTATION 127the appropriate unions and the arrangements made for independent investigation and private discussion withrepresentation should be recorded. employees. The following functions are specifically men- tioned in the Regulations:Unions wishing to make appointments of safety repre-sentatives must make written notification to the employer n Investigation of potential hazards, dangerous occur-of the names of those appointed, who must be employees of rences and causes of accidents at the workplacethe employer except in extremely limited circumstances. n Investigation of complaints by employees representedUpon appointment in this way, safety representatives on health, safety or welfare mattersacquire statutory functions and rights, which are set out in n Making representations to the employer on mattersRegulation 4. The employer cannot terminate an appoint- arising from the abovement; the union concerned must notify the employer that n Making representations to the employer on generalan appointment has been terminated, or the safety repre- matters of health, safety or welfaresentative may resign, or employment may cease at a n Carrying out inspections of the workplace regularly,workplace whose employees he or she represents (unless following notifiable accidents, dangerous occurrencesstill employed at one of a number of workplaces where or diseases, and documentsappointed to represent employees). n Representing employees in workplace consultations with inspectors of the appropriate enforcing authoritySafety representatives are not required to have qualifica- n Receiving information from those inspectors in accor-tions, except that whoever is appointed should have been dance with section 28(8) of the main Actemployed for the preceding 2 years by the employer, or n Attending safety committee meetings in the capacityhave 2 years experience in `similar employment. The of safety representative in connection with any func-right to time off with pay during working hours for safety tion aboverepresentatives in order to carry out their functions and toundergo `reasonable training is given in Regulation 4(2). Regular routine inspections of the workplace or site can beWhat is `reasonable in the last resort can be decided by an carried out by entitlement every 3 months, having givenemployment tribunal, to which the representative may reasonable previous notice in writing to the employer, ormake complaint (see below). more frequently with the agreement of the employer. Where there has been a `substantial change in the condi-The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regula- tions of work, or new information has been published by thetions 1992 (MHSWR) inserted a further regulation, requir- Health and Safety Executive (HSE) relative to hazards of theing employers to consult safety representatives in good workplace, further inspection may take place regardless oftime, in respect of those employees they represent, con- the time interval since the previous one. Defects noted arecerning: to be notified in writing to the employer, and there is a suggested form for the purpose. Employers may be presentn Introduction of any measure at the workplace which during inspections. may substantially affect health and safetyn The employers arrangements for appointing or nomi- Safety representatives have a conditional right to inspect nating `competent persons as required by MHSWR and copy certain documents by Regulation 7, having givenn Any health and safety information the employer is the employer reasonable notice. There are restrictions on required to provide to employees the kinds of documents which can be seen, which includen Planning and organisation of any health and safety commercial confidentiality, information relating to an training the employer is required to provide individual (unless this is consented to), information for usen The potential health and safety consequences of the in legal proceedings, that which the employer cannot dis- introduction of new technologies into the workplace close without breaking a law, and anything where dis- closure would be against national security interests.Employers must provide such facilities and assistance assafety representatives may reasonably require to carry out The employer has to make additional information availabletheir functions of representation and consultation with the so that statutory functions can be performed, and this isemployer as provided by section 2(4) of the Health and limited to information within the employers knowledge.Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The facilities required include The Approved Code of Practice contains many examples of
128 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 12the kind of information which should be provided, and the their health and safety at work. In particular, employersinformation which need not be disclosed. are directed to do so about:Although the Regulations give wide powers to the safety n Introduction of any measure at the workplace whichrepresentative, they specifically impose no additional may substantially affect the health and safety of thoseduty. Representatives are given immunity from prosecution employeesfor anything done in breach of safety law while acting as a n His/her arrangements for nominating `competentsafety representative. It has been suggested that circum- persons in accordance with MHSWR to assist thestances where this immunity might apply would include employer on health and safety matters, and to takeagreement during consultation on, for example, a system of charge of measures to combat identified serious andwork proposed by the employer which later turned out to imminent danger at the workplacebe inadequate and became the subject of prosecutions of n Any statutory health and safety information which heindividuals involved in the decision to use the system. has to provide n Planning and organisation of any health and safetySafety representatives may present claims to an employ- training he has to providement tribunal if it is believed that the employer has failed n Health and safety consequences for those employeesto allow performance of the functions laid down by the of the introduction of new technologies into theRegulations, or to allow time off work with pay to which workplacethere was an entitlement (Regulation 11). If the tribunalagrees, it must make a declaration, and can award com- Regulation 4 requires the consultation to be either with thepensation to the employee payable by the employer. There employees directly, or with representatives elected by anyis no right of access to the tribunal for the employer who group of employees. Those elected are referred to asfeels aggrieved or who wishes to test in advance the `representatives of employee safety (ROES). It is impor-arrangements he proposes to make. tant to appreciate that the choice of which form of con- sultation to adopt is left to the employer. If the employerDespite the title of the Regulations, their only reference decides to consult ROES, he must inform the constituents ofto safety committees is in Regulation 9, which requires their names and the group of employees represented. Thethat a safety committee must be established by the employer must not consult an individual as a ROES in fouremployer if at least two safety representatives request circumstances, which are where:this in writing. The employer must post a notice givingthe composition of the committee and the areas to be n The person has notified the employer that the personcovered by it in a place where it can be read easily by does not intend to represent the groupemployees. The safety committee must be established n The person is no longer employed in the group thewithin 3 months of the request for it. Apart from these, person representsthe Regulations contain no stipulations about size, com- n The period for which the person was elected hasposition and other practical details, which are a matter expired without the person being re-electedfor the employer. n The person has become incapacitated from carrying the functions under the RegulationsThe Approved Code of Practice and the Guidance Notecontain information and advice concerning the structure, If the consultation is discontinued for any of these reasons,role and functions of safety committees, which should be the employer must inform the employees in the grouptaken into account by non-statutory safety committees as concerned that it has been. Paragraph 4 of Regulation 4well. requires the employer to inform employees and ROES if he decides to change the consultation method to one of direct consultation.The Health and Safety (Consultation withEmployees) Regulations 1996 Regulation 5 obliges the employer to make necessaryRegulation 3 requires that, where there is no representa- information available to employees consulted directly totion by safety representatives under SRSCR, the employer enable them to participate effectively, and where ROESmust consult employees in good time on matters relating to are consulted as well as this the employer is required to
12 JOINT CONSULTATION 129make available records he must keep in compliance with management team as an aid to joint consultation. In someRIDDOR. cases it may be necessary to co-ordinate a committee with existing arrangements made by a client, so that thoseAs with the SRSCR, the employer does not have to disclose working on site can be updated on the clients own workinginformation which would be against national security, methods and safety controls.which could contravene any (statutory) prohibition on theemployer, which relates to any individual without their The major functions of a site safety committee are to allowconsent, which would cause substantial injury to an a full exchange of information, discussion of safe workingundertaking, or where the information was obtained by the practices, review information on the accident record andemployer in connection with legal proceedings against him. receive reports from safety staff and others. WrittenInspection rights are not available over documents not arrangements for safety committee meetings and con-related to health or safety. stitution should form part of the sites Safety Plan. The principal contractor may require every contractor to be represented at meetings, which can be conducted as a partConsultation at site and project level of the regular progress meeting.Exchanging information between employers and employeesabout work practices and likely future hazards is a Variants on the traditional safety committee can be foundrequirement of MHSWR. Guidance from the HSE indicates on some larger projects, especially where the numbers ofthat site safety committees are an effective way of doing contractors working would make the size of a committeethis. Where there are more than about 250 people working unwieldy. Safety and quality circles have been found usefulon a project, such a committee should be considered by the in these cases.
13 Access to InformationThere is a great deal of information available on con- technical publications, either direct or through a growingstruction safety topics. Unfortunately the information national network of major booksellers. Other paper infor-sources are mostly unco-ordinated, in many places, and mation providers, such as Croner, offer an updating libraryoften written by specialists so that it cannot easily be resource with a large number of specialist titles in theirunderstood by those people who have to work with it. range. Fortunately, the UKs best construction reference,Alternatively, the information may be presented in such a the two-volume manual Construction Safety, is also upda-simple way that it cannot easily be applied to particular ted annually to subscribers.instances. Information technology is moving towards theproduction of solutions, for example by facilitating inter- Computer files held at the workplace are widely used asaction between authors and enquirers. Discussion forums information storage, although there is already evidenceon websites (see below) are allowing one-to-one exchange that new generations of computers are unable to decipherof specific information. A familiar problem still persists; material stored on the older systems. Computer networks,information quickly goes out of date. Because of these set up between offices using telephone or fibre-optic lines,factors, the search for knowledge cannot be a `once only are able to share much information, which is often storedeffort. Getting up to date imposes another equally impor- centrally on a mainframe or server. Larger companies havetant requirement: keeping up to date. developed `intranets, which can be accessed via password from remote terminals and provide a world-wide core ofSystems for information provision designed since about information. Access to such a system enables a large1980 recognise the need for `one-stop information shop- amount of information to be accessed at short notice at aping for answers to problems, and avoid the temptation to local site. Disadvantages are the cost, and the need tocross-reference to a potentially large number of other monitor and service the system regularly.sources. The expense of using computer data resources can beMost technical information on safety is still provided on minimised by gaining access to someone elses informationpaper, and this is not likely to change despite the intro- by using an electronic database through a modem connec-duction of new technologies. Some of these have new tion, and there are now a number of computer resourcesproblems associated with them Ð photocopies and fac- which accept worldwide connections through the Internet.simile transmissions on waxed paper rolls are both affected The ability to carry full text and graphics is spreading.by ultraviolet light, so the image gradually disappears over NIOSHTIC and HSELINE are the best known English-languagetime. Other photographic record systems for holding databases.information such as microfiche are more permanent, butcan still be damaged. They are inconvenient to read and It is also possible to access versions of these and othercopy, although they carry a large quantity of complete databases at the workplace by installing a CD-ROM reader.material in a small space. Compact disc technology allows at least 280 000 pages of information to be stored on a single compact disc, whichBooks, leaflets and other paper-based material are likely to can be read by a personal computer. Recording onto CD-remain the most common information format for the ROM by the non-specialist can now be done at reasonableforeseeable future, despite attempts to create the `paper- cost. The advantages of doing so are cheapness, and theless office. HSE Books is the UKs largest supplier of safety volume of material which can be stored and quickly
13 ACCESS TO INFORMATION 131accessed. CD-ROM constructed databases are available for word) has been used. The search engines attempt to placepurchase and rental through providers such as Silver Platter the most useful hits at the front, but it can still take sig-(OSH-UK), which also update and extend their products nificant time to find relevant material without a very pre-regularly. International data resources mostly store infor- cise set of significant keywords to search with.mation on US requirements. A major supplier of chemicaldata sheets and other health and safety information on CD- For example, a search for all references to `constructionROM is the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and safety will generate a much bigger selection of pages to beSafety (CCINFO). checked out than a search for pages carrying the phrase `UK construction plant safety. In most search engines, the keyInformation can also be stored in learning programmes and to doing this is to use an `and function between the key-combined with video into an interactive system, available words, to make sure that the search does not provide all theon CD-ROM and played through specially-adapted visual pages with the word `UK plus all the pages with `con-display screens. The use of multimedia, which combines struction and so on. Much time can also be saved by notstill and moving images with sound and text information, is viewing any web page hit dated more than about 3 monthsincreasing rapidly as it can be produced easily and accessed back from the current date. This is because search enginesthrough many relatively simple computer configurations. do not distinguish between live and derelict pages.Searching the Internet for health and safety information It is also necessary to remember that the majority of webcan be extremely rewarding. There are now several pages are US-based, and that there are language and ter-thousand `home pages on the World Wide Web giving minology differences round the world. The Australian wordaccess to safety, health and environmental information, for `banksman is `dogman, for example.but it is important to remember that not all of it can berelied on. Just as trade associations can be expected to Computers are also convenient to use to store specific in-publish information and views favourable to the members company information such as injury records, and to extractof the association, it should not be forgotten that many information from data using relational databases. They caninterest groups have websites and are anxious to promote a also take nearly all the drudgery out of preparing injuryparticular view in the guise of unbiased information. A list returns, comparative tables and the like.of websites which have been reviewed for their technicalcontent and usefulness can be found through the Canadian Safety professionalsCentre (http://www.ccohs.ca). Other uses of the Internetinclude the newsgroups, which enable questions to be The role of the occupational health and safety practitionerasked and answered in front of an international audience, (OHASP) Ð the term preferred nowadays to `safety officer,and the exchange of software. Though mainly for pro- at least by those doing the job Ð has enlarged considerablyfessionals, the Chat Forum run by the Institution of Occu- since the early 1960s when regulations first required largerpational Safety and Health is open to anyone with a employers to appoint a `site safety supervisor. The changequestion, through www.iosh.co.uk and following the links. from the prescriptive set of construction safety rules to a regime where the employer has to assess all hazards andUnless a unique home page has been given as a reference, their risks and then take appropriate steps to control themthe searcher will have to use one of an estimated 1550 has resulted in a significant increase in demand as well as aavailable `search engines to track down a particular sub- wider role.ject. Examples of search engines which are suitable for thispurpose include AltaVista, Lycos, HotBot and Excite. When Todays senior construction safety professional is likely tothe word being searched for is entered, the search engine be professionally qualified by examination or by acquiringwill return a list of `hits Ð web pages which contain the vocational qualifications, and a corporate member of theword. professional body (IOSH). Following established syllabi for self-development equips the professional to set up controlSome refinement of the search is usually required to avoid systems for others to follow. Safety professionals whosebeing swamped by data. The search engines are quite likely role is solely one of inspection and monitoring are often notto offer a selection of several hundred thousand web pages so highly qualified, and typically hold a lower grade of IOSHto the searcher, because too vague a search word (key- membership. Nevertheless, the intention has always been
132 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 13to provide a clear progression upwards on the career path, cost-effective to subcontract the role. Too often, they alsoand the principles of self-development and continuing try to subcontract the responsibility. Consultants who areprofessional development are now well established. members of IOSH are bound by the Institutions code of ethics. IOSH maintains a register of safety consultants,The function of the professional is to advise management which allows a prospective user to select those withon the appropriate handling of hazards and risks, and to potential for interview. Using the Yellow Pages may beestablish systems to enable that to be done effectively. quicker, but a successful relationship is less likely.Responsibility for giving sound, competent advice restswith the professional; responsibility for taking appropriate The HSE leaflet `Choosing and using a safety consultantaction based on that advice remains with management. offers excellent advice and should be followed. Experience shows that `choosers often have little idea of what theyThe role the professional has will usually be defined by need, and so it will be well worth spending some time tomanagement, and set out within the safety policy. Gen- define the extent of the particular role beforehand.erally, the professionals advice will be available to all Insurance of a minimum of £1 million cover against pro-employees, as will information on technical issues. Atten- fessional errors should be held by anyone acting as a con-dance at safety committees, carrying out inspections and sultant, in everyones interests.audits and formulating responses to new legislation nor-mally occupy the professionals time. When accidents Other adviceoccur, the professional will be expected to carry out athorough and unbiased investigation. Many trade associations operate safety advisory services for their members, as do chambers of commerce. UnbiasedConsultants in occupational safety and health have multi- advice can be obtained from the HSEs Infoline, whichplied in recent times, many of them professionals taking refers the more difficult or policy questions to the HSEsearly retirement from business and the regulatory bodies. regional offices. IOSH also operates a free advisory serviceOrganisations unable or unwilling to support a full-time to members and non-members alike.position for an OHASP frequently find it convenient and
Part 2Environment, Health andSafety Issues
Construction and the14 EnvironmentThe construction industry, as a major part of the economy The short-term objectives for the reduction of environ-in the UK and elsewhere, has a significant impact on the mental impact of any process are:environment. An estimated 198 000 companies of all sizesmake up the industry, with an annual output of £58 billion. n Reduction of the consumption of resourcesThe industry produces 29% of the controlled waste in the UK n Reduction of emissions and other byproducts of the(70 million tonnes annually), of which 12 to 15 million process to air, water and land, andtonnes are currently recycled. About 17% of waste going to n Reduction of production and increased recycling oflandfill sites is directly related to construction work. Good wastemanagement of the environment makes economic sensebecause many of the environmental aspects of construction In achieving these goals, compliance with relevantwork carry financial cost. Examples are energy use and environmental legislation will be required. There is now awaste, where taxation on landfill and a proposed climate complex framework of environmental legislation coveringchange levy will add to costs. a broad range of issues, such as noise and dust nuisance, strict liability (`the polluter pays principle), and duty ofEconomic benefits include improved tender opportunities care in waste management. Further European legislationand reducing the cost of wastage (disposal, handling, will cover air quality, climate change and wastetransport, taxation, for example). Environmental benefits recycling.include reduced damage to the environment by control ofemissions and adverse impacts on ecosystems, and reduced In the longer term, contractors should examine theirdemands on natural resources. activities to seek out opportunities for reducing the con- sumption of energy sources and water use throughout theirIn this chapter, the role and objectives of the contractor business, including in offices and other static premises. Thisare considered. Contractors as constructors can make only will require an assessment of the use of energy resourcesa limited difference to constructions environmental and water, which in turn requires measurements to beimpact, and need to work with others. Clients, for exam- made. Then, policies and programmes can be establishedple, as procurers of construction work, can call for which set practical targets to be reached.`greener buildings and thus affect the entire supply chain. The initial steps towards achieving short-term objectives`Sustainable development calls for a balanced approach, require the identification of materials used in all waste-pursuing neither `perfection in environmental perfor- generating activities, and encouraging contractors andmance nor abandoning it in the pursuit of profit. It requires suppliers to co-operate in the management of waste,the prudent use of natural resources, moving towards the beginning with reducing its production.`triple bottom line of environmental, social and economicaccountability. A strategy document was published in the On each site, and within each Safety Plan, there should beUK in April 2000 to promote more sustainable construction. specific reference made to environmental impact and theA full discussion of the issues involved is beyond the scope steps taken to minimise it. Safety Plans should also containof this book, but the references quoted at the end of the notes on the identified opportunities to work towardschapter should be consulted for a wider scope than is pre- environmental objectives. For example, each site andsented here. office has many potential opportunities to prevent or
136 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 14reduce the generation of waste materials, which can save n Substitution of chemicalscosts as well as minimise the amount of waste entering the n Improved worker trainingenvironment. Source reduction emphasises conservation and the moreThe checklists at the end of this chapter (Figures 14.1 and efficient use of hazardous and non-hazardous materials,14.2) have been structured so as to be useful to those energy, water and other resources.preparing Safety Plans, and to site-based staff seeking toevaluate their current situation. Recycling is the process of using or reusing a material or residual component of a material. It aims to minimise waste, and can also be achieved through reclamation,Waste management and pollution control which is the process of treating a material to recover aThe most common methods of pollution control are source usable product. Examples of recycling are waste manage-reduction and recycling. Waste treatment and disposal are ment activities which separate recyclable material fornot classed as components of a construction pollution collection, and the use and reuse of suitable demolitionprevention programme, although they should be con- products. For both projects and offices, the aim should besidered for inclusion within the scope of the environmental to put recyclable materials in designated containers andsection of the sites Safety Plan. arrange for recycling collection and processing.The hierarchy of waste management is a set of stepped Air pollution control involves limiting the emission ofalternatives which provides guidance on best practice in pollutants into the atmosphere. Six major air pollutantsminimising or preventing the generation of waste generally recognised as significant are carbon monoxide,materials. It also applies to pollution in general: ozone, sulphur oxides, nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter and lead. There are also air emission standards for friablen Waste should be prevented or reduced at the source asbestos during a number of activities including, but not by designing out whenever feasible limited to, building renovation and demolition, asbestosn Waste that cannot be prevented or reduced should be removal and encapsulation, and the disposal of asbestos reused whenever feasible and asbestos-containing materials. Other potentially sig-n Waste that cannot be prevented, reduced or reused nificant pollution sources include the use and maintenance should be recycled in an environmentally safe and of motor vehicles and releases from stationary sources such friendly manner, whenever feasible as boilers, furnaces and the burning of waste.n Waste that cannot be prevented, reduced, reused or recycled should be treated in an environmentally safe Water pollution control is concerned with the restoration and friendly manner and energy should be derived and maintenance of the chemical, physical and biological from it, whenever feasible integrity of water resources. In many jurisdictions this isn Disposal, landfill or other release into the environ- done by establishing limits on the discharge of pollutants ment should be used only as a last resort, and should be through the implementation of a discharge permit pro- carried out in an environmentally safe and friendly gramme. Such a system is likely to limit the permissible manner concentration of toxic pollutants or conventional pollu- tants discharged to open waters. There may also be:Source reduction is any method or technique used at orbefore the point of generation that reduces or eliminates n Standards for non-domestic sources which dischargethe creation or use of hazardous substances or all con- into sewers leading to publicly-owned treatmenttrolled wastes so as to reduce the risks to health and the works; these may incorporate pH, temperature,environment. Source reduction can be achieved through: flammable materials and pretreatment requirements n A requirement for a spillage control and counter-n Improvements in housekeeping measure plan to minimise the risk of oil spills if the siten Better and more frequent preventive maintenance stores large quantities of oil, and especially the use ofn Upgrading storage and materials handling techniques bunded containments around fuel storesn Discussion with, and eventually approving selected n A requirement for storm water permits for certain suppliers, to encourage their environmental efforts types of industrial facilities or processes
14 CONSTRUCTION AND THE ENVIRONMENT 137For both sites and offices, water pollution goals can be met Spillage controlby working towards the following: The accidental release, spill or leak of oil from a facility or transportation vehicle can pose a significant threat to bothn Identification of all substances used by contractors in public and occupational health as well as to the environ- their work and the provision by each contractor of ment. A variety of sources can contribute to release, appropriate information which includes the means of including: disposal and containment of spillages where appro- priate n Loading and unloading fuel operationsn Prompt identification of the nature of any effluent n Ruptured hydraulic or fuel line or tank on heavy from contractors work areas, which must neither be equipment harmful nor cause deposits or contamination in drains n Releases from petroleum/gas/oil tanks and sewers n Leaking underground storage tanks n Manhole contaminationInitial ground contamination To eliminate or reduce this threat, a response in good timeInitial ground contamination and its extent should be is necessary. In addition to physical containment, thereestablished before work begins on site. Where contamina- may also be notification requirements imposed by local ortion exceeds recognised standards, specific measures will national regulatory agencies. The advice of the fuel sup-be required in order to treat or remove the contaminated plier should be sought immediately by telephone in theground, and to train and equip workers likely to be exposed event of significant spillage, or where knowledge of theto the contamination. Usually, the latter will involve the necessary corrective actions is not immediately available.use of established techniques for the maintenance of Notification to the emergency services may also be neces-occupational health, including limitation of exposure, sary. The potential requirement for whatever action isprovision and use of personal protective equipment, appropriate should have been identified at the outset, andavailability of welfare facilities including washing facilities the procedure included in the Safety Plan.and changing rooms, availability of cleaning facilities andstorage for work clothing which may be contaminated.Geotechnical surveys must always be checked at the plan- Pesticide use and controlning stage, so as to identify any conditions which may cause Insecticides, fungicides and rodenticides are types of pes-these measures to be put into effect. Attention must be ticide that may be encountered in offices as well as duringpaid to new regulations, most recently the Pollution Pre- construction work. In many jurisdictions there arevention and Control (England and Wales) Regulations 2000, requirements concerning the introduction and uses of theseSI 2000 No 1973. in the marketplace, and on how some products are manu- factured, distributed, sold and used. Often, the user aspectA reference quoted at the end of this chapter gives guide- is controlled by operator certification. In the UK the Con-lines for the classification of contaminated soils as well as trol of Pesticides Regulations apply.guidance on risk assessment, a range of precautions andexamples of information for employees. Many pesticides have effects on other life forms than those they are used against, including humans. It may be neces- sary or advisable to apply these products after normalRemediation working hours to avoid exposure of staff to them.Remediation is a term which includes all actions necessaryto return a polluted site to a condition suitable for its The major control considerations are:intended future use. Both current and past owners and n Correct evaluation of the need to use a pesticide,operators of contaminated property may be found liable to which includes its potential effect on all non-targetbear the cost of remediation, in addition to all parties who organisms, including humans and animalsgenerated, transported or arranged for the disposal of the n Correct selection of an appropriate product suitablematerials that contaminated the property. Clearly, the cost for the conditionsimplications of remediation can be significant. n Control of storage and handling of the product,
138 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 14 including recording dates of use, placement sites and Toxic hazardous wastes have the potential to leach from quantities used landfills and contaminate soil and groundwater. Somen Its application by trained operators where this is called common examples are lead, benzene, carbon tetra- for by law or the manufacturer chloride, mercury and cadmium.n Protection of workers and the public against the application method and any overapplication Control of substances hazardous to healthn Appropriate housekeeping standards to minimise the need for pesticide use There are many hazardous substances which are commonlyn Removal of debris after pesticide application used or produced at work. Examples are solvents in glues and paints, silica dust produced during grinding and chasing concrete on site and fixative agents used in enclosed officeHazardous waste management areas. These substances should be identified and their risksUK law imposes a system controlling the management of assessed. Designers should eliminate hazardous materialshazardous wastes, which places requirements on producers from their designs, or specify the least hazardous productsand carriers of the waste as well as owners and operators of that perform satisfactorily. The control of substancesstorage and disposal facilities. There are many possible hazardous to health is governed by the COSHH Regulationsdefinitions of `hazardous waste, but the term usually 1999, which are summarised elsewhere in this book. Specialincludes any solid, liquid or contained gas which is either mention is made of the control of these substances in thisignitable, corrosive, reactive or toxic (or any combination chapter because of their potential to harm the environ-of these) and which is at the end of its useful life. ment, and other people such as neighbours and other contractors. The substances can be generated by the work,The term `hazardous waste normally applies to any mix- as well as arrive on site as purchased products.ture containing a hazardous waste. Common exclusionsfrom the definition of hazardous waste are: Assessment of the risk is required by law. This is done by looking first at the way in which workers and others aren Material such as domestic sewage exposed to the substance in the particular job to be done.n Any mixture approved for discharge through a sewage In construction work, harm is normally caused by: system for treatment in a sewage worksn Some industrial wastewater point source discharges n Breathing in fumes, vapours and dustsn Waste controlled under other more specific laws n Direct contact with skin and eyes (common examples are lead and asbestos) n Swallowing or eating contaminated materialn Some (but not all) wastes destined for recycling andn Some kinds of empty container The results of the assessment must be written down, and anyone exposed to hazardous substances should be shown aIgnitable hazardous wastes are those which have the ability copy of the significant findings of the assessment as part ofto cause a fire during transport, storage or disposal. induction training.Examples include waste oils, used solvents and oxidisers. Prevention is the best solution when reducing risk Ð removeCorrosive hazardous wastes are those able to deteriorate the hazard. This can be achieved by doing the job in astandard containers, damage human tissue and/or dissolve different way or by using a less hazardous substance.toxic components of other wastes. Strong acids and alkalis Controls for hazardous substances include:are examples. n Reducing exposure timeReactive hazardous wastes have the tendency to become n Provision of good ventilationchemically unstable during normal conditions, or to react n Using as little of the substance as possibleviolently when exposed to air or mixed with water, or to n Changing the method of application Ð brushing isgenerate toxic gases. Examples include some compounds of better than spraying, for examplephosphor, pure sodium, and sulphuric acid in storage bat- n Using equipment fitted with exhaust ventilation orteries. Although these are unlikely to be produced by the water suppression to control dustconstruction process, they can be found during demolition. n Improving personal hygiene
14 CONSTRUCTION AND THE ENVIRONMENT 139n Health surveillance for workers (for example, those n Maintain effective environmental management sys- working with lead and silica) tems throughout the organisationn Proper use of appropriate personal protective equip- n Promote environmental activities with relevant ment external voluntary bodies n Report on environmental performance in annualIt is important to be aware that personal protective reportsequipment is not the solution of choice. It should not beused unless exposure cannot be adequately controlled by More detailed, specific targets can be set on an annualany other, or any other combination, of the above basis. It is advisable to set targets which are likely to bemeasures. achievable in the time period. The following are suggested for consideration:Measurement and reduction of energy n Maintain current knowledge of the legal requirementsconsumption on environmental protection in relation to the typeThe prevention of pollution and the conservation of energy and location of construction work normally carried outare complementary activities. Nearly all forms of energy n Assess and record energy consumption and water usegeneration consume raw materials and create wastes. By levels for offices and/or identified sitesintegrating energy conservation activities into construction n Assess and record consumption of energy sources foroperations, the quantity of wastes produced during energy motor fleet activitiesgeneration can be reduced. Construction companies should n Provide written information and training on methodsbe committed to promoting and improving the efficient use of identifying and minimising emissions, with initialof lighting, heating, air conditioning and ventilation during emphasis on site safety plansoperations, and to improving fuel efficiency and economy n Identify opportunities for and encourage recycling ofin transport fleets. materials in the construction process and offices n Include clear commitments to environmental goals inSome opportunities which may be identified for the publicity materialreduction of energy consumption in offices and on sites are: n Prepare an environmental report on the achievement of these targets at intervals, and at least annually, ton Locating air intakes and air conditioning units in cool, be circulated to the board of directors. shaded locationsn Turning off all equipment and lights when not required Environmental policies to be in usen Using more efficient heating and refrigeration units Increasingly, contractors are being asked to produce ann Improving lubrication practices for motor-driven environmental policy for their business. This is not a legal equipment and recording consumption of oils and fuels requirement, but clients and others working to the ISO 14000n Using energy-efficient lighting standard seek to establish the environmental awareness ofn Installation of timers and thermostats to control their suppliers and business partners. It is suggested that the heating and cooling better layout should follow the same format as the employers safety policy, and the following topics should be considered for inclusion in a detailed environmental policy:Environmental objectives and targetsThe general objectives which could be set are obviously a n General statement of policy, signed and dated by thematter for individual companies; the following are offered chief operating officer of the organisationas suggestions: n Organisation/responsibilities N Environmental legislationn Reduce energy consumption in offices and motor N Environmental management fleets N General staff responsibilitiesn Reduce resource consumption in offices and sites N Specific responsibility for:n Reduce emissions to air, water and land environmental risk assessmentn Reduce production, and increase recycling, of waste control of waste
140 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 14 environmental cost assessment so as to minimise so far as is reasonably practicable ensuring staff awareness of new and developing environmental damage caused by noise, dust and damage technology to groundwater and drainage systems. In pursuance of energy policy this policy, environmental considerations will be taken environmental emergency plan into account in tendering. incident reporting environmental aspects of acquisitions and References property transactions environmental audits Control of Pollution Act 1974 (as amended)n Arrangements Control and Disposal of Waste Regulations 1988 N Training and development of all staff Special Waste Regulations 1996 N Acquisition and distribution of environmental Builders Skips (Marking) Regulations 1984 Environmental Protection Act 1990 information Environmental Protection (Duty of Care) Regulations 1991 N Specific arrangements for assessing and control- Environmental Protection (Prescribed Process and Substances) ling: Regulations 1991 waste materials HS(G)66 Protection of workers and the general public during substances and processes likely to have an the development of contaminated land, HSE Books environmental impact BR351 Green guide to specification, Building Research noise Establishment, available from CRC Ltd, 151 vehicle exhaust emissions Rosebery Avenue, London EC1R 4GB vehicle cleaning Construction Best Practice Programme, CBPP, PO Box 147, Buck- nalls Lane, Garston, Watford WD2 7RE. Website:The size of the business is not a reliable indicator of the www.cbpp.org.ukamount of detail which may be needed in an adequate CIOB: 228 Environmental Management in Construction (modelenvironmental policy. The question is rather whether all forms for smaller companies, focused on on-site construction activities)the significant environmental risks have been identified CIRIA: SP135 Waste management and recycling in construction Ðand adequate control of them demonstrated. For small boardroom handbookbusinesses where these risks are well understood and con- (Gives guidance on waste minimisation measurestrol is relatively simple, a single paragraph included within for policy-makers and board members of construc-the safety policy may be sufficient to meet most needs. In tion organisations, including clients, designers,these circumstances the following sample statement may contractors and suppliers)be found useful as an indication: CIRIA: SP096 Environmental assessment CIRIA: SP120 A Clients Guide to Greener Construction We recognise that our business activities may have CIRIA: C502 Environmental good practice environmental implications, and we therefore follow a CIRIA: C503 Environmental good practice Ð working on site policy designed to minimise environmental impact and CIRIA: C513 The Reclaimed and Recycled Construction Materials damage. Our operations will be managed and organised Handbook
14 CONSTRUCTION AND THE ENVIRONMENT 141 Figure 14.1: Sample checklist Ð environmental opportunity audit Project:NO. OPPORTUNITY IDENTIFIED IN SAFETY PLAN ACTION ACTION NOT COMMENTS TAKEN TAKEN (state if not applicable 1 Dust control Ð wetting road surfaces 2 Dust control Ð use of wet cutting methods 3 Reporting vehicle emissions to contractors 4 Ban on open fires and waste burning 5 Controls on all asbestos work 6 Welding, burning and cutting require hot work permits 7 Ban on CFCs in extinguishers and refrigeration units 8 Identification of all substances used by contractors and supply by them of information 9 Spillage control and countermeasures plan in place10 Storm water permits required11 Identification of any contractors effluents12 Spillage controls: drip pans, funnels used etc.13 Pesticides: training, data sheet production, application under permit after hours14 Hazardous wastes: method statements to cover disposal15 Study of geotechnical survey16 Hazardous substances identified and controlled by contractors17 Recycling carried out, using designated containers, collection and processing18 Energy consumption measured and reviewed, examples available showing positive steps taken19 Water consumption measured and reviewed, examples available showing positive steps taken20 Other opportunities identified for positive environmental action not described in original safety plan: Checklist completed by: Date:
142 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 14Figure 14.2: Sample checklist Ð environmental auditProject:Auditor: Date:NO. QUESTION YES NO COMMENTS (state if not applicable 1 Has an environmental risk assessment been carried out? 2 Has project or site environmental plan being written, based on the risk assessment? 3 Do contract and subcontract documents refer to or include the environmental plan? 4 Was an environmental impact survey carried out for the project at the planning stage? 5 If so, do the subcontract documents refer to it? 6 Has a `good neighbour policy been established with occupiers of premises in the near vicinity? 7 Are hoardings and signs kept clean? 8 Is the level of existing lighting being maintained at the site perimeter? 9 Has pedestrian disruption been minimised?10 Are public viewing locations provided?11 Is there a written project traffic and logistics plan, referenced in the subcontract documents?12 Is best use made of off-site fabrication to reduce traffic flow?13 Are delivery vehicles maintained in good condition?14 Is unauthorised access effectively prevented?15 Are all roads and footpaths external to the site boundaries kept clean?16 Are all site roads and footpaths kept clean?17 Are all adjacent rivers, streams, lakes, etc., kept clean?18 Have offices and welfare facilities been located sympathetically?19 Is there a `no burning of rubbish policy in force?20 Is there a `no radios policy in force? Contd
14 CONSTRUCTION AND THE ENVIRONMENT 143 Figure 14.2: Contd Project: Auditor: Date:NO. QUESTION YES NO COMMENTS (state if not applicable21 Are the locations of existing underground services known and clearly signed?22 Are dust-creating activities identified and controlled?23 Is effluent properly controlled?24 Has an initial background noise survey been carried out (where necessary)?25 Has the local authority issued consents or restrictions under the Control of Pollution Act?26 Have the listed control measures been implemented?27 Have noisy plant items been identified and marked with expected noise levels?28 Have noise zones been established?29 Have all contractors provided COSHH assessments?30 Are the employees aware of the listed control measures?31 Are substances and materials adequately stored?32 Are first aid facilities readily available and adequate?33 Are all carriers of waste from site registered?34 Is the tip being used licensed?35 Have consents been obtained from the Environment Agency for permanent or temporary discharges into water courses?36 Are diesel and other fuel and oil stores bunded?37 Have any endangered species been identified on site?38 What control measures have been put in place?39 Have any trees been listed?40 Have they been adequately protected?41 Is timber used on the project from proven (certificated) sustainable sources? Audit completed by: Date:
Construction Hazards and15 SolutionsThis chapter discusses a wide range of selected topics in n Personal suspension equipment (abseiling equipmentmore detail than can be given in the Quick Reference Guide and boatswains chairs)which follows. Where appropriate, further reading sug- n Mast-elevated work platformsgested for each topic is listed at the end of the chapter. n Mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPS)Except where stated otherwise, all the documents listedcan be obtained from HSE Books. Many reference docu- Other, highly specialised equipment is available, and thements have been withdrawn from HSE listings because the general principles will apply to their use. Usually, theyadvice given does not relate to current legislation or best have been specially designed for particular tasks andpractice. It is unfortunate that many have not been manufacturers information should be used in operatorreplaced. The excellent two-volume updating publication training.Construction Safety is considered by most authorities to bethe single best reference work, and is highly recommended. General principlesDetails can be obtained from the Construction Confedera-tion, London. Many construction subjects are covered by Accidents using access equipment occur because one (orBritish and ISO Standards, but as the reference numbers more) of the following common problems have not beenchange frequently the references have generally not been controlled in advance, or was thought to be an acceptableincluded in this book, apart from within the Quick Refer- risk under the circumstances:ence Guide. n Faulty design of the access structure itself n Inappropriate selection where safer alternatives couldAccess equipment have been usedMany injuries result from failures or falls involving access n Subsidence or failure of base supportequipment which has been incorrectly selected, erected, n Structural failure of suspension systemused or maintained. Access equipment is frequently used n Structural failure of componentsfor short duration and emergency work without full con- n Structural failure through overloadingsideration of a safe method of work. Each task should be n Structural failure through poor erection/inspection/assessed, and a suitable means of access chosen based maintenanceupon an evaluation of the work to be done, the duration n Structural failure through overbalancingof the task, the working environment (and its constraints) n Instability through misuse or misunderstandingand the capability of the person or people carrying out n Overreaching and overbalancingthe task. n Climbing while carrying loads n Slippery footing Ð wrong footwear, failure to cleanThere are many different types of access equipment. This n Falls from working platforms and in transitsection covers the following: n Unauthorised alterations and use n Contact with obstructions and structural elementsn Ladders, stepladders and trestles n Electrical and hydraulic equipment failuresn General access scaffolds n Trapping by moving partsn Scaffold towersn Suspended cradles
15 CONSTRUCTION HAZARDS AND SOLUTIONS 145Ladders, stepladders and trestles 3. Stepladders should be levelled for stability on a firm base.The key points to be observed when selecting and using this 4. Work should not be carried out from the top step, andequipment are as follows. preferably not from the top third. 5. Overreaching should be avoided by moving the step-Ladders ladder Ð if this is not possible, another method of access should be considered. 1. See whether an alternative means of access is more 6. Equipment should be maintained free from defects. suitable. Take into account the nature of work and Regular inspection is required. duration, the height to be worked at, what reaching 7. No more than one person should use a stepladder at one movements may be required, what equipment and time. materials may be required at height, the angle of placement and the foot room behind rungs, and the construction and type of ladder. Working platforms and trestles 2. Check visually whether the ladder is in good condition 1. Trestles are suitable only as board supports. and free from slippery substances. 2. They should be free from defects and inspected regularly. 3. Check facilities available for securing against slipping 3. Trestles should be levelled for stability on a firm base. Ð tied at top, secured at bottom, or footed by a second 4. Platforms based on trestles should be fully boarded, person if no more than 3 m height access is required. adequately supported and provided with edge protec- 4. Ensure the rung at the step-off point is level with the tion where appropriate. working platform or other access point, and that the 5. Safe means of access should be provided to trestle ladder rises a sufficient height above this point (at platforms, usually by a stepladder. least 1.05 m or five rungs is recommended), unless 6. Working platforms in construction work must by law be there is a separate handhold. no less than 600 mm in width, so many older trestles may 5. A landing point for rest purposes is required every 9 m. no longer be suitable to support such platforms as they 6. The correct angle of rest is approximately 758 (corre- will be too narrow. sponds to a ratio of one unit horizontally at the foot for every four units vertically). 7. Stiles (upright sections) should be evenly and ade- General access scaffolds quately supported. There are three main types of access scaffold commonly 8. Ladders should be maintained free of defects and constructed from steel tubing or available in commercial should be inspected regularly. patented sections. These are: 9. Ladders not capable of repair should be destroyed.10. Metal ladders (and wooden ladders when wet) are 1. Independent tied scaffolds, which are temporary conductors of electricity and should not be placed near structures independent of the structure to which access or carried beneath low power lines. is required, but tied to it for stability.11. It is important to ensure that ladders are positioned the 2. Putlog scaffolds, which rely upon the building (usually correct way up. Timber pole ladders often have stiles under construction) to provide structural support to the thicker at the base than at the top, and should have temporary scaffold structure through an arrangement of metal tie rods underneath the rungs. Metal ladders putlog tubes (with special flattened ends) placed into often have rungs with both flat and curved surfaces Ð the wall. the flat surface is the one on which the users feet 3. Birdcage scaffolds, which are independent structures should rest. normally erected for interior work which have a large area and normally only a single working platform.Stepladders The key points to be observed when specifying, erecting1. Stepladders are not designed to accept side loading. and using scaffolds are:2. Chains or ropes to prevent overspreading are required, or other fittings designed to achieve the same result. 1. Select the correct design with adequate load-bearing Parts should be fully extended. capacity.
146 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 152. Ensure adequate foundations are available for the loads tribute loads correctly and prevent twisting and col- to be imposed. lapse.3. The structural elements of the scaffold should be pro- 6. The ratio of the minimum base dimension to the height vided and maintained in good condition. of the working platform should not exceed 1:3 in4. Structures should be erected by competent persons or external use, and 1:3.5 in internal use, unless the under the close supervision of a competent person, in tower is secured to another permanent structure at all accordance with any design provided and with applic- times. Base ratios can be increased by the use of out- able Regulations and Codes of Practice. riggers, but these should be fully extended and capable5. All working platforms should be fully boarded, with of taking loads imposed at all times. adequate edge protection, including handrails or other 7. Free-standing towers should not be used above 9.75 m means of fall protection, nets, brickguards and/or toe- unless tied. The maximum height to the upper working boards to prevent materials or people falling from the platform when tied should not exceed 12 m. platforms. 8. A safe means of access should be provided on the6. All materials resting on platforms should be safely narrowest side of the tower. This can be by vertical stacked, with no overloading. ladder attached internally, by internal stairways or by7. Adequate and safe means of access should be provided ladder sections designed to form part of the frame to working platforms. members. It is not acceptable to climb frame members8. Unauthorised alterations of the completed structure not designed for the purpose. should be prohibited. 9. Trapdoors should be provided in working platforms9. Inspections of the structure are required, prior to first where internal access is provided. use and then at appropriate intervals afterwards, 10. Platforms should be properly supported and fully which will include following substantial alteration or boarded. repair, after any event likely to have affected stabi- 11. Guardrails, toeboards and other appropriate means lity, and at regular intervals not exceeding seven days. should be provided to prevent falls of workers and/or Details of the results should be recorded on an inspec- materials. tion form. 12. Mobile scaffold towers should never be moved while people are still on the platform. This is a significant cause of accidents.Scaffold towers 13. Ladders or stepladders should not be placed on theScaffold towers are available commercially in forms com- tower platform to gain extra height for working.paratively easy to construct. They may also be erectedfrom traditional steel tubing and couplers. In either form, Suspended access (cradles)competent and trained personnel are required to ensurethat all necessary components are present and in the right A suspended access system includes a working platform orplace. Many accidents have occurred because of poor cradle, equipped with the means of raising or loweringerection standards; a further common cause is overturning. when suspended from a roof rig.The key points to be observed in the safe use of scaffold The key points to be observed in the safe installation andtowers are: use of this equipment are: 1. Erection should be in accordance with the manufac- 1. It should be capable of taking the loads likely to be turers or suppliers recommendations. imposed on it. 2. Erection, alteration and dismantling should be carried 2. Experienced erectors only should be used for the out by experienced, competent persons. installation. 3. Towers should be stood on a firm level base, with wheel 3. Supervisors and operators should be trained in the safe castors locked if present. use of the equipment, and in emergency procedures. 4. Scaffold equipment should be in good condition, free 4. Inspections and maintenance are to be carried out from patent defects including bent or twisted sections, regularly. and properly maintained. 5. Suspension arrangements should be installed as 5. The structure should be braced in all planes, to dis- designed and calculated.
15 CONSTRUCTION HAZARDS AND SOLUTIONS 147 6. All safety equipment, including brakes and stops, n Mast(s) or tower(s) which support(s) a platform or cage should be operational. n A platform capable of supporting persons and/or 7. The marked safe working load must not be exceeded, equipment and wind effects should also be considered. n A chassis supporting the tower or mast 8. Platforms should be free from obstruction and fitted with edge protection. The key points to be observed in the erection and use of this 9. The electrical supply is not to be capable of inad- equipment are: vertent isolation, and should be properly maintained.10. Adverse weather conditions should be defined so that 1. Only trained personnel should erect, operate or dis- supervisors and operators know what is not considered mantle the equipment. acceptable. 2. The manufacturers instructions on inspection, main-11. All defects noted are to be reported and rectified tenance and servicing should be followed. before further use of the equipment. 3. Firm, level surfaces should be provided, and outriggers12. Safe access is required for the operators and are to be extended before use or testing, if provided. unauthorised access is to be prevented. 4. Repairs and adjustments should only be carried out by13. Necessary protective measures for those working qualified people. below and the public should be in place before work 5. The safe working load of the equipment should be begins. clearly marked on it, be readily visible to the operator and never be exceeded. 6. Raising and lowering sequences should only be initiatedPersonal suspension equipment (boatswains if adequate clearance is available.chairs and abseiling equipment) 7. The platform should be protected with edge guardrails,A boatswains (or bosuns) chair is a seating arrangement toeboards and provided with adequate means ofprovided with a means of raising or lowering with a sus- access.pension system. This should only be used for very short 8. Emergency systems should only be used for that pur-duration work, or in positions where access by other means pose, and not for operational reasons.is impossible. 9. Unauthorised access into the work area should be prevented using ground barriers.Abseiling equipment is used by specialists to gain access 10. Contact with overhead power cables should be pre-where the duration of work is likely to be very short indeed vented, by preliminary site inspection and by notand the nature of the work lends itself to this approach. approaching closer than a given distance. This distance can be obtained in respect of the particular power lines,The key points to be observed in using personal suspension from the power supply company, where necessary.equipment are: Mobile elevated work platforms (MEWPS)1. The equipment must be suitable and of sufficient strength for the purpose it is to be used for, and the A wide variety of equipment falls into this category, ranging loads which are anticipated. A specific risk assessment from small, mobile tower structures with self-elevating should be made in every case. facilities, to large vehicle-mounted, hydraulically-2. The equipment must be securely attached to plant or a operated platforms. Some of their uses may involve high structure strong and stable enough for the circum- risk situations Ð these have been identified by the HSE as stances. where:3. Suitable and sufficient steps must be taken to prevent falls or slips from the equipment. n There are protruding features which could catch or4. The equipment must be so installed or attached as to trap the carrier/platform; prevent uncontrolled movement. n Nearby vehicles or mobile plant could foreseeably collide with the MEWP; n The nature of the work may mean operators are moreMast-elevated work platforms likely to lean out, or are handling work pieces whichGenerally, this equipment consists of three elements: may move unexpectedly; and
148 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 15n Unexpected or rapid movement of the machine, or Asbestos overturning, is possible. Asbestos is the name given to a group of naturally-The key points to be observed in their use are: occurring mineral silicates, which are grouped because of their physical and chemical similarity and their con-1. Operator controls should be at the platform level, with sequent general properties. Asbestos is strong, inert, resi- over-ride at ground level for emergencies. lient and flexible Ð and therefore almost indestructible.2. There should be a levelling device fitted to the chassis to It has been used in a wide range of products requiring ensure verticality in use. heat resistance and insulation properties. In humans it3. Supervision should prevent use of the equipment during has been claimed with varying degrees of certainty to be adverse weather conditions. a factor in asbestosis, lung cancer, cancers of the4. Outriggers, where provided for increased stability, stomach, intestines and larynx, and mesothelioma. There should be fully extended and locked into position before is no safe level of exposure to any form of asbestos; the equipment is used/raised, in accordance with the mostly, long periods of time pass before any effect upon manufacturers instructions. The wheels may also an individual can be diagnosed. require locking.5. Materials and/or persons should not be transferred to Asbestos produces its effects more because of the size, and from the platform while in the raised position. strength, sharpness and jagged shape of the very small6. Training is required for operators before they are allowed fibres it releases than as a result of its chemical con- to use the equipment in field conditions unsupervised. stituents, although these do also have relevance. The7. Operators and others on the platform who are wearing health hazards arise when these small fibres become air- safety harnesses should secure them to the inside of the borne and enter the body, and when they are swallowed. platform cage. The bodys natural defence mechanisms can reject large8. When fitted, scissor mechanisms require the provision of (visible) dust particles and fibres, but the small fibres adequate fixed guards, so as to prevent trapping of the reaching inner tissues are those that are both difficult to operator or others during raising or lowering. (Note that remove and the most damaging. They are particularly this does not apply where interlocked proximity sensors dangerous because they cannot be seen by the naked eye are fitted to cut power when resistance is felt between under normal conditions, and they are too small (less than 5 the scissor arms.) microns in length) to be trapped by conventional dust filter9. The equipment requires regular inspection, servicing, masks. maintenance and testing in accordance with the manufacturers instructions. Asbestos found in construction work is normally encoun- tered in the demolition or refurbishment processes, but even simple jobs such as drilling partitions or removingLegal requirements ceiling tiles can disturb it. It is important to be aware thatGeneral requirements for safe access and equipment can be asbestos is normally present in a mixture containing a lowfound in the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and percentage of asbestos in combination with filling material.the more detailed requirements of the Management of Therefore, neither the colour nor the fibrous look of aHealth and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, the Workplace substance is a reliable guide. The only reliable identifica-(Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 or the Con- tion of the presence of asbestos is by microscopic analysis instruction (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1996 a laboratory. The only alternative to this is to adopt aand the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations default position of assuming that blue asbestos is present1998. (which requires the strictest controls) and proceeding accordingly, but this will be so costly as to be unacceptableThe most complete set of requirements is contained within except in cases where it has already been identified atthe Construction (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations some points and the best course may be to treat a complete1992. Work equipment such as scissor lifts is covered by the area as contaminated.Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, andsuspended access equipment is covered by the Lifting There has been much debate over whether it is better toOperations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998. remove asbestos wherever it is found as a matter of course,
15 CONSTRUCTION HAZARDS AND SOLUTIONS 153storage of materials. Hoardings liable to be blown over (i.e. A common feature of demolition accidents is that investi-all of them) should be designed to take a wind loading. gations show that there is usually a failure to plan the work sufficiently at the appropriate stage, which leaves opera-Work in occupied premises should be subject to additional tives on-site to devise their own methods of doing the workrisk assessment to make sure that third party interests are without knowledge and information about the dangers thatobserved and appropriate information is given to them. confront them. Failure to plan is, of course, not confined to demolition but it is difficult to think of many other situa-Visitors to sites need to be controlled from the moment tions where the consequences are visited so rapidly uponthey arrive. Directing them to the site office for appro- the employees. For this reason all construction work whichpriate instructions and induction should be done by includes an element of demolition falls within the scope ofprominent signs, and visitors should be escorted at all the Construction (Design and Management) Regulationstimes. This is especially important where projects are 1994 (CDM).partially completed, as on housing developments. Accessroutes should be marked to separate visitors from hazards Although there is no officially-sanctioned definition of whatunfamiliar to them. constitutes `demolition for the purposes of CDM, and the triggering of the need for method statements, an unofficialA perimeter fence with gates that can be locked at night rule of thumb which can be followed with some confidenceshould be the standard precaution against trespassers, but is that demolition proper involves the taking down of load-where the nature of the project or the cost does not allow bearing structures and/or the production of a substantialsuch a fence, basic precautions must be taken to reduce the quantity of demolished material Ð about 5 tonnes as aattraction of the working areas and to safeguard minimum. This rule attempts a practical definition basedmachinery, materials and substances which could be on the level of risk attached to the work. A stricter inter-harmful. The major requirements include: pretation would mean that the removal of any part of a structure could be classed as demolition work, and a resultn Keeping containers of chemicals locked away of its being followed would mean there would be very fewn Turning off gas cylinders and removing keyways projects which did not fall within the scope of CDM Ðn Isolation of plant, removing keys from ignitions clearly not what was intended.n Removing or boarding first-run ladders from scaffoldingn Removing access from excavations and placing strong Planning for safety barriers or covers on themn Checking that materials are not stored so they can As much information should be obtained about the work topple easily or roll if climbed on by children to be done, at the earliest possible time. The extent to which a client is willing or able to provide structuralWhere children are known to live nearby, it is often useful information will partly depend on whether it is actuallyto arrange with teachers at local schools to show one of available to him. The CDM Regulations require the clientseveral films available on dangers of building sites. Contact to provide factual information about the state of thewith parent/teacher associations can help to spread structure to be demolished which he either has, or couldawareness of construction dangers. A letter to parents of find out by making reasonable enquiries. It should not beadjacent housing containing helpful advice, but not up to the contractor to discover a particular hazard ofthreats, is a tactic that has helped to limit the numbers of the structure or building to be demolished, although it ischild trespassers on some sites. entirely possible that hazards may reveal themselves dur- ing work which could not reasonably have been antici- pated. All parties to demolition work must remain alertDemolition to this possibility.Research studies show that accidents during demolitionwork are more likely to be fatal than those in many other Demolition is normally carried out by specialist contractorsareas of construction work. The more significant causes of with experience. Supervision and control of the actual workaccidents which have high potential for serious injury are is required to be done under the supervision of a competentpremature collapse of buildings and structures, and falls person Ð by people experienced in demolition Ð and thisfrom working places and access routes. may not be achieved by a general contractor.
154 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 15Information on storage and use of chemicals on a site due method chosen should gradually reduce the height of thefor demolition can usually be obtained from the owner, but structure or building, or arrange its deliberate controlledin cases where the site has been vacant for some time or collapse so that work can be completed at ground level.where previous ownership is unclear the services of acompetent analyst may be needed. Architectural or Structural information obtained by the survey should bearchaeological items for retention must be defined before used to ensure that the intended method of work retainsthe preferred method of demolition is determined. the stability of the parts of the structure or building which have not yet been demolished. The aim should be to adoptDemolition surveys methods which make it unnecessary for work to be done at height. If this cannot be achieved then systems which limitUsing information supplied, prospective contractors should the danger of such exposure should be employed. The usecarry out a survey in sufficient detail to identify structural of balling machines, heavy duty grabs or pusher arms mayproblems, and risks associated with flammable substances or avoid the need to work at heights. If these methods aresubstances hazardous to health. The precautions required to possible, the contractor must be satisfied that sufficientprotect employees and members of the public from these area is available for the safe use of the equipment, and thatrisks, together with the preferred demolition procedure, the equipment is adequate for the job.should be set out in a method statement (see below). When work cannot be carried out safely from part of aThe survey should: permanent structure or building, working platforms can be used. These include scaffolds, towers and power-operatedn Take account of the whole site; access should be per- mobile work platforms. Where these measures are not mitted for the completion of surveys and information practicable, safety nets or harnesses (properly anchored) made available in order to plan the intended method may be used. The hierarchy of fall protection measures is of demolition set out clearly within the Construction (Health, Safety andn Identify adjoining properties which may be affected by Welfare) Regulations 1996. the work Ð structurally, physically or chemically; premises which may be sensitive to the work (other Causing the structure or building to collapse by the use of than domestic premises) include hospitals, telephone wire ropes or explosives may reduce the need for working exchanges and industrial premises with machines vul- at heights, but suitable access and working platforms may nerable to dust, noise or vibration still be needed during the initial stages.n Identify the need for any shoring work to adjacent properties or elements within the property to be A knowledge of structural engineering principles is neces- demolished; weatherproofing requirements for the sary to avoid premature collapse, especially an under- work will also be noted standing of the effect of pre-weakening by the removal,n Identify the structural condition, as deterioration may cutting or partial cutting of structural members. Assess- impose restrictions on the demolition method ment of risks posed by hazards such as these is the responsibility of the designer(s) and the planning supervisorPreferably, the survey should be divided into structural and for the project.chemical aspects, the latter noting any residual con-tamination. Structural aspects of the survey should notevariations in the type of construction within individual Method statementsbuildings and among buildings forming a complex due for In order to comply with section 2(2) of the Health anddemolition. The person carrying out the survey should be Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 in relation to the provisioncompetent. An assessment of the original construction of a safe system of work, the production of a methodmethod including any temporary works required can be statement is recognised as necessary for all demolitionvery helpful. work. Because of the special demolition needs of each structure, an individual risk assessment must be made byPreferred method of work the employer undertaking the work, in writing, to complyThe basic ideal principle is that structures should be with the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regu-demolished in the reverse order to their erection. The lations 1999.
15 CONSTRUCTION HAZARDS AND SOLUTIONS 155The detailed method statement will be derived from the for these include safe operation of the machines, clear-risk assessment carried out by the contractor. This must be ances, capability of the equipment and protection of thedrawn up before work starts, and communicated to all operator.involved as part of the Health and Safety Plan. It shouldidentify the work procedure, associated problems and their Deliberate controlled collapse involves pre-weakening thesolutions, and should form a reference for site supervision. structure or building as a preliminary, and completion by use of explosives or overturning with wire rope pulling.Method statements should be easy to understand, agreed Considerations for the use of explosives include compe-by and known to all levels of management and supervision, tence, storage, blast protection, firing programmes andincluding those of subcontracting specialists. misfire drill. Wire rope pulling requires a similar level of expertise, as well as selection of materials and clear areasThe demolition method statement should include: for rope runs. 1. The sequence of events and method of demolition or Demolition training dismantling (including drawings/diagrams) of the structure or building The importance of adequate training in demolition has 2. Details of personnel access, working platforms and been recognised by the introduction of the Construction machinery requirements Industry Training Boards Scheme for the Certification of 3. Specific details of any pre-weakening of structures Competence of Demolition Operatives. Training require- which are to be pulled down or demolished using ments are imposed by the Construction (Health, Safety and explosives Welfare) Regulations 1996, the Health and Safety at Work 4. Arrangements for the protection of personnel and etc. Act 1974, and specifically by the Management of public, and the exclusion of unauthorised people from Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. The selection the work area; details of areas outside the site of competent contractors to carry out the work, as required boundaries which may need control during critical by the CDM Regulations, will lead to the choice of those aspects of the work must be included with demonstrable qualification(s), knowledge and/or 5. Details of the removal or isolation of electrical, gas and experience. Possession of certificated formal training other services, including drains together with experience will satisfy the requirement. 6. Details of temporary services required 7. Arrangements for the disposal of waste Legal requirements 8. Necessary action required for environmental con- siderations (noise, dust, pollution of water, disposal/ Several Acts and Regulations control demolition work. The treatment of contaminated ground) Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 applies whenever 9. Details of controls covering substances hazardous to demolition work is done, as do the Management of Health health and flammable substances and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and others introduced10. Arrangements for the control of site transport on 1 January 1993 such as the Manual Handling Operations11. Training requirements Regulations. The importance of the CDM Regulations has12. Welfare arrangements appropriate to the work and the already been mentioned in this section. The Construction conditions expected (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1996 apply to all13. Identification of people with special responsibilities for demolition work. Other Acts and Regulations which may be the co-ordination and control of safety arrangements applicable include those covering COSHH, electricity, first aid, asbestos and lead. Laws covering the control of pol- lution and environmental protection are also likely toDemolition techniques apply.Piecemeal demolition is done by hand, using hand-heldtools, sometimes as a preliminary to other methods. Con- Electricitysiderations include provision of a safe place of work andsafe access/egress, and debris disposal. It can be com- The ratio of fatalities to injuries is higher for electricalpleted or begun by machines such as balling machines, accidents than for most other categories of injury. If animpact hammers or hydraulic pusher arms. Considerations electrical accident occurs, the chances of a fatality are
156 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 15about one in 30 to 40. Despite the beliefs of some, including and warning notices should be used to ensure that personssome electricians, the human body does not develop tol- not involved in the work directly do not expose themselveserance to electric shock. to risk. The use of insulated tools and equipment will always be necessary.The consequences of contact with electricity are: electricshock, where the injury results from the flow of electricity Insulation Ð where work is required near uninsulated partsthrough the bodys nerves, muscles and organs and causes of circuits. In all circumstances, making the apparatusabnormal function to occur (the heart stops, for example); `dead must be considered as a primary aim, and rejectedelectrical burns resulting from the heating effect of the only if the demands of the work make this not practicable.current which burns body tissue; and electrical fires caused A variety of permanent or temporary insulators may beby overheating or arcing apparatus in contact with a fuel. used, such as cable sheathing and rubber mats. Fuses Ð these are strips of metal placed in circuits whichCauses of electrical failure melt as a result of overheating in the circuit, effectivelyFailures and interruption of electrical supply are most cutting off the supply. Different fuses `melt at pre-commonly caused by: determined current flows. A factor in the selection of fuses is that there is a variable and appreciable delay in theirn Damaged insulation action, which may expose those at risk to uninterruptedn Inadequate systems of work current for unacceptable periods.n Inadequate overcurrent protection (fuses, circuit breakers) Circuit breakers Ð detect electromagnetically and auto-n Inadequate earthing matically any excess current flow and cut off the supply ton Carelessness and complacency the circuit.n Overheated apparatusn Earth leakage currents Residual current devices Ð detect earth faults and cut offn Loose contacts and connectors the supply to the circuit. Their use should be considered an Inadequate ratings of circuit components requirement on all temporary power circuits, because theyn Unprotected connectors will offer improved protection where, for example, con-n Poor maintenance and testing nectors and cables `downstream have been damaged and not detected.Preventing electrical failures Competence Ð only properly trained and suitably experi-These failures can be prevented by regular attention to the enced people should be employed to instal, maintain, testfollowing points: and examine electrical circuits and apparatus.Earthing Ð providing a suitable electrode connection to Electrical equipmentearth through metal enclosure, conduit, frame, etc.Regular inspections and tests of systems should be carried Electrical tools used should be selected and operatedout by a competent person. Portable appliance inspection bearing in mind the following considerations:and testing is part of this regime. Substitution Ð electrical tools and equipment may beSystem of work Ð when working with electrical circuits and replaced with pneumatic equipment Ð which have theirapparatus, switching and locking off the supply. Then, the own dangers.supply and any apparatus should be checked personally bythe worker to verify that it is `dead; permit-to-work sys- Switching off circuits and apparatus Ð this must be readilytems should be used in high-risk situations previously and safely achievable.identified. Working on live circuits and apparatus shouldonly be permitted under circumstances which are strictly Reducing the voltage Ð use of the lowest practicablecontrolled and justified in each case. Rubber or other non- voltage should be practised in every circuit. 110 volt circuitsconducting protective equipment may be required. Barriers are now common in the industry, with lighting circuits often
15 CONSTRUCTION HAZARDS AND SOLUTIONS 157below that voltage. Where circumstances are proved to Portable appliance testingrequire the use of 240 volt circuits and above during the Regular visual inspection of electrical equipment willconstruction phase of work, a written risk assessment should identify most faulty items, but not all faults can be seen.be made specifying the steps taken to make the situation as Because of this, testing at appropriate intervals is required,safe as possible. Such steps would include protection of depending upon the treatment the equipment receives incables, earthing arrangements and authorisation. use. The guidelines in Table 15.2 are given by the HSE on what constitutes `appropriate checks, inspections andCable and socket protection Ð should be provided to testing for site electrical equipment.protect against physical and environmental effects whichcould have adverse consequences on the integrity of cir-cuits and apparatus, such as rain. Overhead and buried cables Work near overhead and underground lines requires plan-Plugs and sockets Ð must be of the correct type and ning; incidents can nearly always be avoided if thought isspecification, and meet Regulations and Codes of Practice given in advance to precautions that will prevent contact orrequirements. proximity to live cables. Carrying metal ladders and scaf- fold tubing near overhead wires can provoke arcing Ð safeMaintenance and testing Ð should be carried out at regular clearance distances must be obtained from electricity uti-and prescribed intervals by competent and experienced lities. Unless cables can be re-routed or the current turnedpersonnel. Recording of the results and values measured off, the best options, inadvertent contacts can be pre-will provide a baseline figure for assessing any subsequent vented by choosing traffic routes to avoid them, or buildingdeterioration in performance or quality. `goalposts or collapsible barriers beneath them on either side so that the barrier is hit before the cable. SuitableExplosive atmospheres Ð require the careful considera- warning signs should also be provided.tion and selection of equipment for service in dusty orflammable environments. The type of equipment to be Cables underground are typically struck by operators whoused is specified by law. were not aware of their likely presence, and so detailed Table 15.2: HSE guidelines for inspecting and testing electrical equipment Equipment Voltage Check by user Recorded visual Recorded inspection inspection and test All types Less than 110 V with Not required Not required Not generally required secondary winding except yearly for hand centre tapped to earth lamps = 55 V Portable hand-held, 110 V with secondary Weekly Monthly Before first use on lighting, leads, etc. winding centre tapped site, then every 3 to earth = 55 V months Portable hand-held, 200Ð240 V mains Daily/shift Weekly Before first use on lighting, leads, etc. supply through RCD site, then monthly Heavy equipment 200Ð240 V mains Weekly Monthly Before first use on including lifts, hoists, supply fuses or MCBs site, then 3-monthly floodlights RCDs Daily/shift Weekly Before first use on site, then monthly, except 3-monthly for fixed RCDs Site office equipment 200Ð240 V Monthly Every 6 weeks Before first use on site, then annually
158 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 15drawings should be obtained wherever possible to show ends are traps which must not be entered without addi-positions and allow them to be marked out. Where the tional protection. Excavation work must be supervised by aprecise position is not known, hand-digging only should be competent person who is aware of ground conditions andallowed until the cables position is made clear. can give necessary instructions to those working in the excavation. Regular inspection of the work is also a requirement.Legal requirementsThese are covered by the Electricity at Work Regulations Falling materials1989, which amplify the general duties placed on employ-ers, employees and the self-employed by the Health and Spoil heaps should be kept a metre back from excavationSafety at Work etc. Act 1974. Further requirements are edges, and vehicles such as trucks and dumpers should becontained in the Management of Health and Safety at Work kept well away from edges. Any making deliveries, such asRegulations 1999. Arrangements and provisions for the tipping dumpers, should be restrained from over-runningtreatment of electric shock are contained in the Health and and falling in by anchoring timber stop blocks at theSafety (First Aid) Regulations 1981. approach. Those within an excavation should wear safety helmets.Excavations Falls into the excavationThe key to safety in excavation work is planning. Forexample, if the correct form of support has not been Solid guardrails should protect the edges of excavationsdecided in advance, and the necessary support materials more than 2 metres deep, and anywhere the public canordered in good time, the temptation to go ahead without approach should be fenced off regardless of depth. Trafficthem is almost too strong to resist. All excavations, how- routes should keep vehicles away from excavations toever shallow, should be subject to risk assessment. The prevent overloading pressures to the soil in the area.main hazards to be controlled are: Undermining structures in the arean Collapse of sidesn Falling materials from sides Footings and shallow foundations are easily undermined byn Falls into the excavation excavation work involving even shallow trenches, son Undermining of structures in the area investigation should be made in advance to find outn Discovery of underground services whether structural support is needed. Scaffolding that isn Access and egress to the excavation undermined can be severely weakened, and suitablen Fumes and lack of oxygen strengthening and bracing may be required to distributen Occupational health considerations the loads.Collapse of sides Discovery of underground servicesPeople have been killed by excavation collapses Ð not only A safe system of work is required to avoid the sudden dis-in deep trenches. Even those buried up to the waist can die, covery of services which, if interrupted, could be danger-because of compression of the lungs from below and the ous to the excavation worker and to those supplied by theresulting suffocation. service. Safe digging practices include hand-digging where necessary, rather than relying on `fine movements of anIf space and time allow, battering or sloping back the sides excavator bucket arm. Cable locators should always beof excavations to a safe angle of repose is a good alter- used to augment information from plans, which is oftennative to provision of supporting material. One or the other relatively inaccurate.is required except when working in rock, or when a geo-logical report indicates that it is safe to do so. The guiding Access and egressprinciple for support work is that those exposed within thetrench or other excavation should always be protected. Ladder or other fixed access to excavations is essential,Sliding trench boxes provide good protection, but the open especially for emergency escape. Ladders should be placed
15 CONSTRUCTION HAZARDS AND SOLUTIONS 159at least every 25 metres, and be fixed securely at the top Construction (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulationswith a good handhold available. It is also good practice to 1996. They require a structured approach, which can bedig out behind the top rung at ground level, to enable a summarised as follows:boot to tread fully on the top rung step-off. n Use a working platform fitted with guardrails and toeboards where practicableFumes and lack of oxygen n Only when this is not practicable, or when protectionEven where not obvious from the type of work being done, has been removed for a period, a method of arrestingsuch as a sewer connection, an excavation should be con- falls must be usedsidered as a potential `confined space where the oxygen n Harnesses and lines do not prevent falls, but do providesupply may be limited and fumes may collect. Where there protection for those fallingis any possibility of this occurring, such as in deep exca-vations or those in boggy areas, the atmosphere should be Openings and edgestested by a competent person using a proprietary meter,and regular checks must be maintained to ensure that the Solid guardrails are a UK requirement where falls of moreposition does not change. than 2 m could occur, in preference to other means of fall protection. They protect workers near the edge, and those who have to pass near the edge for access to other places.Occupational health considerations Protection from falling objects is also needed; high-riseThose working in excavations should have tetanus injec- structures allow falling objects to reach high speeds on thetions kept up to date, or alternatively seek medical advice way to the ground. In many cases, an effective barrier canif dirt enters any small cuts and abrasions they may have. only be provided by sheeting below the guardrail down toLeptospiral jaundice, or Weils disease, can be passed to floor level. In some cases it may be necessary to insist thathumans from rats indirectly through contaminated ground tools and equipment are physically tethered to the workerwater. Workers exposed to this hazard should be advised to by a lanyard to prevent them being dropped.tell their doctor about their job, as this may help in thefuture diagnosis of illness. Those working in areas which Where used, debris fans and netting must be placed withinmay be contaminated should wear good protective clothing two floors of the work area to be effective, and must beand equipment, including rubber boots and gloves. A high placed below each open edge if they are to be relied upon.standard of personal hygiene, and the necessary facilities,should always be present. A common cause of fatalities is the opening in a floor, covered by a piece of ply or metal sheet. People have been killed following picking up these covers for holesFalls and walking forward into the void. All holes should beThe general principle is that fall prevention is far more protected properly, either by guardrails if they are largeeffective than fall protection, which often involves per- enough, or by securing a cover over them that is promi-sonal protective equipment. Reliance on people to make nently marked `Danger Ð hole beneath. All such coversthe `right decision about wearing personal protective should be secured to the floor in such way that they can-equipment has be shown by events to be unsatisfactory Ð not be easily or accidentally removed. A fastening thatthey forget, decide not to wear it in view of the expected requires a special tool to undo it is an effective pre-short exposure time, or do not wear or use it correctly. The caution.first stage in fall prevention is during the design process,which influences the construction method. Early erection Another effective method of guarding floor slab penetra-of stairways avoids the need to fence off open stairwells, tions is to leave the rebar mat in place for as long as pos-and also provides safe access to the next level. Are so many sible, cutting it free only when work on passing services isfloor slab penetrations necessary? Could the design be about to begin.changed to allow a single common service duct? Lift shaft openings must be clearly marked as such, andThe basic legal requirements for preventing falls by those protected by toeboards or other means of preventing fallsworking at heights are to be found in the summary of the of material onto the heads of those working in the shaft.
160 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 15Scaffolders the completion of the maintenance task as quickly as pos- sible. Less thought is given to the special needs for healthFall protection for scaffolders during erection, alteration and safety of the maintenance task than is given to routineand dismantling scaffolding must be provided where they tasks which are easier to identify, plan and control.can fall 2 m or more. A useful publication by the NationalAccess and Scaffolding Confederation provides a full Maintenance standards are a matter for the organisation todescription of an appropriate safe method of work. Fall determine; there must be a cost balance between inter-arrest equipment will normally be relied upon, using a vention with normal operations by planned maintenancesuitable anchor point when working over 4 m unless within and the acceptance of losses because of breakdowns orthe protection of a single guardrail and a platform three other failures. From the health and safety aspect, however,boards wide. During the raising and lowering of materials defects requiring maintenance attention which have led orscaffolders should be tied off at all times unless protected could lead to increased risk for the workforce shouldas before, but this time behind a double guardrail. Climb- receive a high priority. Linking inspections with main-ing and working directly from the scaffold structure can tenance can be useful, so that work areas and equipmentonly be done while tied off. are checked regularly for present and possible future defects. Some plant items may be subject to statutoryThe fall arrest equipment used must include a full body maintenance requirements, and the manufacturersharness with rear dorsal ring, and a 1.75 m fixed length instructions in this respect should be complied with as well.lanyard with a shock absorber included in it and a scaffoldhook with a 55 mm opening for use one-handed. Although For the construction industry, maintenance of workingfull details of the system of work to be followed are given in plant and equipment is a priority. The need for main-the NASC guidance, the principle is that installation, tenance of any piece of equipment should have beenalteration and dismantling must be done from the protec- anticipated in its design. Lubrication and cleaning will stilltion of the single guardrail. Tie-off points should be waist be required for machinery, but the tasks can be made saferheight or above to minimise the drop height following a fall. by consideration of maintenance requirements at an early stage of design, with feedback from users.Tie-off (anchorage) points on scaffold tubing are accep-table provided that the scaffold is tied in to a structure and A written plan for preventative maintenance is required,that the tie-off is made on horizontal members only which documents the actions to be taken, how often this(transoms, ledgers or guardrails) with no joint in the same needs to be done, all health and safety matters associated,bay. the training required (if any) before maintenance work can be done, and any special operational procedures such asRescue planning is advisable, and a copy of an emergency permits to work and locking-off required.plan should be available and form part of toolbox talks.Emergency procedures will be based upon a risk assessmentof the work and the conditions, including the number and Breakdown maintenanceexperience of the scaffolders. The number of failures which require this will be reduced by planned maintenance, but many circumstances (such as severe weather conditions) can arise which require con-Maintenance struction workers to carry out tasks beyond their normalMaintenance can be defined as work carried out in order to work experience, and/or which are more than usuallykeep or restore every facility (part of a workplace, building hazardous by their nature. Records of all breakdownsand contents) to an acceptable standard. It is not simply a should be kept, to influence future planned maintenancematter of repair; some mechanical problems can be policy revisions, safety training and design.avoided if preventative action is taken in good time. Healthand safety issues are important in maintenance because Injuries during maintenance of plant, equipment andstatistics show the maintenance worker to be at greater premises are caused by one or more of the following factors:risk of accidents and injury. This is partly because theseworkers are exposed to more hazards than others, and n Lack of perception of risk by managers/supervisors,partly because there are pressures of time and money upon often because of a lack of necessary training
15 CONSTRUCTION HAZARDS AND SOLUTIONS 161n Unsafe or no system of work devised, e.g. no permit- Legal requirements to-work system in operation, no facility to lock off Many pieces of health and safety legislation contain both machinery and electricity supply before work starts general and specific requirements to maintain plant and and until work has finished equipment. The general duty is contained in section 2(2)(d)n No co-ordination between workers, or communication of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and more with other supervisors or managers specific requirements are contained in the Management ofn Lack of perception of risk by workers, potentially Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. Other resulting in failure to wear protective clothing or requirements are contained in the Workplace (Health, equipment Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, the Personal Pro-n Inadequacy of design, installation, siting of plant and tective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 and the Pro- equipment vision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.n Use of subcontractors who are inadequately briefed on health and safety aspects Manual handling It has long been recognised that the manual handling ofMaintenance control to minimise hazards loads in construction work contributes significantly to the number of injuries, with approximately a quarter of allThe safe operation of maintenance systems requires steps reported accidents attributed to these activities. Theto be taken to control the above factors. These steps can be majority of these injuries result in more than 3 daysdivided into the following phases: absence from work, almost half of the total being sprains or strains of the lower back, with other types of injuryPlanning Ð identification of the need for planned main- including cuts, bruises, fractures and amputations. Many oftenance and arranging a schedule for this to meet any the injuries are of a cumulative nature rather than beingstatutory requirements. A partial list of items for con- attributable to any single handling incident.sideration includes air receivers and all pressure vessels,lifting equipment, electrical tools and machinery, fire and Until very recently, training of employees to lift con-other emergency equipment, and structural items subject centrated on methods which would allow them to minimiseto wear, such as scaffold fittings. the risks from moving and lifting the heavy loads expected of them. Films and videos explain how these techniquesEvaluation Ð the hazards associated with each main- have helped them do the work without injury. Now, how-tenance task must be listed and the risks of each considered ever, the aim is to reduce the opportunities for injury by(frequency of the task and possible consequences of failure reducing the amount of lifting and moving that the humanto carry it out correctly). The tasks can then be graded and body is required to do in the work environment. We shouldthe appropriate degree of management control applied to be asking not `How do I lift this safely? but `Do I really needeach. to lift this at all?.Control Ð the control(s) for each task will take the above The casualties of the old approach are all around us Ð aboutfactors into account, and will include any necessary review 80% of the working population will suffer some form of backof design and installation, training, introduction of written injury requiring them to take time off work at some point insafe working procedures to minimise risk (which is known as their lives. Those who are injured are three times as likelya safe system of work), allocation of supervisory responsi- to be injured again in the same way as those without a backbilities, and necessary allocation of finances. injury. This situation needs to be addressed by informed employers and employees, seeking to identify and removeMonitoring Ð random checks, safety audits and inspec- hazardous lifting and to find new ways of doing work thattions, and the analysis of any reported accidents for cause has traditionally involved human effort to move loads.which might trigger a review of procedures, constitutenecessary monitoring to ensure the control system is fully Injuries resulting from manual handlingup to date. The introduction of new plant and equipmentmay have maintenance implications and should therefore Some of the more common types of injury resulting frombe included in the monitoring process. manual handling are considered here. It is important to
162 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 15remember that the spine is undergoing a natural process of active, but tiring of these muscles can result in aches and`ageing which will affect the integrity of the spine. For pains, and can create stress on the discs. Postural defor-example, loss of `spinal architecture (the natural shape mities can result from damage to the muscles. Fibrositisand curvatures of the spine) produces excessive pressure on (rheumatic pain) can also result. Nerves can become trap-the edges of the discs, wearing them out faster. These ped between the elements of the spine causing severe paineffects are not considered here. and injury.Disc injuries HerniasNinety per cent of back troubles are attributable to disc A hernia is a protrusion of an internal organ through a gap inlesions. The discs lie between the vertebrae, acting as a wall of the cavity in which it is contained. For example,shock absorbers and facilitating movement. They do not any compression of the abdominal contents may result in a`slip in the conventional sense, as they are permanently loop of intestine being forced into one of the gaps or weakfixed to the bone above and below. Roughly circular, the areas formed during the development of the body. Whendiscs are made up of an outer rim of elastic fibres with an the body is bent forward, possibly during a lift, theinner core containing a jelly-like fluid. When stood upright, abdominal cavity decreases in size causing a compression offorces are exerted directly through the whole length of the internal components and increasing the risk of hernias.spine and in this position it can withstand considerablestress. However, when the spine is bent, most of the stress Fractures, abrasions and cutsis exerted on only one part (usually at the part where thebending occurs). Also, due to the bending of the spine in These can result from dropping the objects that are beingone place, all the stress is exerted on one side of the handled (possibly because of muscular fatigue), fallingintervertebral disc, thus pinching it between the verte- while carrying objects (perhaps as a result of poor house-brae. This pinching effect may scar and wear the outer keeping), from other inadequacies in the workingsurface of the disc, so that at some time it becomes weak environment such as poor lighting, or from the contents ofand eventually, under pressure, it ruptures. the load.Many authorities believe that all disc lesions are pro- Injury during manual handlinggressive, rather than sudden. It is also important toremember that the disc cores dry out with age, making The injuries highlighted above can result from lifting,them less flexible and functional, and more prone to injury. pushing, pulling and carrying an object during manualThe disc contents are highly irritating to the surrounding handling.parts of the body, causing an inflammatory response whenthey leak out. Lifting Ð Compressive forces on the spine, its ligaments and tendons can result in some of the injuries identified above.Ligament and tendon injuries Ð Ligaments and tendons High compressive forces in the spine can result from liftingare connective tissues, and hold the back together. Liga- too much, poor posture and incorrect lifting technique.ments are the gristly straps that bind the bones together Prolonged compressive stress causes what is known aswhile tendons attach muscles to other body parts, usually `creep-effect in the spine, squeezing and stiffening it. Ifbones. Repetitive motion of the tendons may cause the spine is twisted or bent sideways when lifting, theinflammation. Both can be pulled and torn, resulting in added tension in the ligaments and muscles when the spinesprains. Any factor that produces tightness in ligaments and is rotated considerably increases the total stress on thetendons predisposes the back to sprains (such as age effects spine to a dangerous extent. The elastic disc fibres are alsoand cold weather). Two main ligaments run all the way put under tension during repetitive twisting, and individualdown the spine to support the vertebrae. fibres damaged. Pushing and pulling Ð Stresses are generally higher forMuscular and nerve injuries pushing than pulling. Because the abdominal muscles areThe muscles in the back form long, thick bands that run active as well as the back muscles, the reactive compres-down each side of the spine. They are very strong and sive force on the spine can be even higher than when lift-
15 CONSTRUCTION HAZARDS AND SOLUTIONS 163ing. Pushing also loads the shoulders and the ribcage is Is it reasonably practicable to automate or mechanisestiffened, making breathing more difficult. the operation? Introduction of these measures can create different risks (introduction of fork-lifts and materialCarrying Ð Carrying involves some static muscular work, handlers creates a series of new risks, for example) whichwhich can be tiring for the muscles, the back, shoulder, require consideration.arm and hand depending on how the load is supported. Aweight held in front of the body induces more spinal stress The aim of the full assessment is to evaluate the riskthan one carried on the back. Likewise, a given weight held associated with a particular task and identify controlin one hand is more likely to cause fatigue than if it was measures which can be implemented to remove or reducedivided into equal amounts in each hand. As with pushing, the risk (possibly mechanisation and/or training). Forcarrying objects in front of the body or on the shoulders varied work (such as done in the construction industry) itmay restrict the ribcage. Thus, the way in which a load is will not be possible to assess every single instance ofcarried makes a great difference to the fatiguing effects. manual handling. In these circumstances, each type orThis is why getting a good grip is important, as well as category of manual handling operation should be identifiedkeeping the load close to the body, which places it closer to and the associated risk assessed.the bodys centre of gravity. The assessment must be kept up to date. It needs review-The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 establish ing whenever it may become invalid, such as when thea clear hierarchy of measures to reduce the risk of injury working conditions or the personnel carrying out thosewhen performing manual handling tasks. To summarise, operations have changed. Review will also be required ifmanual handling operations which present a risk must be there is a significant change in the manual handlingavoided so far as is reasonably practicable; if these tasks operation. There may, for example, be a change in thecannot be avoided, then each such task, where there is a nature of the task, or the load, such as changing to dif-risk of physical injury, must be assessed. As a result of that ferent bulk sizes.assessment, the risk of injury must be reduced for eachparticular task identified so far as is reasonably practic- Before beginning an assessment, the views of managementable. Details of the assessment process are given in Chapter and employees can be of particular use in identifying6 Assessing the risks. manual handling problems. Their involvement in the assessment process should be encouraged, particularly inIt is important to remember that what is required initially is reporting problems associated with particular tasks.not a full assessment of each of the tasks, but an appraisalof those manual handling operations which involve a risk Records of accidents and ill health are also valuable indi-that cannot be dismissed as trivial, to determine whether cators of risk, together with absentee records, poorthey can be avoided. Consideration of a series of questions productivity and morale, and excessive material damage.will be useful in completing this stage of the exercise. There is now a considerable amount of literature identify-These include: ing risks and solutions associated with manual handling operations, which will be a useful source of information.Is there a risk of injury? An understanding of the types ofpotential injury will be supplemented with the past Schedule 1 to the Manual Handling Operations Regulationsexperiences of the employer, including accident/ill- specifies four interrelated factors which the assessmenthealth information relating to manual handling and the must take account of. The answers to the questions speci-general numerical guidelines contained in official fied about the factors form the basis of an appropriateguidance. assessment. These are:Is it reasonably practicable to avoid moving the load? The tasks Ð Do they involve:Some work is dependent on the manual handling of loadsand cannot be avoided (as, for example, in most cases of n Holding or manipulating loads at a distance from theglass handling). If it is reasonably practicable to avoid trunk?moving the load then the initial exercise is complete and n Unsatisfactory bodily movement or posture, especiallyfurther review will only be required if conditions change. N twisting the trunk?
164 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 15 N stooping? rather than the other way around. Techniques of risk N reaching upwards? reduction appropriate to the construction industry include:n Excessive movement of loads, especially N excessive lifting or lowering distances? Mechanical assistance Ð this involves the use of handling N excessive carrying distances? aids, of which there are many examples. One could be then Excessive pushing or pulling of loads? use of a lever, which would reduce the force required ton Risk of sudden movement of loads? move a load. A hoist can support the weight of a load whilen Frequent or prolonged physical effort? a trolley can reduce the effort needed to move a loadn Insufficient rest or recovery periods? horizontally. Chutes are a convenient means of usingn A rate of work imposed by a process? gravity to move loads from one place to another.The loads Ð are they: Improvements in the task Ð changes in the layout of the task can reduce the risk of injury by, for example,n Heavy? improving the flow of materials or products. Improvementsn Bulky or unwieldy? which will permit the use of the body more efficiently,n Difficult to grasp? especially if they permit the load to be held closer to then Unstable, or with contents likely to shift? body, will also reduce the risk of injury. Improving the workn Sharp, hot, or otherwise potentially damaging? routine by reducing the frequency or duration of handling tasks will also have a beneficial effect. Using teams ofThe working environment Ð are there: people, and personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves where appropriate, can also contribute to a reducedn Space constraints preventing good posture? risk of injury.n Uneven, slippery or unstable floors?n Variations in levels of floors or work surfaces? Reducing the risk of injury from the load Ð the load mayn Extremes of temperature or humidity? be made lighter by using smaller packages/containers, orn Conditions causing ventilation problems or gusts of specifying lower packaging weights. Additionally, the load wind? may be made smaller, easier to manage, easier to grasp (forn Poor lighting conditions? example, by the provision of handles), more stable and less damaging to hold (clean, free from sharp edges, etc.). OnIndividual capability Ð does the job: the other hand, the introduction of smaller and lighter loads may carry a penalty in the form of further bendingn Require unusual strength, height, etc.? and other repetitive movements to handle the load thann Create a hazard to those who might reasonably be were necessary before. This could result in no change in the considered to be pregnant or to have a health problem? overall risk.n Require special information or training for its safe performance? Improvements in the working environment Ð this can be done by removing space constraints, improving the condi-Other factors tion and nature of floors, improving housekeeping stan- dards and ensuring that adequate lighting is provided.n Is movement or posture hindered by PPE or clothing? Individual selection Ð clearly, the health, fitness and strength of an individual can affect ability to performReducing the risk of injury manual handling tasks. Health screening is an importantIn considering the most appropriate controls, an ergonomic selection tool. Knowledge and training have importantapproach to designing the manual handling operation will roles to play in reducing the number of injuries resultingoptimise the health, safety and productivity associated from manual handling operations. There is little point inwith the task. The task, the load, the working environment, enquiring about any previous back injuries on a job appli-individual capability and the inter-relationship between cation form if no attempt is made to ensure that those whothese factors are all important elements in deciding opti- do admit to previous problems are not given work which ismum controls designed to fit the operation to the individual foreseeably likely to produce them.
15 CONSTRUCTION HAZARDS AND SOLUTIONS 165Manual handling training Mechanical handlingA formal training programme, and toolbox talks, should Mechanical handling techniques have improved efficiencyinclude mention of: and safety, but have introduced other sources of potential injury. Cranes and hoists, and powered trucks and fork-liftsn Dangers of careless and unskilled handling methods are the primary means for mechanical handling on site. Inn Principles of levers and the laws of motion all circumstances the safety of the equipment can ben Functions of the spine and muscular system affected by the safety of operating conditions, site hazardsn The effects of lifting, pushing, pulling and carrying, and the operator. with emphasis on harmful posturen Use of mechanical handling aids Cranesn Selection of suitable clothing for lifting and necessary protective equipment Basic safety principles for all mechanical equipment applyn Techniques of: to cranes: the equipment should be of good construction, N identifying slip/trip hazards made from sound material, of adequate strength and free N assessing the weight of loads and how much can be from obvious faults. All equipment should be tested and handled by the individual without assistance regularly examined to ensure its integrity. The equipment N bending the knees, keeping the load close to the should always be properly used. body when lifting (but avoiding tension and knee- bending at too sharp an angle) What can go wrong? N breathing, and avoiding twisting and sideways bending during exertion n Overturning can be caused by weak support, operating N using the legs to get close to the load, making best outside the machines capabilities and by striking use of body and load weight obstructions N using the `power grip Ð the load is supported n Overloading by exceeding the operating capacity or under the fingers bent at right angles to the palm operating radii, or by failure of safety devices and with the palmar ends of the fingers taking the n Collision with other cranes, overhead cables or struc- load rather than the fingertips. tures n Failure of support Ð placing over cellars and drains,There are several guiding principles for the safe lifting of outriggers not extended, made-up or not solid ground,loads. These are: or failure of structural components of the crane n Operator errors from impaired/restricted visibility,n Take a secure grip poor eyesight, inadequate trainingn Use the proper foot position n Loss of load from failure of lifting equipment, liftingn Adopt a position with bent knees and comfortably accessories or slinging procedure straight backn Keep arms close to the body Hazard eliminationn Keep the chin tucked inn Use body weight to advantage Matters which require attention to ensure the safe opera- tion of a crane include:All attending the training should have an opportunity topractise under supervision. Other factors which should be Identification and testing Ð every crane should be testeddiscussed with trainees include: and a certificate should be issued by the seller and fol- lowing each test. Each should be identified for referencen Personal limitations (age, strength, fitness, girth) purposes, and the safe working load clearly marked. Thisn Nature of loads likely to be lifted (weight, size, rigidity) should never be exceeded, except under test conditions.n Position of loadsn Working conditions to minimise physical strain Maintenance Ð cranes should be inspected regularly, withn The requirements of the Manual Handling Operations any faults repaired immediately. Records of checks and Regulations 1992 and risk assessments inspections should be kept.
166 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 15Safety measures Ð a number of safety measures should be n Overloading by exceeding the operating capacity, orincorporated for the safe operation of the crane. These by failure of safety devicesinclude: n Collision with overhead cables or structures, occa- sionally involving eccentrically-loaded platformsn Load Indicators Ð of two types: n Operator errors from impaired/restricted visibility, N load/radius indicator poor eyesight, inadequate training and wrong operat- N automatic safe load indicator, providing audible ing position and visual warning n Loss of load from failure or bumping of the hoistn Controls Ð should be clearly identified and of the platform `dead-man type n Falls from platforms Ð standing on a moving platform,n Overtravel switches Ð limit switches to prevent the equipment failure whilst standing on a stationary hook or sheave block being wound up to the cable drum platform, using the unprotected hoist platform as an Access Ð safe access should be provided for the working platform or means of access operator and for use during inspection and main- tenance/emergencyn Operating position Ð should provide clear visibility of Hazard elimination hook and load, with the controls easily reachedn Passengers Ð should not be carried without author- Matters which require attention to ensure the safe oper- isation, and never on lifting tackle ation of hoists include:n Lifting tackle Ð chains, slings, wire ropes, eyebolts and shackles should be tested/examined, should be free Identification and testing Ð every hoist should be tested from damage and knots as appropriate, be clearly and a certificate should be issued by the seller and fol- marked for identification and safe working load, and lowing each test. Each should be identified for reference be properly used (no use at or near sharp edges, or at purposes, and the safe working load clearly marked. This incorrect sling angles) should never be exceeded, except under test conditions.Operating area Ð all nearby hazards, including overhead Maintenance Ð hoists should be inspected regularly, withcables and bared power supply conductors, should be any faults repaired immediately. Records of checks andidentified and removed or re-routed where practicable. inspections should be kept.Solid support should be available and on fixed site instal-lations the dimensions and strength of support required Safety measures Ð a number of safety measures should beshould be specified. The possibility of striking other cranes incorporated for the safe operation of hoists. Theseor structures should be examined. include:Operator training Ð crane operators and slingers should be n Information on load capacity for the loader andfit and strong enough for the work. Training should be operatorprovided for the safe operation of the particular equipment. n Overtravel switches or physical stops Ð to prevent the continued manual operation of platforms at the top and bottom of travelHoists n Access Ð safe access should be provided for the users,Platform goods hoists and personnel hoists share a number and for use during inspection and maintenance/of characteristics which in turn require the same general emergency. Users access points should be fullycontrols to be in place to assure safety. boarded and fitted with edge guardrails and toeboards at the sides. Gates are required at each landing point, which must be kept closed when the platform is not atWhat can go wrong? that leveln Physical failure of the equipment can be caused by n Operating position Ð should provide clear visibility of inadequate ties or other support, operating outside the platform or cage, with the controls easily reached and hoists capabilities causing structural failure and by marked where appropriate striking obstructions n Passengers Ð must not be carried on goods hoists
15 CONSTRUCTION HAZARDS AND SOLUTIONS 167Operating area Ð solid support should be placed under the n Explosions and fire may arise from electrical short-ground level hoistway and approach areas. ing, leaking fuel pipes, dust accumulation (sponta- neous combustion) and from hydrogen generationOperator training Ð hoist operators should be fit and during battery charging. The truck itself can be thestrong enough for the work. Physical effort is involved in source of ignition if operated in flammable atmo-operating cage hoists where the gates are operated from sphereswithin the cage by the driver. Training should be provided n Passengers should not be carried unless seats andfor the safe operation of the particular equipment. other facilities are provided for themPowered rough terrain and other fork trucks Hazard eliminationTrucks should be of good construction, free from defects Matters which require attention for the safe operation of alland suitable for the purpose in terms of capacity, size and types of lift and rough terrain trucks include:type. The type of power supply to be used should bechecked, because the nature of the work area may require Operating area Ð storage and stacking areas should beone kind of power source rather than another. In unventi- properly laid out, with removal of blind corners. Passinglated confined spaces, internal combustion engines will not places need to be provided where trucks and people arebe acceptable because of the toxic gases they produce. likely to pass each other in restricted spaces, and traffic routes need to be clearly defined with adequate visibility.Trucks should be maintained so as to prevent failure of vital Pedestrians should be excluded from operating areas.parts, including brakes, steering and lifting components. Suitable warning signs will be required to indicateSpecial facilities may be required for some tasks, such as priorities.mast replacement. Specific risk assessment should bemade, which will take into account local conditions and Lighting in incomplete structures should be adequate toavailability of appropriate equipment. Any damage should facilitate access and stacking operations. Battery chargingbe reported and corrected immediately. Overhead pro- and LPG refuelling areas should be well-ventilated and littective guards must be fitted for the protection of the with no smoking or naked lights permitted. Reversing lightsoperator. Trucks and their attachments should only be and/or sound warnings should always be fitted where pos-operated in accordance with the manufacturers instruc- sible.tions. Training should be provided for operators in the safe operation of their equipment, followed by certification.What can go wrong?n Overturning from manoeuvring with load elevated, Legal requirements driving at too high a speed, sudden braking, striking obstructions, use of forward mast tilt with load ele- Mechanical handling is covered by the general duties pro- vated, driving down a ramp with the load in front of visions of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and the truck, turning on or crossing ramps at an angle, the more detailed requirements of the Management of shifting loads, unsuitable road or support conditions Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. The Provisionn Overloading by exceeding the maximum lifting capa- and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER 98) city of the truck apply to all work equipment. Many kinds of mechanicaln Collision with structural elements, pipes, stacks or handling equipment fall within the scope of the Lifting with other vehicles Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998n Floor failure because of uneven or unsound floors, or (LOLER), but others do not. In most cases, LOLER applies to by exceeding the load capacity of the floor. The work equipment which has as its principal function a use for designed load capacity of floors other than the ground lifting or lowering of the type associated with traditional level should always be checked before using trucks on lifting equipment, such as cranes, or accessories, such as them chains. LOLER does not define the term `lifting equipment;n Loss of load can occur if devices are not fitted to stop however, similar standards of safety are always required by loads slipping from forks PUWER 98.
168 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 15Noise n Acute effects: N acute acoustic trauma from gunfire, explosions;Noise enables us to communicate, and can create pleasure usually reversible, affects ear drum, ossiclesin the form of music and speech. However, exposure to N temporary threshold shift from short exposures,excessive noise can damage hearing. Noise is usually affecting the cochleadefined as `unwanted sound, but in strict terms noise and N tinnitus (ringing in the ears) results from intensesound are the same. Noise at work can be measured using a stimulation of the auditory nerves, usually wearssound level meter. Sound is transmitted as waves in the air, off within 24 hours. Can be produced by drugs or astravelling between the source and the hearer. The fre- a result of illnessquency of the waves is the pitch of the sound, and the n Chronic effects:amount of energy in the sound wave is the amplitude. N permanent threshold shift from long duration exposure, affects the cochlea and is irreversibleHow the ear works N noise-induced hearing loss from (typically) long duration exposure, affects ability to hear humanSound waves are collected by the outer ear and pass along speech, irreversible, compensatable. It involvesthe auditory canal for about 2.5 cm to the ear drum. reduced hearing capability at the frequency of theChanges in sound pressure cause the ear drum to move in noises that have caused the lossesproportion to the sounds intensity. On the inner side of the N tinnitus, as the acute form, may become chronicear drum is the middle ear which is completely enclosed in without warning, often irreversiblybone. Sound is transmitted across the middle ear by threelinked bones, the ossicles, to the oval window of the Presbycusis is the term for hearing losses in older people.cochlea, the organ of hearing which forms part of the inner These have been thought to be due to changes due toear. This is a spirally-wound tube, filled with fluid which ageing in the middle ear ossicles, which causes a reductionvibrates in sympathy with the ossicles. Movement of the in their ability to transmit higher frequency vibrations.fluid causes stimulation of very small, sensitive cells withhairs protruding from them and rubbing upon a plate abovethem. The rubbing motion produces electrical impulses in Noise measurementthe hair cells which are transmitted along the auditory The range of human hearing from the quietest detectablenerve to the brain which then interprets the electrical sound to engine noise at the pain threshold is enormous,impulses as perceived sound. Hair cells sited nearest the involving a linear scale of more than 100 000 000 000 units.middle ear are stimulated by high frequency sounds, and Measuring sound intensity on such a scale would be clumsy,those sited at the tip of the cochlea are excited by low and so a method of compressing it is used internationally.frequency. The sound intensity or pressure is expressed on a logarith- mic scale and measured in bels, although as a bel is tooNoise-induced hearing loss occurs when the hair cells in a large for most purposes, the unit of measurement is theparticular area become worn and no longer make contact decibel (dB). The decibel scale runs from 0 to 160 decibelswith the plate above them. This process is not reversible, as (dB). A consequence of using the logarithm scale is that anthe hair cells do not grow again once damaged. increase of 3 dB represents a doubling of the noise level. If two machines are measured when running separately at 90 db each, the sound pressure level when they are bothHearing damage running together will not be 180 dB, but 93 dB. To establishExcessive noise energy entering the system invokes a pro- noise levels on this scale, several different types oftection reflex, causing the flow of nerve impulses to be measurement are used.damped and as a result making the system less sensitive tolow noise levels. This is known as threshold shift. From a Three weighting filter networks (A, B and C) are incorpo-single or short duration exposure, the resulting temporary rated into sound level meters. They each adjust the readingthreshold shift can affect hearing ability for some hours, given for different purposes, and the one most commonlybut recovery then takes place. Repeated exposure can used is the `A weighted dB. This filter recognises the factresult in irreversible permanent threshold shift. The fol- that the human ear is less sensitive to low frequencies, andlowing damage can occur as a result of exposure to noise: the circuit attenuates or reduces very low frequencies to
15 CONSTRUCTION HAZARDS AND SOLUTIONS 169mimic the response of the human ear, and attaches greater Engineering controls Ð purchasing equipment which hasimportance to the values obtained in the sensitive fre- low vibration and noise characteristics, and achievingquencies. Measurements taken using the A circuit are designed solutions to noise problems including usingexpressed as dB(A). quieter processes and making mountings and couplings flexible. Rotating and reciprocating equipment should beIn construction work, noise levels vary continuously. A operated as slowly as practicable.measurement taken at a single moment in time is unlikelyto be representative of exposure throughout the work Orientation and location Ð moving the noise source awayperiod, yet this needs to be known as the damage done to from the work area, or turning the machine around. Muchhearing is related to the total amount of noise energy to can be done to reduce site perimeter noise levels by carefulwhich the ear is exposed. positioning of noisy fixed plant, and by screening plant using sound baffles and earth banks.A measure called LEq Ð the continuous equivalent noiselevel Ð is used to indicate an average value over a period Enclosure Ð surrounding the machine or other noise sourcewhich represents the same noise energy as the total output with sound-absorbing material is of limited use unless totalof the fluctuating real levels. LEq can be obtained directly enclosure is achieved.from a sound level meter having an integrating circuit,which captures noise information at frequent timed inter- Use of silencers Ð these can suppress noise generatedvals and recalculates the average value over a standard when air, gas or steam flow in pipes or are exhausted toperiod, usually 8 hours. It can also be calculated from a atmosphere.series of individual readings coupled with timings of theduration of each sound level, but this is laborious and Lagging can be used on pipes carrying steam or hot fluids asrelatively inaccurate. an alternative to enclosure.Noise dose is a measure which expresses the amount of Damping can be achieved by fitting proprietary dampingnoise measured as a percentage, where 8 hours at a con- pads, stiffening ribs or by using double skin constructiontinuous noise level of 90 dB(A) is taken as 100%. If the work techniques.method and noise output is uniform, and the dose measuredafter 4 hours is 40%, then the likely 8-hour exposure will be Absorption treatment in the form of wall applications orless than 100%. However, if the dose reading after 2 hours is ceiling panels; these must be designed for acoustic pur-60%, this will be an indication of an unacceptably high poses to have significant effect and are rarely encounteredexposure. in the construction industry except as part of structures to be built or fitted out.LEP,d measures a workers daily personal exposure tonoise, expressed in dB(A). LEP,w is the measure of the Isolation of workers in acoustically-quiet booths or controlworkers weekly average of the daily personal noise expo- areas properly enclosed, coupled with scheduling of worksure, again expressed in dB(A). periods to reduce dose. This will only be effective where there is little or no need for constant movement into or outPeak pressure is the highest pressure level reached by the of areas with high noise levels: even a short durationsound wave, and assessments of this will be needed where exposure to high sound pressure levels will exceed thethere is exposure to impact or explosive noise. A meter permitted daily dose. Nevertheless, improved design ofcapable of carrying out the measurement must be specially vehicle and plant cabs and (for example) batch plant andselected, because of the damping event of needle-based lifting equipment operating positions can do much tomeasuring which will consistently produce under-reading. improve the health of operators.A similar effect can be found in `standard electronic cir-cuitry. Personal protection by the provision and wearing of ear muffs or plugs. This must be regarded as the last line of defence, and engineering controls should be considered inControlling construction noise all cases. Areas where personal protective devices must beThis can be achieved by: worn should be identified by signs, and adequate training
170 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 15should be given in the selection, fitting and use of the Ear muffs consist of rigid cups which fit over the ears andequipment, as well as the reasons for its use. Wrongly-used are held in place by a head band. The cups generally haveor poorly-fitting protection devices can lose much of their acoustic seals of polyurethane foam or a liquid-filledprotective capability, for example when straps and other annular bag to obtain a tight fit. The fit achieved is aitems lift the edges of ear muffs and allow sound energy to function of the cup design in relation to head shape andpenetrate. contours, the type of seal, and the tightness of the head band. The protective value of ear muffs can be seriously compromised if helmet straps, spectacles, goggle straps orHearing protection anything else intrudes under or past the annular seals.Hearing protection should be chosen to reduce the noise Again hygiene is important and suitable cleaning facilitieslevel at the wearers ear to below the recommended limit and uncontaminated accommodation is required to keepfor unprotected exposure. Selection cannot be based upon them in good condition.A-weighted measurement alone, because effective pro-tection will depend on the ability of the protective device Legal requirementsto attenuate (reduce) the sound energy actually arriving atthe head position. Sound is a combination of many fre- Specific legislation on noise in all places of work, includingquencies unless it is a pure tone, and it can happen that a construction, is contained in the Noise at Work Regulationsparticular noise against which protection is required has a 1989. The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regula-frequency component which is not well handled by the tions 1992 require PPE to be selected according to criteria`usual protection equipment. Therefore, a more detailed established in the risk assessment. Equipment providedpicture of the sound spectrum in question should be made must conform to EC standards.before selection, checking the results obtained by octaveband analysis against the sound-absorbing (attenuation) Although exposure to noise at work has been recognised asdata supplied by the manufacturers of the products under damaging to health for a number of years, until relativelyconsideration. recently there has been little specific legal control. The Agriculture (Tractor Cabs) Regulations 1974, the OffshoreThere are two main forms of hearing protection Ð objects Installations (Operational Safety, Health and Welfare)placed inside the ear canal to impede the passage of sound Regulations 1976 and the Woodworking Machines Regula-energy, and objects placed around the outer ear to restrict tions 1974 have or had specific controls included in them,access of sound energy to any part of the inner, middle or and there was a general use of the Code of Practice issuedouter ear. Neither of these forms of protection will prevent in 1972 by the Department of Employment to determinesome sound energy from reaching the organ of hearing by compliance with the general duties imposed by the Healthmeans of bone conduction effects within the skull. and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.Ear plugs fit into the ear canal. They may be made from The Noise at Work Regulations became effective on 1glass down, polyurethane foam or rubber, and most types January 1990. They require the protection of all personsare disposable. Reusable plugs suffer from the twin dis- at work, with a broad general requirement for employersadvantages that they may present hygiene problems to reduce the risk to employees arising from noise expo-unless great care is taken to clean them after use, and sure as far as is reasonably practicable (Regulation 6).unless they are cast into the individual ear a good fit is The Regulations also affect the self-employed andunlikely to be achieved in every case. Even though some trainees.plugs are available in different sizes, the correct size canonly be determined by a qualified person. One further The Regulations introduced a control framework bydifficulty is that in a reasonable proportion of people the requiring assessment of the extent of the problem, byear canals are not the same size. Ear plugs lose their carrying out noise surveys to identify work areas andability to attenuate sufficient sound energy at levels employees at risk; control by engineering measures, isola-above 105 dB(A), and beyond this point their claimed tion or segregation of affected employees; supply and useattenuation figures at different frequencies should be of protective equipment and administrative means; andcompared with actual frequency measurements taken at monitoring by reassessment at intervals to ensure that thethe noise source. controls used remain effective.
15 CONSTRUCTION HAZARDS AND SOLUTIONS 171Regulation 6 imposes a general duty to reduce the risk of ensure hazards are designed out from a process ashearing damage to the lowest level that is reasonably opposed to employee involvement only to reducepracticable. Three noise action levels are defined, which the risksdetermine the course of action an employer has to take if N establish hearing protection zones, marking thememployees are exposed to noise at or above the levels. with notices so far as is reasonably practicableThese are: (Regulation 9) N supply hearing protection (complying with then First action level Ð daily personal noise exposure requirements as to suitability) to those exposed (LEP,d) of 85 dB(A) (Regulation 8(2)) and ensure they are worn byn Second action level Ð daily personal noise exposure of them (Regulation 10(1)(a)), so far as is practicable 90 dB(A) N ensure that all those entering marked hearingn Peak action level Ð peak sound pressure level of 200 protection zones use hearing protection, so far as Pascals (Pa) or more. This action level is important in is reasonably practicable circumstances where workers are subjected to small n Duties are imposed on employees by the Regulations to numbers of loud impulse noises during an otherwise ensure their effectiveness. The requirements (Regu- relatively quiet day, for example during piling oper- lation 10(2)) are: ations or when working with cartridge-operated fixing N on being exposed to noise at or above the first tools. Anyone firing more than about 30 cartridges per action level, they must use any noise control shift or working day should be considered to be at risk equipment other than hearing protection which the employer may provide and report any defectsWhere the daily noise exposure exceeds the first action discovered to the employerlevel, employers must: N if exposed to the second action level or peak action level, they must in addition wear then Carry out noise assessments (Regulation 4), using only hearing protection supplied by the employer competent persons to carry out the assessments (Regulation 5) and keep records of these until new ones The Regulations also extend duties placed on designers, are made importers, suppliers and manufacturers under section 6 ofn Provide adequate information, instruction and training the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act to provide infor- for the employees Ð about the risks to hearing, the mation on the noise likely to be generated, should an steps to be taken to minimise the risks, how employees article (which can mean a machine or other noise-produ- can obtain hearing protectors if they are exposed to cing device) produce noise levels reaching any of the three levels between 85 and 90 dB(A) LEP,d and their obli- action levels (Regulation 12). In practice, this means sup- gations under the Regulations (Regulation 11) plying data from noise tests conducted on the machine, inn Ensure that hearing protectors (complying with the addition to other information regarding safe use, installa- requirements as to suitability) are provided to those tion, etc, already required by section 6. employees who ask for them (Regulation 8(1)) and that the protectors are maintained or repaired as required Occupational health basics (Regulation 10(1)(b))n Ensure so far as is practicable that all equipment Occupational health anticipates and prevents health pro- provided under the Regulations is used (Regulation blems that are caused by the work which people do. In some 10(a)) Ð apart from the hearing protectors provided on circumstances the work may aggravate a pre-existing request as noted above medical condition, and stopping this is also the role ofn Where the noise exposure exceeds the second action occupational health. Health hazards often reveal their level or the peak action level, employers must in effects on the body only after the passage of time; many addition to the requirements detailed above: have cumulative effects, and in some cases the way this N take steps to reduce noise exposure so far as is happens is still not fully understood. Because the effects reasonably practicable by means other than pro- are often not immediately apparent, it can be difficult to vision of hearing protection (Regulation 7). This is understand and persuade others that there is a need for an important requirement, introducing good caution and control. Good occupational hygiene practice occupational health and hygiene practice to encompasses the following ideas:
172 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 15n Recognition of the hazards or potential hazards Toxicity factorsn Quantification of the extent of the hazard, usually by The effect a substance will have on the body cannot measuring physical/chemical factors and their dura- always be predicted with accuracy, or explained solely on tion, and relating them to known or required stan- the basis of physical and chemical laws. The influence of dards the following factors combine to produce the effectiven Assessment of risk in the actual conditions of use, dose: storage, transport and disposaln Control of exposure to the hazard, through design, n Quantity or concentration of the substance engineering, working systems, the use of personal n The duration of exposure protective equipment and biological monitoring n The physical state of the material, e.g. particle sizen Monitoring change in the hazard by means of audits or n Its affinity for human tissue other measurement techniques, including periodic re- n Its solubility in human tissue fluids evaluation of work conditions and systems n The sensitivity to attack of human tissue or organs Substances which are toxic can have a toxic effect on theHealth hazards in construction body after only one single, short exposure. In other cir-Health hazards can be divided into four broad categories: cumstances, repeated exposure to small concentrationsphysical, chemical, biological and ergonomic. Examples of may give rise to an effect. A toxic effect related to anthe categories are: immediate response after a single exposure is called an acute effect. Effects which result after prolonged (hours orn Physical Ð heat, noise, radiant energy, electric shock days or much longer) are known as chronic effects.n Chemical Ð exposure to toxic materials such as dusts, `Chronic implies repeated doses or exposures at low fumes and gases levels; they generally have delayed effects and are oftenn Biological Ð infection, such as tetanus, hepatitis and due to unrecognised conditions which are therefore per- Legionnaires disease mitted to persist.n Ergonomic Ð work conditions and stressPhysical hazards are the most obvious, while chemical, The body fights backbiological and ergonomic hazards are often more subtle in The bodys response against the invasion of substancestheir effects, which can also take longer to build up. To likely to cause damage can be divided into external orunderstand something of the chemical category it is superficial defences and internal or cellular defences.necessary to have an understanding of the basic terms These defence mechanisms inter-relate, in the sense thatinvolved. the defence is conducted on a number of levels at once, and not in a stage-by-stage pattern. The cellular defences are beyond the scope of this book.Toxicity of substancesToxicity is the ability of a substance to produce injury once The superficial mechanisms work by the action of cellit reaches a site in or on the body. The degree of harmful structures, such as organs and functioning systems. Theeffect which a substance can have depends not only on its bodys largest organ, the skin, provides a useful barrierinherent harmful properties but also on the route and the against many foreign organisms and chemicals (but notspeed of entry into the body. Substances may cause health against all of them). Its effect is limited by its physicalhazards from a single exposure, even for a short time characteristics. Openings in the skin, including sweat(acute effect) or after prolonged or repeated exposure pores, hair follicles and cuts, can allow entry, and the skin(chronic effect). The substance may affect the body at the itself may be permeable to some chemicals such as toluene.point of contact, when it is known as a local agent, or at The skin can withstand limited physical damage because ofsome other point, when it is described as a systemic agent. its elasticity and toughness, but its adaptation to cope withAbsorption only occurs when a material has gained access modern substances is usually viewed by its owner asto the bloodstream and may consequently be carried to all unhelpful Ð dermatitis, with thickening and inflammation,parts of the body. is painful and prominent.
15 CONSTRUCTION HAZARDS AND SOLUTIONS 173Defences against inhalation of substances harmful to the The maximum exposure limit (MEL) is the maximum con-body begin in the respiratory tract, where a series of centration of an airborne substance, averaged over a statedreflexes activate the coughing and sneezing mechanisms to reference period (often 8 hours) to which employees mayexpel forcibly the triggering substance. Many substances be exposed by inhalation under any circumstances. Someand micro-organisms are successfully trapped by nasal hairs substances have been assigned short-term MELs with veryand the mucus lining the passages of the respiratory sys- short reference periods, such as 15 minutes. These sub-tem. The passages are also well supplied with fine hairs stances give rise to acute effects and therefore these limitswhich sweep rhythmically towards the outside and pass should never be exceeded.along larger particles. These hairs form the ciliary esca-lator. The respiratory system narrows as it enters the lungs, The occupational exposure standard (OES) is the con-where the ciliary escalator assumes more and more centration of an airborne substance, averaged over aimportance as the effective defence. In the deep lung reference period, at which there is no current evidenceareas, only small particles are able to enter the alveoli that repeated (day after day) exposure by inhalation will be(where gas exchange with the red blood cells takes place), injurious to the health of employees. OESs should not beand cellular defence predominates there. exceeded, but where this occurs effective steps should be taken as soon as practicable to reduce the exposure. TheseFor ingestion of substances entering the mouth and values are given in units of parts per million (ppm) andgastrointestinal tract, saliva in the mouth and acid in the milligrams per cubic metre (mg mÐ3). They are given forstomach provide useful defences to substances which are two periods: long-term exposure (8-hour time-weightednot excessively acid or alkaline, or present in great quan- average (TWA)) and short-term exposure (15-minute TWA).tity. The wall of the gut presents an effective barrier Some substances are designated `SK which indicates thatagainst many insoluble materials. Vomiting and diarrhoea they can be absorbed through the skin.are additional reflex mechanisms which act to removesubstances or quantities which the body is not equipped to The current standards can be found in HSE Guidance Notedeal with without damage to itself. Thus, there are a EH40 which is published annually and contains the currentnumber of primitive defences, useful at an earlier evolu- statutory list of maximum exposure limits and approvedtionary stage to prevent man unwittingly damaging himself, occupational exposure standards.which are now available to protect against a newer range of The exposure of employees to substances hazardous toproblems as well as the old. health is to be prevented or, where this is not reasonably practicable, adequately controlled as a fundamentalEyes and ears are potential entry routes for substances and requirement of the COSHH Regulations 2002. EH40 lists themicro-organisms. The eyes prevent entry of harmful limits to be used in determining the adequacy of the controlmaterial by way of the eyelids, eye lashes, conjunctiva (the of exposure by inhalation. There is separate legislation forthin specialised outer skin coating of the eyeball), and by lead and asbestos, and these substances are not covered inbacteria-destroying tears. The ears are protected by the detail in EH40.outer shell or pinna, and the ear drum is a physical barrierat the entrance to the sensitive mechanical parts and the The lists contained in Tables 1 and 2 of EH40 are legallyorgan of hearing. Waxy secretions protect the ear drum, binding; COSHH 2002 imposes requirements by reference toand trap larger particles. these lists, which are the only official record of substances assigned MELs and OESs. It should be remembered that allIt can be seen that there are three main ways that harmful occupational exposure limits refer to healthy adults work-substances can enter the body Ð absorption through the ing at normal rates over normal work periods and patterns.skin (organic solvents are good examples), ingestion In practice, it is advisable to work well below the standardsthrough the mouth and inhalation through the lungs Ð set in EH40, and to bear in mind the desirable goal ofeasily the commonest way. progressive risk reduction over time.How much is too much? DermatitisControl depends upon measurement, followed by com- `Dermatitis means `inflammation of the skin. It is prob-parison with published standards. ably the most common form of occupational ill-health in
174 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 15the construction industry; some estimates claim that as equipment. There is also a role for health surveillance ofmany of 40% of workers in the industry suffer or have suf- victims and potential sufferers from HAVS. The readerfered from it. In the course of work the skin can be attacked interested in learning more about this complex subject isby a large number of chemicals that can irritate it, and the recommended to study the suggested references.response is most often `non-infective dermatitis. Theeffect on the skin depends upon the concentration of the Personal protective equipmentchemical and the duration of the exposure, and most (butnot all) those exposed will be affected. Solvents, acids and Personal protective equipment, or PPE, has a serious gen-alkalis are examples of dermatitic agents; they act by eral limitation Ð it does not eliminate a hazard at source. Ifattacking the greasy surface of the skin and removing it so the PPE fails and the failure is not detected, the riskthat the outer skin layers are exposed to further attack. increases greatly. Where used, equipment must be appro-The severity gradually worsens until action is taken; usually priately selected and its use and condition monitored.the condition can be avoided by good personal hygiene (not Workers required to use it must be trained. For a PPEwashing the hands in petrol or other hydrocarbon solvents, scheme to be effective, three elements must be con-for example) or the use of barrier creams and protective sidered:clothing. n Nature of the hazard Ð details are required beforeA smaller number of chemicals, known as `sensitisers, adequate selection can be made, such as the type ofinvoke a response in the blood which produces dermatitis contaminant and its concentrationon continuing exposure. People who are thus sensitised n Performance data for the PPE Ð the manufacturersbecome abnormally sensitive to the chemical and can information will be required concerning the ability ofdevelop severe reactions to its presence. Often, their only the PPE to protect against a particular hazardrecourse is to exclude themselves from further work with or n The acceptable level of exposure to the hazard Ð fornear the chemical substance. Cement, some wood types some hazards the only acceptable exposure level isand resins are examples of sensitisers found in the industry. zero. One example is the protection of the eyes against flying particles. Occupational exposure limits can be used to `gauge acceptable exposure, bearing in mindVibration their limitationsExposure to vibration from work with power tools held byhand, or from other kinds of vibrating equipment, can Factors affecting usecause reduced circulation of the blood and damage to thenerves and muscles of the arms. Collectively, the condi- There are three inter-related topics to consider beforetions that can result from vibration exposure are known as adequate choice of PPE can be made:handÐarm vibration syndrome (HAVS). The best-knownform of HAVS is vibration white finger (VWF), which is a n The workplace Ð what sorts of hazards remain to beprescribed (reportable) industrial disease prevalent controlled? How big are the risks which remain? What isamongst those who work with older tools such as chainsaws an acceptable level of exposure or contamination?and jack-hammers. In recent years the makers of vibrating What equipment or processes are involved? Whattools have become aware of the risks to users (and the movement of objects or people will be required?likelihood of claims for compensation) arising from use of n The work environment Ð what are the physical con-unmodified equipment, and have put considerable efforts straints? They can include temperature, humidity,into researching and developing methods of reducing or ventilation, size and movement requirements forremoving the vibration. people and plant n The PPE wearer Ð points to consider include:Symptoms of HAVS include tingling in the fingers or loca- N training Ð users (and supervisors) must know whylised numbness, often accompanied by a whitening of the the PPE is necessary, any limitations it has, thearea due to reduced bloodflow beneath the skin. There are correct use, how to achieve a good fit and thenow established techniques of assessing risks, and of necessary maintenance and storage for thedeveloping strategies to control risks by altering the nature equipmentof the work as well as changing or modifying the offending N fit Ð a good fit for the individual wearer is required
15 CONSTRUCTION HAZARDS AND SOLUTIONS 175 to ensure full protection. Some PPE is available only not assist against dusts, are easily displaced and have no in a limited range of sizes and designs protective effect against high-energy impacts. N acceptability Ð how long will the PPE have to be worn by individuals? Giving some choice of the Safety goggles to protect against high-energy projectiles equipment to the wearer without compromising and dusts. They are also available as protection against on protection standards will improve the chances chemical and metal splashes with additional treatment. of its correct use Disadvantages include a tendency to mist up inside (despite N wearing pattern Ð are there any adverse health or much design effort by manufacturers), lenses which scratch safety consequences which need to be antici- easily, limited vision for the wearer, lack of protection for pated? For example, any need for frequent the whole face, and high unit cost. Filters will be required removal of PPE which may be dictated by the for use against non-ionising radiation. nature of the work may affect the choice of design or type of PPE Face shields Ð offering high-energy projectile protection, N interference Ð regard for the practicability of the also full-face protection and a range of special tints and item of equipment is needed in the work filters to handle various types of radiation. Field of vision environment. Some eye protection interferes with may be restricted. The high initial cost of equipment is a peripheral vision, other types cannot easily be disadvantage, although some visors allow easy and cheap used with respirators. Correct selection can alle- replacement of shields. Weight can be a disadvantage, but viate the problem, but full consideration must be this is compensated by relative freedom from misting up. given to the overall protection needs when selecting individual items, so that combined items Respiratory protective equipment (RPE) of equipment may be employed. For example, the `Airstream helmet gives respiratory protection, There are two broad categories: respirators, which purify and has fitted eye protection incorporated into the air by drawing it through a filter to remove con- the design taminants, and breathing apparatus, which supplies clean N management commitment Ð the sine qua non of air to the wearer from an uncontaminated external source. any safety programme, required especially in Most equipment will not provide total protection; a small relation to PPE because it constitutes the last amount of contaminant entry into the breathing zone is defence against hazards. Failure to comply with inevitable. instructions concerning the wearing of it raises issues of industrial relations and corporate policy Four main types of respirator are available: n Filtering half-mask Ð a facepiece covers nose andTypes of PPE mouth which is made of a filtering medium whichThe types of PPE have different functions, including hear- removes the contaminant. Generally used for up to aning protection, eye protection, respiratory protection, 8-hour shift and then discardedprotection of the skin, and general protection in the form of n Half-mask respirator Ð which has a rubber or plasticprotective clothing, and safety helmets, harnesses and facepiece covering the nose and mouth, and whichlifelines. Hearing protection was discussed in the previous carries one or more replaceable filter cartridgessection. n Full-face respirator Ð covering the eyes, nose and mouth, and having replaceable filter canisters n Powered respirator Ð supplies clean, filtered air to aEye protection range of facepieces (including full, half and quarterAssessment of potential hazards to the eyes and the extent masks, hoods and helmets) via a battery-operatedof the risks should be made in order to select equipment motor fan uniteffectively. There are three types of eye protection com-monly available: Respirators do not provide any protection in oxygen- deficient atmospheres.Safety spectacles/glasses Ð which provide protectionagainst low-energy projectiles such as metal swarf, but do There are three main types of breathing apparatus which
176 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 15provide continuous airflow (in all cases the delivered air ing restrictions on the maximum ambient concentration ofmust be of respirable quality): the contaminant based on its chemical toxicity, and its physical properties such as the lower explosive limit.n Fresh air hose apparatus Ð which supplies clean air from an uncontaminated source, pumped in by the In 1997, the revised BS 4275 presented a new approach to breathing action of the wearer, by bellows or an the efficiency issue, aimed at dispensing with the theo- electric fan retical calculations of NPF. Instead, the term assignedn Compressed airline apparatus (CABA) Ð using flexible protection factor (APF) was introduced to describe the hosing delivering air to the wearer from a compressed level of protection that can reasonably be achieved in the air source. Filters in the airline are required to remove workplace, given that workers have been appropriately oil mist and other contaminants. Positive pressure trained and the RPE is properly fitted and working. Used in continuous flow full masks, half masks, hoods, helmets the same way as NPF, the APF provides a higher margin of and visors are used safety. A full discussion of the use of the APF is beyond then Self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) Ð in which scope of this book. Guidance on best practice and the air is delivered to the wearer from a cylinder via a setting up of an RPE programme can be found in the Stan- demand valve into a full-face mask. The complete unit dard, to which the reader is referred. is usually worn by the operative, although cylinders can be remote and connected by a hose Protective clothingTo make proper selection of any type of RPE, an indication This is intended to provide body protection against a rangeis needed of its likely efficiency, when used correctly, in of hazards, including heat and cold, radiation, impactrelation to the hazard guarded against. The technical term damage and abrasions, water damage and chemical attack.used in respiratory protection standards to define the Items relevant to the construction industry include:equipments capability is the nominal protection factor,or NPF. For each class of equipment, it is the total inward Head protection Ð provided by two types of protectors:leakage requirement set for that class, and therefore does the safety helmet and the scalp protector (known also asnot vary between products meeting the class standards. the `bump cap) which is usually brimless. Their function isManufacturers will supply information on the NPF for their to provide protection against sun and rain, and againstproduct range Ð it is the simple ratio between the con- impact damage to the head. The ability of the scalp pro-taminant outside the respirator (in the ambient air) and the tector to protect against impacts is very limited, and its useacceptable amount inside the facepiece. Examples of is mainly to protect against bruising and bumps in confinedtypical NPFs are: spaces. It is not suitable for use as a substitute for a con- ventional safety helmet. Safety helmets have a useful life Disposable filtering half-mask respirator 4.5 to 50 of about 3 years, which can be shortened by prolonged Positive pressure powered respirator 20 to 2000 exposure to ultraviolet light and by repeated minor or Ventilated visor and helmet 10 to 500 major impact damage. They should not be painted or Self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) 2000 decorated other than by their manufacturer. Mouthpiece SCBA 10 000 Protective outer garments Ð normally made of PVCThe NPF can be used to help decide which type of RPE will material and often of high-visibility material to alertbe required. What is needed is to ensure that the con- approaching traffic. PVC clothing can be uncomfortable tocentration of a contaminant inside the facepiece is as far wear because of condensation, and vents are present inbelow the OEL as can reasonably be achieved. The required good designs. Alternatively, non-PVC fabric can be usedprotection factor to be provided by the RPE will be which allows water vapour to escape, but garments madeexpressed as: from this material are significantly more expensive. measured ambient concentration Gloves Ð must be carefully selected, taking account of use occupational exposure limit requirements such as comfort, degree of dexterityThis value must be less than the NPF for the respirator type required, temperature protection offered and ability tounder consideration. Other limitations may apply, includ- grip in all conditions likely to be encountered, against
15 CONSTRUCTION HAZARDS AND SOLUTIONS 177considerations of cost and the hazards likely to be take into account the need to provide protection to theencountered by the wearer. For example, they can also enclosed body against energy transfer in the event of a fall.become entangled in machinery. The main types of Because of this, harnesses are preferable to belts exceptmaterial and their features are shown below. for a very limited number of applications where belts are required because of the movement needs of the work. Glove material Good for Harness attachments to strong fixing points must be able to Leather Abrasion protection, heat withstand the snatch load of any fall. A basic principle is to resistance attach the securing lanyard to a fixing point as high as possible over the area of the work, so as to limit the fall PVC Abrasion protection, water and distance. Similarly, a short lanyard should be provided. limited chemical resistance Equipment which has been involved in fall arresting should Rubber Degreasing, paint spraying be thoroughly examined before further use, according to the manufacturers instructions. In many cases replace- Cloth/nylon, Hand grip ment of the item is required. latex coated Latex Electrical insulation work The CE mark Chain mail Cut protection One of the definitions of `suitable PPE is that it must conform to legal requirements. Workwear and other PPEFootwear Ð designed to provide protection for the feet, which meets the relevant strict rules for products must beespecially for the toes, if material should drop or fall onto sold carrying the mark `CE. This stands for Communaute Âthem. It should also protect against penetration from Europeene, and the letters show the item complies with Âbeneath the sole of the foot, be reasonably waterproof, necessary design and manufacturing standards based onprovide a good grip, and be designed with reference to several levels and classes of protection. The same rulescomfort. Steel toecaps are inflexible, and it is important to apply throughout the European Union, so that PPE whichpurchase the right size of footwear. complies and bears the CE mark can be sold in any member state, as part of the harmonisation of standards. There are three categories or levels of `conformance within the CESkin protection mark system Ð basically equipment is designated as beingWhere protective clothing is not a practicable solution to a suitable for protection against low risks, medium risks andhazard, barrier creams may be used together with a high risks. In some cases PPE in the higher protectionhygiene routine before and after work periods. There are categories is subject to examination by an approved bodythree types of barrier cream commonly found: water mis- before the mark can be displayed, and the category detailscible, water repellent and special applications. will be displayed alongside the mark.Failure by construction workers to protect their skins Workwear in the first simple category will protect against,results in a small but increasing number of cases of skin for example, dilute detergents. Gloves capable of handlingcancer each year, including the potentially fatal malignant items at less than 508 celsius will also be in this category,melanoma. and equipment capable of protecting against minor impacts. The manufacturer of products in this category can assess his own product and award himself the CE mark to beSafety harnesses shown on the equipment, but must keep a technical file.These are not replacements for effective fall preventionpractices. Only where the use of platforms, nets or other In the second intermediate category, the manufactureraccess and personal suspension equipment is impracticable must submit a technical file for review, which holds detailsis their use permissible. The functions of belts and har- of the products design, and claims made for it, and detailsnesses are to limit the height of any fall, and to assist in of the quality system used by the manufacturer. Therescues from confined spaces. In addition to comfort and product itself is liable to be tested to ensure it can do whatfreedom of movement, selection of this equipment must is claimed for it.
178 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 15The high risk, or `complex design third category mostly not equal to the number of protons, the atom has a netcovers hazards where death is a potential outcome of positive or negative charge, and becomes ionised. Ionisingexposure. Equipment which can protect against limited radiation is that which can produce ions by interacting withchemical attack, ionising radiation protection and matter, including human cells, which leads to functionalrespiratory equipment protecting against asbestos are changes in body tissues. The energy of the radiation dis-examples of products in this group. Manufacturers must lodges electrons from the cells atoms, producing ion pairscomply with all the requirements for the second category, (see below), chemical free radicals and oxidation products.and also submit to an EC examination annually or have a As body tissues are different in composition and form asrecognised quality system in place, such as ISO 9000. well as in function, their response to ionisation is different. Some cells can repair radiation damage, others cannot. The cells sensitivity to radiation is directly proportional to itsLegal requirements reproductive capability.The general duties sections of the Health and Safety atWork etc. Act 1974 require a safe place of work to be Ionising radiationprovided together with safe systems of work, and thesemay involve use of PPE. General requirements for provi- Ionising radiations found in industry are alpha, beta andsion, use, maintenance and storage of PPE are contained in gamma, and X-rays. Alpha and beta particles are emittedthe Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations from radioactive material at high speed and energy.1992. Specific Acts, Regulations and Orders also contain Radioactive material is unstable, and changes its atomicrequirements for PPE, and should be consulted for parti- arrangement so as to emit a steady but slowly diminishingcular applications. stream of energy. Alpha particles are helium nuclei with two positive charges (protons), and thus are comparatively large and attractive to electrons. They have short ranges inRadiation dense materials, and can only just penetrate the skin.Energy which is transmitted, emitted or absorbed as par- However, ingestion or inhalation of a source of alpha par-ticles or in wave form is called radiation. Radiation is ticles can place it close to vulnerable tissue, so essentialemitted by a variety of sources and appliances used in the organs can be destroyed. Beta particles are fast-movingconstruction industry, and it is also a natural feature of the electrons, smaller in mass than alpha particles but haveenvironment. Transmission of radiation is the way in which longer range, so they can damage the body from outside it.radios, radar and microwaves work. The human body They have greater penetrating power, but are less ionising.absorbs radiation readily from a wide variety of sources,mostly with adverse effects. All types of electromagnetic Gamma rays have great penetrating power and are theradiation are similar in that they travel at the speed of result of excess energy leaving a disintegrating nucleus.light. Visible light is itself a form of radiation, having Gamma radiation passing through a normal atom willcomponent wavelengths which fall between the infrared sometimes force the loss of an electron, leaving the atomand the ultraviolet portions of the spectrum. Essentially, positively charged Ð an ion. This and the expelled elec-there are two forms of radiation, ionising and non-ionising, tron are called an ion pair. Gamma rays are very similarwhich can be further subdivided. in their effects to X-rays, which are produced by sudden acceleration or deceleration of a charged particle, usually when high-speed electrons strike a suitable targetIonisation and radiation under controlled conditions. The electrical potentialAll matter is made up of elements, which consist of similar required to accelerate electrons to speeds where X-rayatoms. These, the basic building blocks of nature, are made production will occur is a minimum of 15 000 volts. Equip-up of a nucleus containing protons and orbiting electrons: ment operating at voltages below this will not, therefore, be a source of X-rays. Conversely, there is a possibility ofn Protons have a mass and a positive charge this form of radiation hazard being present at higher vol-n Electrons have a negligible mass and a negative charge tages. X-rays and gamma rays have high energy, and highn Neutrons have a mass but no charge penetration power through fairly dense material. In low density substances, including air, they may have longIf the number of electrons in an atom at a point in time is ranges.
15 CONSTRUCTION HAZARDS AND SOLUTIONS 179Common sources of ionising radiation in the construction shielding. Intensity will also depend on the type of radia-industry are X-ray machines and isotopes used for non- tion emitted by the source. Radiation intensity is subject todestructive testing (NDT). They can also be found in the inverse square law Ð it is inversely proportional to thelaboratory work and in communications equipment. square of the distance from the source to the target. The dose received will also depend on the duration of the exposure. These factors must be taken into account whenNon-ionising radiation devising the controls.Generally, non-ionising radiations do not cause the ionisa-tion of matter. Radiation of this type includes that in the Elimination of exposure is the priority, to be achieved byelectromagnetic spectrum between ultraviolet and radio restricting use and access, use of shielded enclosures andwaves, and also artificially-produced laser beams. written procedures to cover:Ultraviolet (UV) radiation comes from the sun, and is also n Use, operation, handling, transport, storage and dis-generated by equipment such as welding torches. Much of posal of known sourcesthe natural ultraviolet in the atmosphere is filtered out by n Identification of potential radiation sourcesthe ozone layer. Sufficient penetrates to cause sunburn and n Training of operatorseven blindness. Its effect is thermal and photochemical, n Identification of operating areasproducing burns and skin thickening, and eventually skin n Monitoring of radiation levels around shieldingcancers. Electric arcs and ultraviolet lamps can produce a n Monitoring of personal exposure of individuals, byphotochemical effect by absorption on the conjunctiva of dosimetersthe eyes, resulting in `arc-eye and cataract formation. In n Medical examinations for workers at prescribed inter-construction work, education is required to explain to valsworkers the risks they run from continued exposure of the n Hygiene practice in working areasskin to UV radiation, which can lead to irreversible skin n Wearing of disposable protective clothing during workeffects and the production of skin cancers, including the periodspotentially lethal malignant melanoma. n Clean-up practice n Limiting of work periods when possible exposure couldInfrared radiation is easily converted into heat, and expo- occursure results in a thermal effect such as skin burning, andloss of body fluids. The eyes can be damaged in the cornea Controls for non-ionising radiationand lens which may become opaque (cataract). Retinaldamage may also occur if the radiation is focused, as in Protection against ultraviolet radiation is relatively simple;laser radiation. This is a concentrated beam of radiation, sunbathers have long known that anything opaque willhaving principally thermal damage effects on the body. absorb ultraviolet light. That emitted from construction processes can be isolated by shielding and partitions,Radio-frequency radiation is emitted by microwave trans- although plastic materials differ in their absorptionmitters including ovens and radar installations. The body abilities. Users of emitting equipment, such as welders, cantries to cool exposed parts by blood circulation. Organs protect themselves by the use of goggles and protectivewhere this is not effective are at risk, as for infrared clothing Ð the latter to avoid `sunburn. Assistants oftenradiation. These include the eyes and reproductive organs. fail to appreciate the extent of their own exposure, andWhere the heat of the absorbed microwave energy cannot require similar protection.be dispersed, the temperature will rise unless controlled byblood flow and sweating to produce heat loss by evapora- Exposure of construction workers to ultraviolet radiation istion, convection and radiation. Induction heating of metals a recognised health hazard. Education is required tocan cause burns when touched. improve awareness of the risk of skin damage; the number of cases of malignant melanoma is rising among Northern European workers whose lighter skins cannot provide ade-Controls for ionising radiation quate protection unaided.The intensity of radiation depends upon the strength of thesource, the distance from it and the presence and type of Visible light can, of course, be detected by the eye which
180 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 15has two protective control mechanisms of its own, the 1. Radiation should only be introduced to the work placeeyelids and the iris. These are normally sufficient, as the if there is a positive benefit.eyelid has a reaction time of 150 milliseconds. There are 2. Safety information must be obtained from suppliersnumerous sources of high-intensity light which could pro- about the type(s) of radiation emitted or likely to beduce damage or damaging distraction, and sustained glare emitted by their equipment.may also cause eye fatigue and headaches. Basic pre- 3. There is a requirement under the Management ofcautions include confinement of high-intensity sources, Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 for writtenmatt finishes to nearby paintwork, and provision of assessments of risks to be made, noting the controloptically-correct protective glasses for workers in snow, measures in force. All those affected, includingsand or near large bodies of water. employees of other employers, the general public and the self-employed must be considered, and risks toProblems from infrared radiation derive from thermal them evaluated. They are then to be given necessaryeffects and include skin burning, sweating and loss of body information about the risks and the controls.salts leading to cramps, exhaustion and heat stroke. 4. All sources of radiation must be clearly identified andClothing and gloves will protect the skin, but the hazard marked. Where CDM applies, the future presence ofshould be recognised so that effects can be minimised sources of radiation must be identified in the projectwithout recourse to personal protective equipment. safety plan. 5. Protective equipment must be supplied and worn so asControls for laser operations depend on prevention of the to protect routes of entry of radiation into the body.beam from striking persons directly or by reflection. Effects Protective equipment so provided must be suitable andwill depend on the power output of the laser, but even the appropriate, as required by relevant Regulations. Itsmallest is a potential hazard if the beam is permitted to must be checked and maintained regularly.strike the body and especially the eye. Low output lasers 6. Safety procedures must be reviewed regularly.are normally used in the construction industry as levelling 7. A radiation protection adviser should be appointed,devices. Workers with lasers should know the potential for with specific responsibilities to monitor and advise onharm of the equipment they work with, and should be use, precautions, controls and exposure.trained to use it and authorised to do so. If the beam cannot 9. Emergency plans must cover a potential radiationbe totally enclosed in a firing tube, eye protection should emergency, as well as providing a control strategy forbe worn which is suitable for the class of laser being other emergencies which may threaten existing con-operated (classification is based on wavelength and inten- trols for radiation protection.sity). A specific risk assessment should be made before the 10. Written authorisation by permit should be used touse of laser equipment is authorised. account for all purchase, use, storage, transport and disposal of radioactive substances.Equipment which produces microwave radiation can 11. Workers should be classified by training and exposureusually be shielded to protect the users. If size and func- period. Those potentially exposed to ionising radiationtion prohibits this, restrictions on entry and working near should be classed as `persons especially at risk underan energised microwave device will be needed. Metals, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regu-tools, flammable and explosive materials should not be lations 1999.left in the electromagnetic field generated by microwaveequipment. Appropriate warning devices should be part Legal requirementsof the controls for each such appliance. Commercially-available kitchen equipment is subject to power restric- `General duties sections of the Health and Safety at Worktions and controls over the standard of seals to doors, but etc. Act 1974 apply to exposure to all forms of radiation,regular inspection and maintenance by manufacturers is with its potential for harm. Specifically, the Ionisingrequired to ensure that it does not deteriorate with use Radiations Regulations 1985 are the main control measure,and over time. together with duties concerning risk assessments and information provision contained in the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.Control of exposure to radiationThe following general principles must be observed:
15 CONSTRUCTION HAZARDS AND SOLUTIONS 181Roofing work Only work of very short duration (certainly less than a day) should be carried out on pitched roofs accessed only fromRoofing work is a high-risk activity. The most common ladders. Pitched and other roof edges will normally requirecauses of injury are: protection in the form of guardrails and toeboards fitting.n Falls while gaining access, such as a ladder slipping Steel erection and decking while weight is being transferred from the step-off rung to the roof. Resting an unsecured ladder against a Fall prevention is far more effective than fall protection Ð gutter is not a safe practice; the ladder should be the former removes the hazard by eliminating or reducing secured by tying to an anchor bolt while a person foots the need to work at height. Decisions about the work it, or one of several stabilising devices can be fitted to methods and the erection sequence to be used have to be the ladder top to allow it to rest against a vertical taken during the planning phase, as liaison will normally be surface without slipping. required with designers and manufacturers.n Falls from exposed edges Ð leading edges are notor- All possible bolting up and connecting should be done at iously difficult to protect as their extent and location low, preferably ground, level. Work that has to be done at are often changing rapidly. Advance planning may height is best carried out by using other means such as allow the use of proprietary guarded staging based on mobile towers or MEWPs for access, provided that the runners on purlins. Otherwise, there is often little ground conditions are suitable. alternative to the use of harnesses and running lines in order to allow movement over a reasonable area. This The hazards to be considered and controlled during the work should be risk assessed beforehand, and a method steel erection process include falls of people and material, statement produced detailing the safe system of work the potential for structural collapse through temporary to be followed. instability, the manual handling and slinging of the steel- work, and the means of lifting it into place.n Falls through fragile roofing material, rooflights and other openings. Roof sheets made of asbestos, plastic Steel erectors should work from independent platforms, or even steel can become fragile with age even if they but if it is necessary to work directly on the beams they were not originally. Their supports may have deterio- should be straddled or crabbed. In either case, a full safety rated. The use of crawling boards and roof ladders is harness tied off to the steelwork or a running line is con- usually required, on both flat and pitched roofs. sidered essential. Openings where rooflights are to be fitted are traps for the unwary, and should be fitted with temporary Similar considerations apply to laying decking. The poten- covers. Roof valleys may appear to offer safe access, tial for falls is high during all stages of the laying process: but it is possible to fall through adjacent fragile falls can occur from leading and fixed edges, and from material on losing balance. decked areas when carrying sheets, especially in windy conditions. The effective solution is to plan erectionn Falls while walking on covered or open purlins and on sequences in detail well in advance, so that packs of sheets ridges. It is never safe to walk on purlins or lines of can be split at ground level or a railed area of previously- bolts. laid decking, and running lines for harness attachment are installed in advance. Where practicable, decking sheetsn Being struck by materials falling, being blown from should be laid from MEWPs or tower scaffolds, but where roofs or being thrown down. Debris chutes which are this cannot be done then guardrails at openings and fixed enclosed to retain materials and fed into covered edges are mandatory, with harness protection for those skips are the best solution, unless the material can working at leading edges. be safely lowered in covered skips or other contain- ers. Carrying flat materials up ladders onto high A particular area of risk is the laying of the first sheets, which roofs, or breaking boarding and sheeting packs at should be covered specifically in method statements. roof level, can offer unsuspected opportunities for Standing on stacks of decking sheets is not considered to be hang gliding. safe; generally another safe place of work must be provided.
182 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 15Transport on site a firm policy that no riding takes place on vehicles unless there is a fixed seat provided for the passenger(s). RidingAccidents involving site transport frequently result in on top of loads that may shift on bends should be forbidden.fatalities. If site traffic is not managed, using planned Drivers should be required to check their loads for securitylayouts, banksmen and instructions to vehicle drivers and before moving off, and their vehicles for mud that may droppedestrians alike then everyone will be left to make their off once the vehicle has passed through the wheel-washingown choices about critical factors which will involve the facility at or near to the exit point.safety of others. A traffic management plan should beincluded in every project safety plan. Site-based vehicles and plantStarting with the main access and egress points to the site, Rollover protection for site-based vehicles should be man-there needs to be good visibility and room for manoeuver- datory, together with seat belts for drivers and passengersing wherever possible. The most important point is to keep wherever possible. Speed limits on site must apply to site-pedestrians and vehicles physically separated. This can be based plant and equipment as well as to visitors.done by identifying and marking separate entry and exitpoints, with rails or barriers separating roadways from All mobile driven equipment should be in the charge of awalkways. The point should be emphasised during induction certificated driver, and evidence should be produced totraining; it is easy for discipline to slacken if the rules are establish the currency of certificates before driving isnot enforced. allowed. A licence to drive a car or other road vehicle should not be accepted as evidence of competence to driveOn site, a one-way system is always preferable to a `free- a site dumper Ð the techniques involved are very different.for-all, with turning areas marked so that the need to During induction training, drivers should be reminded thatreverse is minimised. Banksmen should always be used to they must not allow anyone else to drive their equipment,assist drivers in reversing, and they need to be trained in even for a short distance. Many injuries have been causedthe traffic management plan and signalling. High-visibility by people trying to `help out in this way. Special condi-clothing should be worn by everyone using pedestrian tions, including insurance and licensing, may apply to plantfootways that may cross vehicle routes. such as fork lifts and dumpers, that have to be driven on public roads. Roads and other areas that may seem to beOn larger projects a speed limit should be set, and promi- private may in fact be classed legally as public highwaysnent signs displayed. Traffic routes may need extra light- and construction workers driving on them will be bound bying. Their physical condition should be improved wherever the same requirements as other people.possible, with no potholes, extreme or adverse camberangles, overhead cables or tight bends. Any remaining Referenceshazards to traffic should be signed and drivers briefedabout them. Where vehicles need to pass close to scaf- Access equipmentfolding, excavations or overhead cables, warning signsshould be posted. HSG150 Health and safety in construction CIS 10 Tower scaffolds Ð Construction Information SheetMaintenance of vehicles on site should only be done where (free)appropriate facilities are present. Jacking vehicles using CIS 49 General access scaffolds and ladders Ð Construc-handy supports rather than jacks or axle stands can result in tion Information Sheet (free) PASMA (Prefabricated Aluminium Scaffolding Manufac-instability, as can reaching under unpropped vehicle turers Association Ð Operators Code of Practicebodies. Refuelling stations should be bunded to contain fuel IPAF (International Powered Access Federation) Ðspills. Where maintenance is done in parking areas, these Operators Safety Guideshould be level and clear of obstruction. Parked vehicles IRATA (Industrial Rope Access Trade Association) Ðshould have ignition keys removed, brakes applied and Guidelines on the use of rope access methods forwheels may need to be chocked. industrial use SAEMA (Suspended Access Equipment Manufacturers Asso-Many accidents have happened because people have fallen ciation) Ð Users guide to temporary suspendedfrom moving vehicles when hitching a lift. There should be access
16 Quick Reference Guide 1. Access scaffolding 26. Materials hoists 2. Asbestos-containing materials 27. Mobile cranes 3. Bitumen boilers 28. Mobile elevating work platforms 4. Cartridge tools 29. Mobile towers 5. Chainsaws 30. Portable electrical equipment 6. Clearing sites 31. Powered tools Ð woodworking 7. Cofferdams 32. Public protection 8. Confined spaces 33. Pressure testing 9. Demolition 34. Roadworks10. Disc cutters 35. Sewage connections11. Disposal of waste materials 36. Site transport12. Driving vehicles 37. Skips13. Dumpers 38. Steam & water cleaners14. Electrical work to 415 volts 39. Storage of materials on site15. Erection of structures 40. Storage and use of LPG16. Excavations 41. Storage and use of HFL17. Falsework 42. Temporary electrical supplies18. Fire on site 43. Working alone19. Fork lift trucks 44. Work on fragile roofs20. Gas welding and cutting 45. Work with flat glass21. Hand tools 46. Working at heights, general22. Joinery workshops 47. Working in occupied premises23. Ladders and stepladders 48. Work near underground services24. Lasers 49. Work under power lines25. Lifting equipment, general 50. Work over water
16 QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE 185 1 ACCESS SCAFFOLDING Significant hazards n Falls of persons n Falling materials n Collapse of structure Regulatory requirements include n Construction (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1996 n Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and ACoP (L22) n British Standard BS 5973:1993 Ð Code of Practice for access and working scaffolds Pre-planning issues n Ensure that only authorised personnel will erect, modify or dismantle scaffolding. For structures over 5 m in height CITB certification of erectors should be specified and checked. n Design drawings should be produced for load-bearing scaffolds and non-standard structures, including those affected by abnormal wind loading. n Erection practice should be specified to follow BS 5973:1993 and the 1996 Construction Regulations, and where erection has been carried out by a specialist contractor a handover certificate should be asked for. n Refer lighting arrangements to the local authority for approval, for structures on the public highway or right of way. n Consider the use of debris guards, netting and fans for high-rise scaffolds and those close to public areas. n Consider harness requirements for scaffolders. Basic physical control measures n Guardrails and toeboards removed for access must be replaced after access has been gained. Unused ladder gaps must be closed off. Ties removed for any purpose must be replaced, or alternative ties fitted at once. n Restrict traffic movements around and access to scaffold bases. n Monitor excavations near to scaffold bases to ensure the stability of the structure is not affected. n Harnesses will be required for scaffold erectors and dismantlers who could fall more than 2 m. Management tasks n All scaffolding should be inspected on handover to or from other contractors. After alteration or adverse weather conditions, scaffolding should be inspected by site management competent to do so. n Arrangements must be made to inspect scaffolding with working platforms over 2 m in height every 7 days, and before use, and for the results of the inspections to be recorded. All such inspections must be made by a competent person. In addition, scaffolds should be checked regularly to ensure their correct use and that unauthorised adaptations and alterations have not been made. Training needs n Persons erecting scaffolding must be adequately trained. This will normally be verified by production of a Scaffolder Certificate issued by the CITB. Training for site management may be required to enable them to inspect scaffolds, as above. Circumstances requiring special physical controls n Use of slung or suspended scaffolding n When scaffolds are to carry loads in excess of normal requirements n Erection of scaffolds next to overhead power lines, railway property or over water n (See also information on mobile towers, mobile elevated working platforms and ladders) Selected reference HSE Guidance Booklet: HS(G)150 Ð Health and safety in construction
16 QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE 187 3 BITUMEN BOILERS Significant hazards n Fire n Molten bitumen Ð burn injuries n Manual handling Regulatory requirements include n Construction (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1996 n Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and ACoP (L22) n Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 n Highly Flammable Liquids and Liquefied Petroleum Gases Regulations 1972 n Personal Protective Equipment Regulations 1992 Pre-planning issues n Check the proposed operating area of the boiler in advance for suitability. Factors include access, surface load- bearing capacity, flammability in the area, ease of loading raw bitumen to the area, ease of removal and carrying of hot material. n Plan the location so as to avoid or reduce the risk of fire. Basic physical control measures n Boilers must only be sited on firm, level standing, and must never be left unattended or moved when lit. A minimum of 3 m space must be left between boilers and any LPG cylinder in the area, including those supplying the boiler. n Boilers must not be overfilled. Containers used to carry hot bitumen should be fitted with lids to minimise splashing. n Gas cylinder hose connections must be secured using metal clips at both ends. n At least one dry powder fire extinguisher must be readily available for use by bitumen boilers. n A safe access route is required between the boiler and the point of use of the bitumen. n Operatives handling bitumen must wear appropriate PPE, which will always include industrial leather gloves. Management tasks n A PPE assessment must be made for those working with bitumen boilers by their employer; consideration will be given to the need for eye protection in addition to gloves, also knee pads and other protective clothing or devices for those applying hot bitumen. n Regular inspections should be made by supervisory staff to check temperature and boiler levels. n A fire check must be made at the end of each work period, both in the area of the boiler and where the bitumen is laid. Training needs n Those working with bitumen and boilers must be trained in the action to take in the event of fire, and in first-aid treatment and procedure for dealing with bitumen burns. Circumstances requiring special physical controls n Use of bitumen boilers other than at ground level n Use of bitumen boilers in an enclosed area Selected reference HSE Guidance Booklet: HS(G)168 Ð Fire safety in construction work
188 PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY 164 CARTRIDGE TOOLSSignificant hazardsn Flying splintersn Flying fixing pins and nailsn Misfired cartridgesn Misuse of unfired cartridgesn NoiseRegulatory requirements includen Construction (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1996n Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and ACoP (L22)n Personal Protective Equipment Regulations 1992n British Standard BS4078:Part 1:1987 Ð Powder actuated fixing systems Ð Code of Practice for safe usen Noise at Work Regulations 1989Pre-planning issuesn Strict control of the use of tools and ammunition is needed to prevent injury to users and others in the vicinity. Secure storage is needed for cartridges, and the general principle to follow is to treat the tools and the cartridges as firearms. Users should be asked to justify the need for high-power cartridges.n Only tools with captive plungers should be permitted Ð these minimise the risk of a free-flying nail and/or plunger, but do not remove the risk completely.Basic physical control measuresn Eye and hearing protection are mandatory for those who use these tools. The use of these tools should be limited, together with the presence of other people in the working area; this minimises the risk from ricochets and projectiles passing through materials.n Select and issue cartridges to suit the materials being fixed.n Misfire drills must be followed strictly, with all misfired cartridges being retained for examination by the supplier or manufacturer. It is important that misfired cartridges are removed according to the specific instructions of the manufacturer Ð there may be a special tool for doing so.Management tasksIt is important to ensure that anyone proposing to use cartridge tools is trained and competent to do so. The managementrole is to ensure that the tools are not used inappropriately Ð in explosive or flammable atmospheres, for example.Supervisory staff will need to make specific arrangements for the issue, storage and use of the tools and their cartridges,including the safe locked storage of cartridges and the return of misfires, and the selection of cartridge