Health and Safety
Health and safety at any construction site is of the utmost importance. To ensure these is achieved and maintained is hard due to the fact that accidents do happen all the time. The most significant step to ensure the safety on a site is maintained is by the appointment of a competent contractor. By doing this it shall ensure the implementation of all safety regulations required in the site from those dealing with machines, trenches and height, fire, personal protection to proper creation of emergency actions if any of these earlier steps are breached. Despite the contractor being competent, there are some hazards in the site that can be obviously overlooked due to their hidden nature. Some of the most common hazards in a site that can be hidden include the cranes and forklifts; these can bring harm in the form of mechanical injury (Healthy and safety, 2005).
The other hidden hazards in a construction site can be installations that were fixed on the site long before the work started hence were not include in the survey of safety precautions. A light fitment for example can be a hazard in that it can cause shock especially if not well insulated. Solvents used in the site can be another form of hidden hazards; these solvents normally evaporate and may be inhaled by the workers on the site. This can result in short and long term effects on the respiratory system. Lingard H. and Holmes (2001) observe that dust from wood and custom wood which contains formaldehyde can be another hazard as they can affect the lungs and when exposed on long term can result in cancer respectively. Other minor hazards which are hidden excrement from animals and birds that contain bacteria and if contact are established can lead to various infections.
Site control is important in any kind of project be it a private one or a public one. This is a process that will ensure the proper setting of all the tolls to be put in place and ensure the safety measures are well executed without leaving out any factor. Some of the factors to be considered in this include the organization of the site, safety measures in various situations for example working in a height area, electricity and related equipments, vehicles and any other plant mobile machine, the structure in place and their stability, demolition and the fire safety including the actions to be taken in a case of an outbreak. Setting of the services for the workers is crucial for the site to start work there is need for provision of sanitary facilities, clean water and canteens (Lingard & Holmes, 2001).
Bielby & Read (2002) points out that the workers should be given the necessary protective clothing's and attire before accessing any construction site. The provision of helmets, safety glasses and shoes which are reinforced to prevent piercing nails or sharp objects are necessary. The helmets prevent head injury in a case of falling objects while the glasses prevent any shrapnel that may strike the eye in a welding or cutting scenario. The provision of electrical safety is crucial as many machines are operated by this and may pose a risk of being electrocuted if the appliances and power lines are not well insulated. The ladders and scaffolds put up should be in a good condition; stable and strong, because if they are not it can be a big hazard to the workers due to falls. The provision of warning is also crucial to warn against existing dangers especially for visitors and workers moving to sections that are not their specialty. The other important action is the protection against fire; this should be set up including all warnings about flammable tools and materials and the appropriate action in a fire outbreak (Bielby & Read, 2002).
Ill health safety management
In the management of safety the first thing to be done is ensuring that all the possible injuries that may arise are recognized. Some of the injuries that may occur include falls from places of height, noise and vibration may affect the brain and the ears, while other causes of safety concern is the exposure to elements like asbestos which if prolonged can have adverse effects. The operatives' in any part of the site must have suitable medical approval clearing them to operate to avoid incidences of blamed conditions. To avoid any of these the provision of personal protective equipment is important while the exposure time to some of the elements should be limited. Ill health in workers has sometimes resulted from occupational hazards, some of the condition mesothelioma, skin infections and lung diseases (Bielby & Read, 2002).
This is prevalent in sub-contractors who are not adhering well to the safety issues. Most of the conditions appear later on the worker has moved to another company or since quit to do something else hence very hard to follow up for compensation, by this time some of the conditions are irreversible. The workers still in such situations need to be enlightened on the dangers they are exposed to and the best way to prevent this if the contractor does not do the same while the authorities need to inspect the working conditions to ensure the incidence rate. Any injury or ailment due to the work areas especially from hazards that were hidden can lead to suits by the workers which will have dire financial implications on the firm (Lingard & Holmes, 2001).
The sustainability of a project should start during the design face where the necessary facilities should be allocated space in the site. This should include the necessary access ways and exit points to be put in place in relation to the operations that are ongoing on the site. The correct citing of these facilities' is crucial as it will reduce the exposure to some of the operations going and statistically reducing the chances of the hazardous exposure (Lingard & Holmes, 2001). The best design should be made in relation to cost and the safety measures that will be drawn from such a plan as the workers are the most important factor in the site. These facts will be considered in the selection of the contractor as the best should be awarded in terms of safety measures employed and executed and consulting the relevant authorities may be required to get the required statistics. This can be confirmed by use of safety certificates awarded and other documentary evidences on the skills of the management of the organization and the technicians employed by the contractor.
The period of construction is the most important as its during this period that all the workers on the site stand a risk of being affected by the hazards as it is the time period when the construction and execution of the intended safety plan comes into action. During this period the need apply all the general safety provisions will need to be implanted. Some of these actions will include the execution of all the precautions and ensure that all persons within the vicinity of the construction site are given some kind of personal protection gear that is efficient to the kind of hazard that they are exposed to. This will include the necessary warning notes on all the machinery, means of access and any egress if the use of the same will pose some kind of hazard.
The site should be well planned and all the materials and equipment be kept in proper storage to avoid any unnecessary accidents that can have harmful effects to the workers on the site. This should include the removal of any loose materials, scrap, debris and waste that may be accumulating at any point while the workplaces to be cleaned always to avoid accidents like slipping and falling which will end with different degrees of injuries. The policies about safety should be followed at all times with no worker being allowed access to workstations without the proper attire; protective clothing ad gear. The site should have adequate security and limited accessibility to prevent any unauthorized personnel from accessing the area. These regulations should not only be set up at the beginning of construction but be reviewed at all times during the construction to avoid any unexpected liabilities due to hazard exposure at the site of construction (Healthy & Safety, 2005).
Post Construction stage
At this stage the actual construction of the project has been done. What is done is an evaluation of the project using the incidence rate of any accidents or hazard exposure to try and survey effectiveness the safety measures. This should be done by the contractor who was doing the construction with verification of the noted facts from an external consultant (Health & Safety, 2005). This is so to ensure that the factual information is what will be presented and not a report manufactured to make the contractor look good. After the completion of the evaluation process, the concluded report on the safety measures employed should be handed to all the interested parties. In this case the interested parties will include the client who gave the contract and the community at large who are affected but represented by the relevant authority in charge of the area. This is crucial to the client especially considering the fact that the premise will be occupied by him/her. This is crucial as the client will also be interested to know the health and safety of the finished premise and if there is need to take any secondary measures for protection against some foreseen hazard.