SAFETY ASPECTS IN CONSTRUCTION PROJECT
JUNAID SIDIQ1, CHITRANJAN KUMAR2, SHOWKAT AHMAD KOUCHAY3
1 PG Student, Construction Technology & Management, AL-FALAH University, Haryana, India
2Assistant Professor, Civil Engineering Department, AL-FALAH University, Haryana, India
3Assistant Professor, Civil Engineering Department, SSM College Of Engineering & Technology, J & K, India
The research effort in this report is a follow-up on a study that was conducted in the early 1990s by Construction Industry Institute. The Construction Industry Institute study examines safety strategy of various construction firms to aid in the identification of the best practices in the construction industry to attain maximum safety. It was important because it identified methods and practices that have proven effective in reducing worker injuries. The Construction Industry Institute study was originally conducted to eliminate all accidents to achieve zero accident objectives. This follow-up uses pattern of Construction Industry Institute study to examine the safety aspects in the construction industry in some parts of India.
To accomplish the objective of this study three methods were employed, 1) an extensive literature search identifying best safety practices was conducted, 2) several large construction company’s statistics were reviewed and 3) a survey instrument used those companies to identify which safety practices are significantly related with safety performance
Five major safety techniques which have highly contributed to excellent safety performance were identified in this study.
Management commitment to contractor safety.
Safety planning: pre-project and pre-task.
Safety education: orientation and specialized training.
Overall accident/incident investigations.
An effective safety program should include all of these in order to attain the goal of maximum safety. By obtaining the goal of maximum safety; the direct and indirect costs associated with injuries are reduced, resulting in a higher profit margin and a more effective competitive position in the construction industry.
Key Words: Safety strategy, Safety, Zero accident, Safety planning, Safety education, Likert scale
Construction is a high-hazard occupation. It continues to be one of the most demanding and dangerous industries in India. Workers are exposed to new hazards due to the changing nature of construction projects virtually every day. Construction workers require physical stamina because their work requires working in cramped spaces, lifting and carrying heavy objects, and working with potentially dangerous tools and equipment. Construction workers also have to deal with harsh weather conditions because much of the work is done outside or in partially enclosed structures. It has been reported that construction work has a high rate of injuries and accidents (BLS, 2008). In a report that The Bureau of Labour Statistics details in 2006, cases of work-related injury and illness were 5.9 per 100 full construction workers. This is significantly higher than the 4.4 rate for the entire private sector. To negate the high rate of hazards, proactive construction personnel in the industry may need to take further steps to identify and eliminate the causes of accidents on job sites. Safety has become one of the most important aspects of concern on many construction projects. In his study of construction safety, Hinze (2002) found that “many construction firms have begun considering safety to be one of the main factors in reducing costs associated with work-related accidents and injuries, but by also contributing to an “on time” and “within budget” project delivery.”
The cost-benefit of good safety practices payoff with the reduction of cost in relation to worker injury. Costs are incurred whenever an injury occurs on a project. The costs associated with injuries consist of the direct and indirect costs of injuries. Injuries consist of the direct costs, which can be determined with accuracy after a Worker’s Compensation injury claim is closed, and the indirect costs, which are rarely even estimated by construction firms.
Coble, Richard, Hinze & Haupt (2000) stated “that the indirect costs consist of many costs that are incurred due to injuries that relate to lost productivity, damaged materials/equipment, and the commitment of administrative time. When Worker’s Compensation losses are added to the costs of an injury the direct costs are twice to 20 times more (Nelson, 1996). With all the costs factored in, it seems apparent that the return on investment for good safety practices pays off.
Hinze and Wilson (2000) stated that it is important that an emphasis on safety be recognized or even be accepted as being a principle means by which injuries can be reduced. If safety is emphasized, the occurrence of injuries can be expected to be low and, conversely, if no emphasis is placed on safety, the occurrence of injuries can be expected to be high.
Eich (1996) put the problem this way: “Large construction firms have made important strides toward improving construction safety. The average injury rate for the largest firms has dropped by 26% since 1978. Large firms are dedicating more manpower, time, and resources to safety than in the past.”
The safety practices and performance in these individual firms are important to the entire industry. Large construction companies have the greatest impact on the overall safety record of the construction industry. They account for most of the revenue generated when compared to the total revenue of the industry (McGraw Hill, 2008). This has encouraged researchers to pay particular attention to the methods and practices used by these companies in the efforts to attain safety excellence.
For instance, Hinze (1997) found the following:
“Attention to safety in the construction industry has increased dramatically over the past few decades. Several factors have led to the greater emphasis on safety. Although construction work has become safer, there is still much to be accomplished. Since there is now a strong concern for safety in the construction community, one can hope that further improvements will continue to reduce the numbers of fatalities and serious injuries in the industry.”
The construction sector is the second largest employer in India; however, according to Hämäläinen et al. (2010), accident statistics of the Indian construction sector are not properly and regularly published. Therefore, they are not easily available. However, it is expected that many fatal and non-fatal accidents would be happening in Indian construction due to its characteristics such as dynamic nature and involvement of many stakeholders including migrated labors in a project, and a less controlled environment. There is a system prescribed for compiling and recording these statistics the implementation at every place in the country is not done in full seriousness. According to Zhou et al. (2015), this is one of the reasons for not conducting sufficient research on construction safety in India.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Every day some 950 people die and over 720,000 workers get hurt because of occupational accidents. Annually, over 48,000 workers die because of occupational accidents in India.
In Indian construction sector, the number of people dying in construction could be anywhere from 11,500 to 22,000. With continuing high work-related injury and illness rates in the construction industry, the identification of safety practices may help reverse these high rates. Those safety practices that are successful in accomplishing low injury rates which make a difference in safety performance to move individual construction projects toward the goal of zero accidents.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
It was the purpose of this research to investigate the safety practices of large construction firms to identify those best practices that make one firm safer than the next. This research was intended to be a follow-up on a study that was conducted in the early 1990s by the Construction Industry Institute. The 1990s study defined measures needed to be taken in order to achieve safety excellence. This research intends to revisit those measures to ensure the effort in safety performance has not become idle.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
This study sought answers to the following research questions:
What are the different approaches companies have for their safety practices?
What does the company’s feel are the most significant in terms of rating their safety practices?
Are the safety practices the same as they were more than 30 years ago?
1.5 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
The limitations of this study are:
The number of surveys returned may be minimal. The data in this study has to be received from voluntary participants from over 20 construction companies. The participants may be reached but may decline to complete the survey. If the participants are too busy with their own employment, they may not have any desire or motivation to complete the survey.
The survey instrument will be a self-written combination of a compilation of questionnaires to get the data appropriate for the research. The survey may contain unintentional errors and some responses may be intentionally left blank; however, every attempt will be made to create a suitable and trustworthy instrument.
The survey used relies on human subjects, so the results are limited to the honesty of what the individuals submit. The individuals may render different numbers in order to make their company seem statistically better than they actually are.
Research has shown that the development and implementation of effective safety programs reduce accidents (Smith and Roth, 1991). Project safety is an issue which is supported by everyone in concept. Unfortunately, when it comes to spending time and money on safety, many people do not feel it is vital to the success of their projects. The purpose of this research is to investigate the current safety practices of large construction firms to identify those best practices that make one firm safer than the next. This research is intended to be a follow-up on a study that was conducted in the early 1990s by the Construction Industry Institute. The 1990s study defined measures needed to be taken in order to achieve safety excellence. This research intends to revisit those measures to ensure the effort in safety performance has not become idle.
2.1 SUBJECT SELECTION AND DESCRIPTION
To accomplish the objective of this study, a survey was set up to gather information on those safety practices that influenced safety performance. Thus, the gathering of information and an analysis sought to identify those safety practices that were significantly related to safety performance. Safety performance was measured in terms of the number of OSHA recordable injuries incurred per 200,000 hours of worker exposure (“General recording criteria, “).
The survey instrument was a self-written combination of a compilation of questionnaires to get the data appropriate for the research. The survey asked questions about the best practices suggested by the 2002 Construction Industry Institute study. The survey covered all nine groups suggested by the Construction Industry Institute study. All questions were addressed to the safety specialist of those construction companies.
A copy of the survey instrument can be found in Appendix. The survey instrument consisted of the following information:
The purpose of this study was to identify the current safety practices that were being implemented, particularly by those firms with the better safety records.
For the study, the research instrument was comprised of 10 questions.
Several of the survey questions that were asked could be answered by a short answer, with a “yes” or “no” response, with an open-ended question to elaborate on their choice for the response.
The majority of the survey questions included an itemizing rating list which involved rating items on a scale of 1 to 5 to obtain people’s position on certain safety techniques, specifically the Likert scale. Likert scales help to state the issue and obtains the respondents’ degree of agreement or disagreement.
The remaining questions involved using structured items requesting information that was mostly numerical in nature. Asking information about the companies OSHA 300 forms of the past four years to identify trends in safety performance over the years.
The first main portion of the survey that was collected included questions which covered some project-related safety issues specifics such as: Management commitment to safety, written safety programs, safety inspections/audits, safety education and training, planning for safety, safety incentives, drug testing, accident/incident investigations, and safety meetings for supervisors.
The last main portion of the survey included questions reflecting current trends in the construction safety practices of large construction firms such as Safety performance of the firm, including worker hours expended and the number of near misses, OSHA recordable injuries, and OSHA lost time injuries.
2.3 DATA ANALYSIS
In order to address the research goals of this study, relevant descriptive and analytical statistics were used to analyze the appropriate data. The three main categories of questions asked in the survey are outlined as follows: short answer questions with a simple “yes” or “no” response together with an open-ended question to elaborate on their choice for the response, itemizing rating list questions, and structured item questions requesting information that was mostly numerical in nature.
With the aim to analyze several of the survey questions that were open-ended, the questions were designed to ask the responded to solicit opinions with minimal interference or interpretation of the desired outcome from the survey questionnaire. The most frequent responses would be pooled together to indicate a strong correlation between those particular safety practices that are considered effective safety techniques.
By the means necessary to interpret the survey questions that were created using an itemized list, the numerical values were applied to a Likert scale, in order to administer analytical statistics on the data. The numerical scores assigned were
5 – High importance;
4 – Moderate importance;
3 – Neutral;
2 – Little importance;
1 – Low importance.
The values indicated from the nominal scale will indicate a particular percentage for the items. Those percentages will be compared to each other and the noteworthy percentages that are at the 4 – Moderate importance, and the 5 – High importance level will indicate a strong correlation of those particular safety practices that are considered effective safety techniques.
The remaining survey questions were specifically related to numerical information. The questions asked information about the companies OSHA 300 forms of the past four years. This was done to identify trends in safety performance over the years. An analysis of variance will be applied to the data collected. Anderson, Sweeney, and Williams (1993) stated that “the variance is based on the difference between each data value and the mean, therefore the analysis of variance is an analysis of the variation in the outcomes of an experiment to assess the contribution of each variable to the variance”.
The numerical values for each year will be collected from the survey and entered into a spreadsheet. Mean and range values were calculated to identify trends in the current safety practices. The spreadsheet will indicate the current trends in how effective these safety techniques have impacted the construction industry.
2.3 DATA COLLECTION
National and International Journals
Websites of Government Departments and Private Bodies
Online search engines
How would you rate the support level the safety department receives from top management?
1 being “Poor Support” and 5 being “Outstanding Support”
1 2 3 4 5
Do you have a written company safety program plan?
Yes No N/A
A. For your own employees? __
B. For your subcontractors? __
If you answered “Yes” for question “B”, skip this question, however, if you answered “No”, do you require subcontractors to have their own safety program that you review prior to awarding work to them?
Do you conduct formal field safety inspection or audits on jobs in progress?
If you answered “Yes” for question 4, please indicate who conducts the inspections/audits on the projects?
To complete this portion of the survey please follow the instructions noted below:
1. First read all items listed below.
2. Then please rate the items on a scale of 1 to 5 with regards to how important you feel they are towards effective safety performance. With 1 being “low” and 5 being “high”.
___ Management commitment to contractor safety
___ Safety education: orientation and specialized training
___ Staffing for safety on projects
___ Worker evaluation and recognition/reward programs
___ Planning: pre-project and pre-task
___ Overall accident/incident investigations workday cases
___ Overall drug and alcohol testing
___ Safety meetings for supervisors
Of the items listed above, which factors have the biggest positive impact on your company’s safety?
Are there other changes in safety that your company has made in the past 4 years that have significantly impacted the safety performance on your construction sites?
If you answered “Yes” to question 8, please indicate those changes to the company.
Using information from the OSHA 300 forms, please complete the following table for information regarding the past 4 years:
2014 2015 2016 2017
Total number of deaths Total number of cases with days away from work Total number of cases with job transfer or restriction Total number of other recordable cases Total number of hours work per day
(Field employees only) Total recordable cases Appendix B:
Biggest Positive Influences in Company’s Safety Program
Management Commitment to Safety.
Drug testing, worker involvement and safety orientation.
Trust between workers and supervision/management. This is gained through planning, meetings, interaction in the field and informal setting, communication on all levels, follows through on what supervision and management say they will do, and support. Commitment upfront, proper staffing at the proper time in the project, getting all levels of employees the training and tools they need to be successful, planning the day-to-day work as well as the long-term goal planning, ensuring this is properly communicated to all levels, getting input from ALL employees, and constant feedback to include recognition for a job well done and corrections to short-comings.
Planning/Pre Task Management commitment
Planning, pre-project, and pre-task
Safety education and pre-planning(pre-project construction start)
Management commitment and employee involvement
Active, VISIBLE involvement of Senior Management on an on-going basis. Accountability for the performance of safety tasks, such as conducting effective safety meetings and performing pre-job safety instruction of each work task each day. Having high company standards and expectations.
Worker involvement and top management support. There has to be full-buy in for the program from all levels.
I did not understand what the “overall accident” refers to so I did not answer.
It is a combination of all the above areas that make on Safety program work.
Safety education: orientation and specialized training
Setting clear safety expectations and giving the employees what they need to succeed-whether it’s training, tools, or knowledge management will back them when they make good safe decisions.
Orientation and training
Having supervisors “buy-in” to the safety concept and the trickle-down from that.
Management commitment and worker involvement.
Planning: pre-project and pre-task
Our Pre-construction Safety Meetings for High Hazard Work Activities, such as Steel Erection, Pre-Cast/Tilt-up Erection, Deep Excavation/Trenching; than 20feet, Decking, Roofing Pre-Lift/Pre-pick Plans with a crane and/or helicopter and Concrete pours. Along with Weekly/Bi-weekly safety meetings with contractors foreman.
Accountability and performance measurements backed by upper management
Management Commitment to safety, Safety education: orientation and specialized training, planning: pre-project and pre-task, worker involvement, Overall accident incident investigations workday cases, safety meetings for supervisors
Management Commitment to Safety, Safety Education, Worker Involvement
Impacts on Safety Performance
Our Safety Department grew 5 people to 19 people.
Return to work program
We have adopted an incident and injury philosophy.
More refined JSA’s (Job Safety Analysis), a growing and developing behavioral based safety process, and better and clearer expectations at all levels.
Tying to safety milestones to the schedule prior to starting the job.
Minor 2 in last four years, major 8 years ago with performance measurements
We have increased our safety staff.
This is key: We started working on the safety culture, transforming it from on that tolerated some risk and did not believe that “zero incidents” is possible to one that has a clear expectation of reaching zero and will not tolerate some of the things it did in the past.
Participation in OSHA VPP program.
Visible change in attitude towards a safe worksite being a profitable work site
Safety Task Force, Weekly Safety Meetings, Take 5 for safety, Daily Task Hazard Analyses
Getting everyone on the job site involved with safety. Open discussions were anyone can bring concerns to the table without fear of reprisal.
We have improved and/or developed better Safety orientation, job site expectations, Preplanning, drug testing, training, etc.
Preplanning safety and having supervisors understand that they are ultimately responsible for the safety on their projects.
Required gloves to be worn, Daily pre-task planning logbooks, increased training
Every year we keep adding to our program like near-miss reporting.
Our Pre-Construction Agenda meetings have had a significant impact on how we approach work activity on the job sites and re-writing our safety program, so that, it is more detail oriented to outlining the expectations, responsibilities of each person assigned to a project.
As the safety culture continues to evolve and improve, programs, in general, continue to improve and “dig into eth weeds” as well as increased auditing and accountability systems
Strong involvement from management and focus on safety education.
Performer of field inspections/audits on jobs
Supervisors, and safety Coordinators
Project manager and/or safety director … or management
Field Superintendents, HSSE representatives, and Project Managers
Field safety inspections are conducted in several ways;
a. Supervisor safety only wales
b. Formal daily inspections conducted by a cross-section of crafts, management, supervision, and EHS
c. Weekly safety committee walks with a cross-section of craft, supervision,
Management and EHS.
Safety specialist, Employees, Subcontractors, and Taskforce (Safety Committee)
Project Team members, subcontractors, project safety reps,
In most cases our safety director.
On select larger projects, we will subcontract to a safety consultant to perform this work.
Safety Rep. on larger sites and Superintendents on smaller sites.
Everyone from District Manager on down to different levels of frequency.
District Mgr-quarterly Construction! Operations Manager and HSE Manager-monthly
Field people (Superintendents, Project Mgrs., Field Engineers, Foreman)-weekly
Safety committee members, supervisors, managers, safety department personnel, corporate safety team.
Daily walk through was done by site Superintendent PM review of progress pictures CSM will do safety review during the scheduled visit
Safety Task Force made up of Safety Dept., PE, PA, PS, and PMs, company-wide
Safety Specialist, Committee, and Supervision
Safety Representative, Safety Captain or Area Safety Manager and Safety Take Force
Safety Director, Project Superintendents, or Field Supervisors
Corporate safety and project superintendent.
Our safety person who is also a journeyman and also sometimes the project managers
Safety Director audits projects once per month minimum. Safety committee members audit 1 job site per month
Safety Dept. members, Field Foreman
Superintendent does a daily checklist, the Project manager does a weekly checklist and safety department also does a week audit.
There are several aspects to this question: Inspections are conducted by Site Superintendents and/or Project Managers on a weekly basis, Corporate Safety Coordinators at least once a month, individual subcontractors Safety Directors, Site Safety Committees/monthly, and when used Safety Consultants/ on a weekly to biweekly to monthly basis.
Weekly by a project team member (superintendent, safety officer, project engineer). Monthly inspections conducted by safety task force members.
Documented safety inspections are typically conducted by our onsite Safety Coordinators, Project Safety Managers, and Regional Health and Safety Managers
Construction Sites: PM, Account Manager
Office Locations: Safety Manager, VP of Region, Office Manager, Location Office Safety Representative
RESULT & DISCUSSION
Construction is one of the most dangerous occupations in the India (K.B Sharma, 2009). The number of construction fatalities is unbalanced to the size of the workforce. The construction sector is the second largest employer in India. In Indian construction sector, the number of people dying in construction could be anywhere from 11,500 to 22,000. Considering the minimum estimate of fatal accidents, i.e. 11,500, Indian construction sector alone adds 23.95% (=11,500*100/48,000) fatality in the total 48,000 occupational accidents occurring annually in India. There are 1,226 fatalities and 200,000 serious injuries each year (BLS, 2008). That’s about 100 workers killed and more than 1600 injuries every month.
5.1 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
It is the purpose of this research to investigate the safety practices of large construction firms to identify those best practices that make one firm safer than the next.
5.2 GOALS OF THE STUDY
This study sought answers to the following research questions:
What are the different approaches companies have for their safety practices?
What does the company’s feel are the most significant in terms of rating their safety practices?
Are the safety practices the same as they were more than 15 years ago?
5.3 PRESENTATION OF COLLECTED DATA
For the study of large construction firms, the research instrument was a survey containing 10 questions. The survey to identify safety practices in large construction. The target number of responses to the survey was 20 replies, a total of 26 replies were received. Some of the completed surveys contained only portions of the information requested, most notably excluding information about their OSHA 300 forms. Also, three requests to take the surveys were returned due to an “out of the office” response by the individuals asked to participate in the survey. The surveys were sent out on June 2018 and the replies were received through the end of June 2018.
The methodology used to collect the data included a three-category questionnaire. The three main categories of questions asked in the survey are outlined as follows: itemizing rating list questions, short answer questions with a simple “yes” or “no” response together with an open-ended question to elaborate on their choice for the response, and structured item questions requesting information that was mostly numerical in nature.
5.4.1 RESULT FOR APPENDIX: A
The first category was designed to utilize an itemizing rating list with the intent to comprise comparable data obtained from the respondents’ position on certain issues relating to current safety techniques. The respondents were asked to rate the level of top management support the safety department receives. The results are identified in Table.
TABLE.1 MANAGEMENT SUPPORT
Rating Order Response Total Response Percent
1 No Support 0 0%
2 Low Support 2 7.7%
3 Moderate Support 5 19.2%
4 Strong Support 12 46.2%
5 Outstanding 7 26.9%
The other rating question designed to make use of an itemizing rating scale was based on the respondent’s answers to how important certain safety attributes that were identified in the CII’s 2002 study were important to safety performance (see Table 2). Most of the respondent’s replies were in the four to five scale range
TABLE 2.SAFETY ATTRIBUTES RATING
1 Of Little
Management commitment to
contractor safety 0%(0) 3.84%(1) 11.54%(3) 30.77%(8) 53.85%(14)
Safety Education: orientation and
specialized training 0%(0) 3.84%(1) 34.62%(9) 30.77%(8) 30.77%(8)
Staffing for safety on projects 0%(0) 3.84%(1) 23.08%(6) 34.62%(9) 38.46%(10)
Worker evaluation and
recognition/rewards programs 0%(0) 19.23%(5) 30.77%(8) 26.92%(7) 23.08%(6)
Planning: pre-project and pre-task 0%(0) 0%(0) 7.69%(2) 15.38%(4) 76.92%(20)
Worker involvement 0%(0) 0%(0) 15.38%(4) 23.08%(6) 61.54%(16)
investigations workday case 0%(0) 0%(0) 3.84%(1) 15.38%(4) 80.77%(21)
Overall drug and alcohol testing 38.46%(10) 23.08%(6) 15.38%(4) 15.38%(4) 7.69%(2)
Safety meetings for supervisors 0%(0) 15.38%(4) 11.53%(3) 23.08%(6) 50.00%(13)
In conjunction with rating the safety attributes, an open-ended question was composed to identify which of the previous safety attributes have the biggest positive impact on the company’s safety program (see Appendix C for all the raw data). The respondents have identified the following to be the biggest positive influences in their own safety programs: management commitment to contractor safety, safety education: orientation and specialized training, planning: pre-project and pre-task, worker involvement, and safety meetings for supervisors.
FIGURE.1 BIGGEST POSITIVE INFLUENCES
5.4.2 RESULT FOR APPENDIX: B
The second category of the questionnaire was designed to ask open-ended questions with the aim for the respondent to elaborate on the choice they made for short answer questions that were a simple “yes” or “no” response. It was the intent to let the respondents give some wide range of answers to the questions that were semi-structured so that the most probable answers could be generally manageable and put into meaningful categories for easy analysis. The respondents were asked if there were any changes in their company in the past four years that have significantly impacted the safety performance of the company, and 65.38% of the respondents replied “yes”. The respondents identified there were many changes made that impacted their safety performance; however, there were four safety attributes that stood out among the nine key safety attributes. Those attributes included: Safety education: orientation and specialized training, planning: pre-project and pre-task, worker involvement, and overall accident/incident investigations. The responses to the question are identified in Figure.
FIGURE.2. CHANGES IN COMPANY SAFETY
The respondents were asked if their company conducts field safety inspections or audits on jobs in progress, to which 100% of the respondents replied “yes”. There was a follow-up question which asked to identify who conducts the field safety inspections or audits. The objective of this question was to identify the kind of involvement companies are getting in their safety program. The respondents identified a wide range of individuals that were responsible for conducting safety inspections/audits on jobs in progress. The individuals identified included: corporate safety directors, corporate management, safety committees, safety specialist, project managers, field superintendents, and field engineers, foreman, and craft workers. There were a whole host of people identified, but the most often identified as the person responsible for the safety inspections/audits was the safety specialist.
5.4.1 RESULT FOR APPENDIX: C
The third category of the questionnaire was designed to ask a structured item question requesting information that was mostly numerical in nature. The question gathered significant background information on the OSHA 300 Form, which includes data relating to every work-related injury or illness that involves loss of consciousness, restricted work activity or job transfer, days away from work, or medical treatment beyond first aid. The numerical values were collected to calculate the mean and range values for every each year to identify trends in the current safety practices. The trends will indicate how effective the current safety techniques have impacted the construction industry.
TABLE.3 OVERALL DATA COLLECTED ON OSHA 300 FORM
2014 2015 2016 2017
Total number of deaths 12 9 10 06
Total number of cases with days away from work 44 35 30 32
Total number of cases with job transfer or restriction 20 16 10 09
Total number of other recordable cases 55 43 37 33
Total number of hours work per day
(Field employees only) 8 8 8 8
Total recordable cases 131 103 87 88
The mean recordable case rate dropped from a 32.75 to a 22.00 from the years 2014 to 2017. That was a drop of a 10.75 recordable rate in those four years.
FIGURE 3. MEAN VALUES OF RECORDABLE CASE RATES
The results collected by the researcher shows clear indication that efforts to improve safety performance are not idle. The results have identified five major safety techniques which have highly contributed to excellent safety performance, which are identified as follows:
Management commitment to contractor safety
Safety planning: pre-project and pre-task
Safety education: orientation and specialized training
Overall accident incident investigations
An effective safety program should include all of these in order to attain the goal of zero accidents and to reduce direct and indirect costs associated with injuries thus resulting in a higher profit margin and a more effective competitive position in the construction industry.
The five preceding techniques are presented in more detail for clarification:
Management commitment to contractor safety:
Liska et a1 (1993) stated as part of management commitment to contractor safety all of the top management down to line supervisors must express that safety of the workers are to be managed in the same way as quality, and productivity. Without this clear commitment, safety performance will very likely be compromised.
Safety planning: pre-project and pre-task:
As part of safety planning: pre-project and pre-task, site-specific safety programs ensure the projects have a safe start and daily tasks are performed with safety integrated into the daily work routine (Hinze, 2002).
As part of worker involvement, all workers are not just viewed as an asset that should be protected, be as a valuable resource that gives input on how to contribute to the goal of zero accidents. Such input on project safety includes the participation on safety committees, input through safety surveys, and hazard analysis procedures on the workplace safety (Hinze, 2002).
Safety education: orientation and specialized training:
As part of safety education orientation and specialized training, all workers should be given an explanation of the commitment of the project to safety and the company’s rules and site requirements to eliminate workers injury. Topics for training include Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), first aid, fall protection, and drug testing (Hinze, 2002).
Overall accident/incident investigations: As part the overall accident/incident investigation program all job site accidents/incidents must be reported to management in order to examine the root cause of those accidents. Results of these investigations are communicated to all employees in order to prevent future occurrences (Hinze, 2002).
While some techniques will not be implemented in exactly the same manner, the general objective of these techniques will not be different. These top five safety techniques have positively impacted the recordable case rates of those construction companies that have integrated them into their safety program for the past four years.
The trends discussed show the mean recordable rates dropped from a 32.75 to a 22.00 from the years 2014 to 2017. That was a drop of a 10.75 recordable rate in those four years by implementing these techniques. Whereas those top five safety techniques have positively impacted the construction industry’s recordable case rates, there were a few techniques which were not of significant importance when it comes to impacting the recordable case rate. These include staffing for safety on projects, worker evaluation, and recognition/reward programs, overall drug and alcohol testing, and safety meetings for supervisors.
The researcher recommends that the construction industry examine the research results and implement the top five safety techniques that would not only result in an effective comprehensive safety program but also lead to the lowering of recordable case rates. Some of the safety techniques that were not of positive influence for construction companies (i.e. staffing for safety on projects, worker evaluation, and recognition/reward programs, overall drug and alcohol testing, and safety meetings for supervisors) should be avoided since they received low responses as of the respondents. The techniques noted above make the difference between an excellent safety program that achieves zero accidents to one that is not as good.
6.2.1 Recommendations Related to This Study
Some of the surveys that were returned contained only portions of the information requested, most notably excluding information about their OSHA 300 forms. It is recommended to find a better way to get more responses to such request. The researcher also would point out that, although this survey project was limited to the University of Wisconsin Stout Construction Program Advisory Board, it is recommended to distribute this survey to a wide population of construction companies to find if safety is implemented differently for other construction firms.
The researcher would note that, although additional information on more construction firm’s OSHA 300 form and a wider population of construction firms would have been helpful, the survey instrument nevertheless accomplished its goal by revealing safety techniques as rated to construction safety.
6.3 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY
If future studies are conducted pertaining to safety techniques, there are two areas of relevance. Firstly, the researcher recommends this type of study be repeated occasionally, perhaps every five years, to make clear that efforts to improve safety performance are not idle. The other study the researcher recommends would include a more detailed investigation of a specific safety technique to determine the best way to implement that technique.
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JUNAID SIDIQ, M.Tech, Construction Technology ; Management, Al-Falah University, Haryana, India, Email:[email protected], Mobile:+917780828263.
CHITRANJAN KUMAR, Assistant Professor, Civil Engineering Department, Al-Falah University, Haryana, India. Email:[email protected] Mobile: +918595325836
SHOWKAT AHMAD KOUCHAY, Assistant Professor, Civil Engineering Department, SSM College Of Engineering ; Technology, J ; K, India. Email:[email protected], Mobile: +918082621048