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Johann F. Szautner, P.E., P.L.S. Cowan Associates, Inc.
Construction accounted for 7% of US workforce, but claimed 21% of all occupational fatalities and 10% of all disabling occupational injuries (DOL 2005) Nearly 200,000 serious injuries and 1,200 deaths each year Construction has the most fatalities of any industry sector. This dictates the need to understand the various construction trade activities and options to eliminate systemic accident risks By analyzing actual accident events, root causes can be isolated and risk management efforts could be directed at these root causes and not at symptoms, leading to more effective accident risk management
Root Causes of Construction Accidents
Inadequate construction planning Lack of proper training Deficient enforcement of training Unsafe equipment Unsafe methods or sequencing Unsafe site conditions Not using safety equipment that was provided
OSHA - The Safety Gatekeeper
Congress passed the William-Steiger Occupational Safety & Health Act of 1970, Title 29 USC 451. Construction Safety & Health Regulations, CFR Title 29, part 1926 applies to the construction site work activities and part 1910, General industry Standard to actual facilities and their operations.
Duty to provide a Safe Work Place
An accident-prevention program for each project is essential to attain an accident free jobsite. Although most contractors have effective safety programs many sub contractors do not! 1. Often they do not require their employees to follow safety rules; 2. Do not provide personal protective equipment; 3. Permit the use of unsafe equipment.
Duty to implement an effective Safety & Health Plan
Contractor¶s program can only be successful if it fulfills these conditions:
1) 2) 3) 4) 5)
6) 7) 8) 9)
Commitment by top management; Established safety policy by top management; Constantly seeks a safe & healthy environment; Competent supervision; Provides delegation of adequate authority;
Provides scheduled safety training & education; Conducts accident prevention inspections; Investigates accidents to find cause & not to assign blame; Provides a measurement of the effectiveness of the accident prevention program; Maintains documentation of all accidents;
Duty to provide a ´Competent Personµ
OSHA established in 1989 the category of ³Competent Person´ and it¶s definition in subpart P of 29 CFR 1926. A Competent person is one who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the surroundings, or working conditions which are unsanitary, hazardous or dangerous to employees, and one who is authorized to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them. This person must be an employee of the contractor and be trained in geotechnical engineering.
Duty to foster a Safety Culture
Develop the knowledge base and skills for construction management and workers to recognize hazards and to uncover ³hidden hazards´. Develop the knowledge base and skills for architects and engineers to incorporate design features to eliminate or reduce the risk of an injury due to a hazard
Risk Management = Hazard Management
Hazard is the potential to do harm or damage when combined with a trigger mechanism Risk is the probability of a hazard-related incident occurring, measured by the severity of harm or damage Risk Categorization is done with the help of professional expertise, cost-benefit analysis and consideration of public perception. We determine risks to be acceptable or unacceptable
Safety = A Myth?
Safety is not absolute Safety is the summation of acceptable risks, there is no absolute safety
Mechanical Energy Electrical Energy Chemical Energy Kinetic Energy Potential Energy Thermal Energy Acoustic Energy Radiant Energy Environmental Hazards Biological Hazards
Design for Safety = Employ Risk Hierarchy
Identify Hazards Assess Risks Design Features to eliminate or reduce Risks Consider Construction Consider Operation & Maintenance Consider Decommissioning
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Eliminate the Risk Provide Guarding Provide Warning Provide Training Provide Personal Protective Equipment
Plans & Specifications
Ability to manage Risk in Construction
Construction Project Phase Procurement & Value Engineering Construction Planning & Scheduling Start-up
Most frequently cited OSHA Violations
1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 8)
Scaffolds & Aerial Lifts - L Fall Protection-subpart - M Cranes & Hoists - N Excavations - P Steel Erection - R Ladders & Stairways - X Masonry & Concrete Construction - Q Demolition - T
Scaffolds and Arial Lifts
Scaffold Capacity: 4 times the maximum intended load Hoist Capacity: 4 times the tipping moment from operating load
Fall Protection ² same level
Falling from Elevation
Provide competent person, licensed or certified crane operator Post load rating and operating speed Perform inspection prior, during and after operations
Cranes & Hoists
Employ competent person Notify utilities Guard and warn Protect employees Slope & Bench excavation Shore or Shield excavation
Inspect ladder prior to use & check rating Place ladder at a slope ration of 4:1 Secure Base & Top Stand on rung and hold on to rung in front Do not climb on top three rungs Restrict side movement to keep belt buckle within rails
Provide adequate landings Provide consistent step dimensions Provide slip resistant surface Provide railings Avoid visual camouflage Provide adequate lighting
Masonry & Concrete Construction
Premises & Public Right 0f Way Liability Exposure
Premises Liability exposure towards invitees, while contractor is in control of the property. Same as the possessor of land. As a condition of approval for construction in a public right-of-way, the governmental agency in control of the public right of way, typically codifies that construction shall not interfere or conflict with the public use and/or purpose of the right-ofway. This mandate is typically enforced in a permitting process in which the contractor is required to hold the governmental entity harmless and provide adequate insurance for any potential liability arising out of the construction activities.
Darwinian Award Candidates
Analyze Cause & Effect = Root Cause
Risk Management is a Team Concept
Identify Root Cause of Construction Accident Implement Accident Prevention Training Improve Worker Attitude Improve Management Procedures
Design for Construction Safety Expectations Design for future Maintenance Design for operational Perspective & Changes Design for Decommissioning