The following article was prepared by Daniel Groves and published originally on The Construction Labor Market Analyzer’s website, myclma.com. It has been re-published on Construction Junkie with permission from the author. The CLMA® is an online application designed to help owners, contractors, unions and other industry stakeholders dynamically understand the skilled labor market in a collaborative environment and know how to more effectively manage project labor risk.
Construction incident reporting systems are generally implemented by states and companies to analyze, track and document all accidents that have taken place on a job site. The data that is compiled is then used as a means of developing a proactive approach to future onsite safety.
Creating a Safe Workplace
Construction incident reporting as an element of Safety and Health Management Systems (SHMS) are effective when based on five primary elements:
- Management Commitment and Planning – Management must be 100% committed to the construction incident reporting systems program in order to be effective. Program parameters and safety reporting needs to be proactive and used consistently on all projects.
- Employee Involvement – Employees need to understand that their involvement is critical and mandatory for a plan's success and effectiveness. They need to understand that reporting incidents is expected and safe from any negative reprisals or actions.
- Hazard Prevention and Control – New Projects should be planned based on the learnings form the SHMS. By addressing potential hazards early and in a preventative manner, incidents can be reduced and controlled.
- Safety and Health Training – Implementing a policy and practice of training employees prior to deploying them on site can raise awareness and prevent incidents from occurring.
- Worksite Analysis – The jobsite must be monitored for any inconsistencies with the plan that may lead to injury. All new incidents should be analyzed and added to the SHMS.
Taking a systematic and proactive approach as well as implementing protocols when an incident does occur can help to integrate safety and health objectives into a company’s organizational structure.
The Results of Implementing a SHMS
Implementing a systematic proactive approach can reduce the number and severity of incidents and save lives. Creating a system that supports the company philosophy and clearly stating and communicating policy goals can become an asset for workers, clients and the business. Tracking incidents allows for the development of long-term solutions rather than one-time fixes and evaluation of continuous data promotes continual improvement. Implementing an effective system can positively impact the company’s bottom line.
Why They Work
An SHMS system works when employees clearly understand both the benefits and company policy. Management needs to plan, develop, implement and enforce standard safety procedures while educating workers of the benefits of compliance with company policy. Keeping the reporting process simple, easy and transparent, will help to improve worker compliance.
Construction incident reporting systems work because they take a historical look at past incidents as a means to proactively approach the future job site with an eye towards safety for employees. Making employees aware of potential dangers thru education and a strong in-place policy of preventative action will reduce the number and severity of incidents adding benefits for employees, reducing costs for job management and giving companies a valid marketing tool to attract quality workers generate new work.
Original Article: How Construction Incident Reporting Systems Can Save Lives |Daniel Groves, CLM
In January of 2017, OSHA released a final rule which greatly reduced the allowable exposure to beryllium, a mineral that can cause deadly lung disease. While not as commonly encountered in the construction industry as other substances that cause terrible lung diseases, like crystalline silica and asbestos, beryllium is linked to a disease called chronic beryllium disease, which kills around 100 people each year. It’s commonly found in coal slag, which is used for sandblasting. According to the New York Times, OSHA estimates that 11,500 construction workers would be affected by OSHA’s reduced exposure limit.
As recently highlighted by several multi-story building fires, contractors should always be prepared in the event a fire starts on a job site. There have been dozens multi-story building fires in the past few years and many were started when the building was topped out. In most cases, the project was completely destroyed, leaving developers and owners to deal with years of delays from insurance claims. A massive five-alarm fire at an Oakland construction site is one of the more recent examples.
In a year that OSHA can’t seem to enforce any new rules, it appears to have found a way to remove a rule from its books. As announced last week, OSHA has removed monorail hoists from Subpart CC – Cranes and Derricks in Construction. Employers are still required to follow other OSHA regulations regarding the hoists, but this rule should help clear up some inconsistencies.
For many construction superintendents and project managers across the world, tablets are becoming one of the most important tools on the job site. They’re great for looking at plans, taking pictures, making notes, and running your favorite construction apps. Carrying a tablet does take up at least one of your hands, however, so it can be a hindrance if you need to help a co-worker lift material or climb a ladder.
High demand battery packs have allowed many construction workers ditch the cords on jobsites throughout the country, by providing more power and longer runtime. As with any battery packs, it’s important to follow safety warnings, but with a higher capacity can sometimes mean greater consequences when those warnings are not followed.
Since the beginning of the year, OSHA has had a pretty hard time enforcing any of its new rules due to delays. The silica dust exposure rule was delayed 90 to September 23, the crane certification rule is facing yet another possible delay, and now the electronic injury reporting rule is facing another delay.
Just before 11 am on Monday morning, 6/26, firefighters were called to an under-construction residential building in Queens, New York after concrete scaffolding and formwork collapsed during a pour.
Two construction workers in Sarasota, Florida were recently trapped 15 stories in the air after one of the lines on their suspended scaffolding snapped. One of the two men was able to be pulled to safety by some co-workers on site, but the second was stuck on the scaffold for an hour before the fire department could rescue him.
According to OSHA, more than 40 percent of all heat-related worker deaths occur in the construction industry. Many more workers also become ill from extreme heat and humidity. With summer now in full effect, it’s time to re-evaluate your personal steps for keeping safe in the heat and how your company is going to help their employees stay safe.
Every now and then a new product comes along and you ask yourself, “why didn’t I think of that?!” The OVAL Fire Extinguisher is just that product. Architecture and interior design have been moving towards cleaner lines in their spaces. Foregone are the days of bulky protruding water fountains (bubblers for my northern friends) and fire extinguisher cabinets. Interior designers are looking for cleaner and sleeker interior spaces but the 10lb fire extinguishers and cabinets have not changed for quite some time. OVAL is about to change all that.