10 ways specialist health & safety construction software can benefit your business

There are already established technology solutions out there, where software supports and enhances Health & Safety project strategy delivered to a workforce. The article below shows how one unique solution, is already making a difference to both costs and staff welfare on UK sites and infrastructure projects.

#1 Significantly reduce time spent on administrative paperwork or spreadsheets
With inductions to consider, stock to monitor, and site staff to manage – there’s a lot of processes and paperwork involved. On a good day paperwork isn’t an issue, but when a process or step is missed, you risk a lot. From issues with safety and wellbeing of staff and contractors, to going over budget, poorly maintained processes have the potential to wreak havoc.

It’s your job as a Project or Health & Safety Manager to ensure safety in the workplace, and you can’t accurately achieve that with messy systems.

SkillPass is the solution

#2 Improved how you manage contractors
CSCS verification is a notorious admin burden for contractors – Failure to efficiently check cards and qualifications can result in down time while correct paperwork is produced. Once in-situ keeping on top of the expiry date of qualifications is difficult without the correct software.

SkillCheck is the solution

#3 Monitor the health of your workforce
With 9 million working days being lost last year to Musculoskeletal Disorder and a further 12 million to stress – we must take the health of the workforce seriously. The construction industry is particularly prone to a workforce needing further support, due to the additional physical and mental pressures placed workers.

HealthCheck is the solution

#4 Improved management and planning
Running a construction site requires you to manage your time, your team’s time and spin many more plates. Paperwork gets in the way of doing your important tasks and doesn’t always reduce risks. Electronic and cloud based systems go where you go and help structure your day and provide easy to use reports, helping you and your team do more and stay accountable. A streamlined integrated system prevents accidents and fatalities over the course of a project, which is well worth the investment.

Mosaic suite of products is the solution

#5 Deliver crucial pre-projects inductions online and off site
It is vital for each member of the workforce to have a briefing prior to a project starting, so they hit the ground running and know the potential hazards on site. From an administrative perspective, this is a logistical nightmare to get your own workforce and contractors booked on to class slots.

It involves a lot of skilled admin to collate all the contacts and chasing up to ensure everyone receives that all important first induction. Running inductions online and off site can also be a considerable time saver.

Induction Manager is the solution

#6 Use time & attendance data to secure accurate workforce payments
Ensuring that timesheets are in on time and accurately filled out correctly currently costs the UK construction industry millions in process and human errors. This is usually a paperwork driven exercise that needs approvals from Supervisors once completed by the worker. It is prone to delays and inaccuracies. Surely there is a better way to track time & attendance.

Tally System is the solution

#7 Know who has been issued what stock & assets
If your company uses a lot of its own tools, then managing your maintenance responsibilities can be something of an administrative nightmare. You must make sure you meet your contractual obligations while ensuring that testing schedules are managed effectively.

Similarly, plant management can be just as time-consuming and fiddly. You need to manage their use, maintenance and costs – which usually involves a lot of paperwork. Look for some construction asset management software which includes the ability to manage maintenance and plant, if your company struggles with these tasks. By accurately recording these aspects of your business, you also help protect your company during contract disputes.

Asset Manager is the solution

#8 Ensure that all health & safety messages land
Toolbox talks and daily safety briefings are now common place on most UK sites. But how do Site Managers know if everyone has received them. The simple answer is they generally do not, as there is a time lag between paperwork returning to the office and checks being completed.

Briefing Manager is the solution

#9 Innovate to face the challenges within the sector
There’s no doubt that running a modern-day construction business involves plenty of admin – but instead of cutting corners (and risking legal disputes later), you can use today’s technology to turn stacks of paperwork into manageable tasks.

Mosaic suite of products is the solution

#10 Competency training to improve your workforce’s knowledge
How do you assess key competencies and knowledge understanding of your workforce? Reduce errors which occur from misinterpretation. Provide training to improve ‘correct’ knowledge retention.

Perception is the solution

At Mosaic we provide a Health & Safety solution for companies who need to ensure that all of their workforce is adhering to certain standards. This passport platform allows companies to store and retrieve essential health and safety information from a single cloud based database. Not only does this save time and money, it helps ensure security and safety of the entire workforce.

10 questions you are unlikely to hear a Site Manager ask on a Mosaic project

We take a look at how the deployment of a Mosaic Management System can change site working practices and worker behaviour. Below are ten questions that you would be unlikely to hear from Site Managers, once the Mosaic suite of products is fully operational on site:

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1. “Who has actually been inducted?” …I will need to gather all the paperwork together…

Mosaic Induction Manager allows all those participating in the induction process to book themselves onto the class. The induction can then be delivered on-line, off-line or a combination of both depending on client requirements. Once finished the worker is registered against their record as having completing the induction.

Mosaic Induction Manager - Onboarding and Inductions both online and offline
Mosaic Induction Manager – Allowing Inductions options both on-line and off-line

Site Managers can easily run a report to check who has received their induction and therefore is eligible for site access. Paperwork and spreadsheets are no longer necessary, saving considerable administration time.

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2. “Is that worker qualified to do that?”… Someone could get hurt here…

Depending upon client requirements, all qualifications can be checked before access to site is

construction worker using dangerous equipmentallowed. Evidence of this is appended to a worker’s record. Each worker is assigned a role, that they must have the right qualifications and experience to perform, before they are issues with their site smart card.

3. “Where is the contractor qualification certificate evidence?”… I cannot find copies…

All certificate and any qualification evidence is scanned and uploaded against a worker record. This can easily be view via a desktop.

No more photocopying of certificates etc., cluttering up site offices.

What makes a safe worker?
What makes a safe worker?

4. “Can I check your CSCS card is in date?”… I am worried about fake cards also… 

As a CSCS IT partner we have access to their database to check worker CSCS cards are in date and not fake. Once checked, workers can continue to use their CSCS on site or alternatively a Mosaic Smartcard can be issued. When the CSCS card expires, an ‘administrator’ is notified, who can inform the worker to get it renewed.

Card security and onsite access to construction site
CSCS cards need to be scrutinised to see if they are in date and also not fake

5. “Do you have a ticket to use this?”…You should also be wearing specific PPE to use this piece of kit…

When a worker is booking out a tool, or piece of plant via the storeroom, Mosaic will flag up if they do not have the right qualifications or skill-set to use it. They can then be denied from taking a piece of equipment that they are not qualified for.

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6. “Who on site has not had a start of shift briefing?”…On a busy and complex project such as this, I need to ensure all workers receive this..

All safety briefings and toolbox talks can easily be recorded against worker records. All the worker has to do is present their smart cards to a reader to record attendance.  

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7. “I am not 100% sure how long that worker has been on site?”…Fatigue management was a real problem on my last job where some guys were double shifting…

Mosaic Fatigue Risk Manager notifies Supervisors (usually in the form of the project

Without technologies help it is impossible to keep track of your workforce all the time
Without technological help, it is difficult to ensure consistent H&S messages are communicated

administration) of workers who have reached their time limit for their shift. The Supervisor can then act accordingly. This helps prevent double shifting and allows shift patterns to be better managed.

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8. “I thought that worker had a site ban in place and was not allowed on here?”…With a site ban in place, I would be open to all sorts of litigation claims should there be an accident…

On a worker’s record ‘site bans’ are recorded and activated. If they still possess a smart card, then this would be flagged up when they try to access the site.

9. “I will need to check when that piece of kit needs an inspection?”…Poorly maintained equipment causes more downtime than we can afford…

Once an asset (which can be tool, small plant, large plant) has been registered on the system, management will be notified when it needs inspection and maintenance.

10. “I am not entirely sure how many workers we have on site at this moment?”…I simply don’t trust the signing in book…

Mosaic Tally, sometimes known as the time and attendance module, means all workers scan onto and off the site using their smart cards. Tally can be set up to work over multiple access points, allowing your workers and contractors alike to be monitored over large geographical areas. This information can easily be retrieved from the system in the form of a report.

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Us survey health and safety

US construction survey reveals lack of technology support for project health and safety issues

In a recent American study, ‘The state of construction management report’ helps appreciate a better biggest challengeunderstanding of what their industry successes, challenges, products, and trends are in 2017. While it should be noted that this is an American study, some parallels can be drawn with the UK’s experience in adopting new technology in this sector. So let’s have a look at what they found out.

Daily reporting was at the top of the list of biggest industry challenges, followed by deadlines and resource management. Supervisors, Subcontractors and General Managers all listed Daily Reporting as one of their main industry challenges indicating a growing concern regarding their ability to keep track of critical information. As you would expect deadlines was up in the top 3 along with the managing of staff. Health and safety came at the bottom of the list.

They asked each stakeholder what their biggest daily challenge was in construction management to gain better insight into what each position in the industry identified as their challenges.

Management:

Finding new business was their main concern by far. Maintaining margins, staff issues and health & safety followed on from this:

business owner

Contractors & sub-contractors:

Resource management significantly lead the way for contractors who see it as their biggest daily challenge. This is followed by staff management and deadlines. Health and safety fell mid-way down the list of priorities for contractors and even further down for sub-contractors.

contractor / subcontractor

Supervisors:

Meeting deadlines is the biggest issue for time-pressured supervisors, followed by health and safety and daily reporting. They work extremely closely with contractors and their own workforce on site and therefore are more likely to be involved with daily health and safety issues. Hence it being further up their list of priorities at number 2.

Supervisor

Technology adoption:

The trend toward adopting technology to improve efficiency is very evident, with the majority of respondents saying they were already using between three and five technology products to support them in this aim. A small percentage of respondents were companies who had really embraced technology, use up to ten technology products on every project. Project management was the main use for technological support, with no mention of Health & Safety in these applications.

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However, when asked what the business priorities were, construction management professionals view safety as the top business priority with efficiency as a close second. Gratifyingly, safety is deemed the main priority, thus ensuring that all employees are kept safe during the construction process.

safety priority

While the majority of respondents view their construction management technology solutions as effective to very effective in the final question on the survey, there seems to be a disconnect in terms of technology assisting health and safety on projects – yet all this was cited as a main business objective. This begs the questions, ‘What innovations could be used to address this scant use of applications for safety reasons in the US?’.

Mosaic is used by the biggest names in the construction industry to manage a range of safety critical and competency issues on major infrastructure sites and projects.  Indeed, Mosaic is sometimes mandated by companies due to the significant role it plays in reducing site health and safety issues, security, improved productivity and time saved.

To read more about us and the services we offer to the construction industry please click here

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Source: Vaultnote

dangers on construction sites

Mosaic’s 10 top tips for maintaining a competent workforce on your construction project

Construction sites are notoriously dangerous places to work on if health and safety rules are not respected. That’s why it is all the more important to Request Demoensure the team participates in your company’s safety program, and does all it can to minimise hazards to mitigate site injuries. Here are our top 10 Mosaic tips for reducing accidents and injuries on your construction sites, through maintaining a competent workforce and making safety a priority for your entire team.

What makes a safe worker?
What makes a safe worker on-site – Mosaic’s top 10 tips

Principal contractors obviously have a legally binding duty of care to their workforce, whether they are employees or contractors. It is undoubtedly their responsibility to ensure they have the necessary skills, knowledge, training and experience to do the job safely and without putting their own or others’ health and safety at risk. It is also in their interest to ensure their workforce is both efficient and safety conscious from a profitability and operational perspective. So here are our Mosaic top 10 to support you in achieving this objective.

  1. Set out your health & safety expectations

Planning safety is as critical as executing it. Many contractors have written safety programs. While they may be very comprehensive, the day-to-day implementation of those programs gets back to performance (or non-performance) by the competent person or persons (supervisors / management). Support your staff with intelligent digital systems that eradicate paperwork, freeing them up to better manage staff.

 

  1. Plan your site inductions

The benefits of comprehensive health and safety training in a construction environment are many, providing both benefits for the employer, but more importantly, for the employee. Initially spending a short time discussing health and safety matters during an employee induction is the best first step towards maintaining a low accident rate and keeping lost man hours through sickness and injury to a minimum. Insurance companies look preferably towards employers who take health and safety matters seriously and premium rates will often reflect this.

The CDM regulations require that principal contractors ensure suitable site inductions are provided. They also require that contractors must provide each worker under their control with appropriate supervision, instructions and information so that construction work can be carried out, so far as is reasonably practicable, without risks to health and safety, and that this must include a suitable site induction, where not already provided by the principal contractor.

Construction companies these days have the option to deliver their inductions both on-line and off-line. In our experience, some chose a blended approach of the two. This ensures engagement is really delivered to the workforce twofold, with great effect.

 

  1. Check qualifications and cards

All workers on construction sites must hold the correct qualifications and training for the type of work they carry out. Increasingly so employers need to be confident that if they are shown a card it is legitimate and that the person showing it has the appropriate qualifications to be carrying out their job onsite.

Mosaic Skill Check

 

 

 

  1. Ensure access and exit to the site is checked

We are continually lobbying the industry to carry out electronic card checks as mandatory before allowing workers on site. From a recent CSCS survey half of the workers on their membership said their cards were checked the first time they went on site, but no much thereafter. One in five of those responsible for checking came stated that they came across a fake card. Access also needs to be regulated should a worker have a site bans for one reason or another.

 

  1. Is the worker fit for work?

This is a serious question! Many contractors, suppliers and clients of the industry undertake rigorous and regular measures to tackle this issue including zero tolerance to drugs and alcohol, random testing, providing information on drugs and alcohol through toolbox talks, site inductions and resources such as on-site posters.

Mosaic Occupational Health

 

 

 

  1. Monitor worker fatigue

Construction work involves high-risk activities. To work safely, construction workers must be physically and mentally alert. This means that fatigue is a potential risk. Employers and employees have a responsibility to manage fatigue in the workplace.

Over 3.5 million people in the UK are shift workers, including in the construction industry. There is no specific legislation for shift work but employers are responsible for the health and safety of workers and this includes reducing the risk of fatigue by planning shift work schedules effectively. This, in turn, reduces risks associated with fatigue and can prevent ill health, injuries and/or accidents.

 

  1. Plan regular toolbox talks

To ensure effective toolbox talks, you will need to ensure that all workers participate and are engaged in the toolbox talk.  Knowing and understanding the material delivered is really important too, thus ensuring good delivery. Toolbox talks can be time consuming as just gathering the workforce round to listen someone before the start of day’s work can affect productivity. Hence the aim is to be informal and supervisors can get certain members of the workforce to gather around during their rounds. This also allows for tailored messages to different trade to be delivered.

 

  1. Ensure systems in place for tool allocation, inventory, PPE distribution and asset inspections

Along with proper safety gear, workers should be required to wear reflective vests to reduce the risk of accidents. Ensure these have been distributed to all your employees and contractors alike. In addition correct policing of tools and plant equipment will help reduce theft but also stop workers without correct ‘tickets’ using equipment. A proper system for asset inspection and maintenance should be in place at all times.

 

 

  1. Invest in workforce training

At Mosaic, we understand that simply holding a record of employee qualifications, licences and training courses is insufficient in the current working environment. You need to see your workers develop, lead and improve upon their skillset.

You need piece of mind to know that your workforce can deliver in the way that is safe and productive. By using situational judgement testing you will become more aware and be able to highlight skills and knowledge gaps and expose employee behaviour that may pose a risk to regulatory compliance, best practice, health and safety or even competitiveness in your organisation. 

 

  1. Ongoing delivery development

Don’t just rest on your laurels!

This is an ongoing process that needs to be repeat on every project / site and learnings shared between key colleagues from one project to the next.

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Mosaic is used by the biggest names in the construction industry to manage a range of safety critical and competency issues on major infrastructure sites and projects.  Indeed, Mosaic is sometimes mandated by companies due to the significant role it plays in reducing site health and safety issues, security, improved productivity and time saved.

To read more about us and the services we offer to the construction industry please click here

Construction Industry - Asset and Stock tagging

Crime in the construction industry – What steps can be taken to help prevent workforce crime

It is not surprising that the most common forms of crime in the construction industry are theft, vandalism and health and safety neglect. These crimes contribute to the sector suffering millions of pounds’ worth of losses every year.  These costs relate to not only the crimes themselves but also the resulting financial penalties, such as increased insurance premiums and project delays.

Recent research, carried out by the CIOB (Chartered Institute of Building), examines the scale and impact of crime on the construction industry and highlights the key areas of concern for senior level construction workers and management.  Theft is the most common crime; 21% of respondent’s state that they experience theft each week and, overall, 92% are affected weekly, monthly or yearly.  This indicates that the industry needs to seriously consider the prevention of theft and ensure that construction workers in supervisory roles know how to deal with it appropriately.

Focusing on theft and vandalism for this article, it is estimated that the construction industry suffers losses of more than £400 million* a year due to these, although it is hard to get an accurate figure as many of these crimes go unreported. The theft of plant poses a particular problem for the industry; the replacement of expensive equipment could lead to a project incurring substantial and unforeseen costs. The recovery rate for plant that has been stolen has improved in recent years.  This is thanks to initiatives developed by membership organisation Construction Industry Theft Solutions (CITS), plus continuing collaboration with the police on crime prevention and the recovery of stolen goods.

Additionally, the theft of tools, building materials and small plant is also a major issue that plagues the industry – particularly as these crimes are sometimes perpetrated by direct employees or contractors working on a project. Let’s have a closer look at the figures:

items stolen / theft from construction sites
CIOB Survey: Responses – items such as tools/building materials/small plant stolen from UK construction sites

The survey found that both tools and building materials are stolen by either direct employees/contractors (approximately half) or third parties. CCTV, security measures and access controls can help eradicate the problem caused by the latter, but what more can be done about this crime within the existing workforce? Small plant theft can also be attributed to workforce members in one in four cases. When we look at vandalism statistics committed on a project, we also see that approximately 20-25% is once again caused by this group. It should be noted here that statistically speaking contractors do seem more problematic than the direct workforce with regards to these issues.

vandalism on UK construction sites
CIOB survey: Respondents – Vandalism on UK construction sites

These crimes have long reaching financial implications for all the organisations concerned. A £400 million pounds annual lost is a huge sum of money, compounded by an industry operating on notoriously low profitability margins. It is certainly money that the sector can ill afford, particularly in the current climate of BREXIT and exchange rate volatility.

The survey asked the respondents their opinion of the financial impact upon their organisations – One in four were unable to put a figure upon the cost of this crime, but nearly one in ten respondents said that crime in their industry costs them £100k or more annually.

The study concluded by asking if this problem has remained the same over the last year. Half felt it was no different, but worryingly 40% felt it was getting worst. This begs the questions – what measures can be undertaken to try and combat crimes carried out by the workforce?

Mosaic stock control, asset tagging & inspection manager is a powerful multifaceted tool to support management with the tracking of materials and equipment on-site. Historically, on-site materials tracking and locating have been made complicated by the use of traditional paper based tracking processes. These are invariably labour intensive, potentially ineffectual and contribute to the increase in construction costs.

This type of solution, provides a slick on-line process that easily allows you to book out and in items against a worker record. It provides an online and real time record of where plant, tools and materials are at any point in time during the project, and if policed correctly can reduce these losses.

To conclude, we will look at a live case study of Costain’s London Bridge project, to gain insight into the solution they employed to keep track of stock and machinery use. The client “Costain” wanted to make provisions to track workforce use of machinery, tools and issuing of PPE (Personal Protection Equipment). As they had 1000+ workers on site at any one time, they set up a designated storeroom on site manned by 7 Store Men over a 24-hour opening period. Mosaic’s Stock and Asset control manager system was employed and items were tagged up with RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) and scanned out and back in using a PDA’s (Personal Digital Assistant). To date there has been over 1.4 million transactions where tools and stock have been accessed and returned.

To find out more about the Mosaic’s Asset & Stock Control Manager click here

*D. Edwards, Plant and equipment theft: a practical guide, 2007.

Source: Crime in the construction industry – CIOB (Chartered Institute of Building) survey 2016

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CLH and Mosaic working together

Newly privatised oil and pipeline network, requiring that Mosaic on-line reach!

In March 2015, the government announced it had agreed to sell the GPSS (Government Pipeline Storage System) to Compañía Logística de Hidrocarburos
(CLH) for £82m, with CLH taking over operation of the GPSS on 30 April 2015. A contractual agreement between the MoD and CLH ensured military fuel requirements continued to be met using the GPSS.

The efficient operation and maintenance of the Government’s Pipeline and Storage System is crucial to the national interest due to its strong links to the military

Government Pipeline and Storage System pre-privatisation

and economy of the country. The network carries around 40 percent of Britain’s aviation fuel around the country, supplying sites such as Heathrow and Gatwick airports, as well as British and U.S military airbases in England and Scotland.

CLH has already review existing working practices and a schedule of programmed works to ensure that this longstanding and vital UK asset is transformed from a military necessity of the war years into a commercial proposition excelling in efficiency, safety and reliability.

They chose the Mosaic system to help them improve working practices and the health & safety record across this vast network. They virtually use all elements of the Mosaic system from the competency platform with SkillCheck at its core. This is utilised in tandem with the Mosaic Occupational Health module and the Mosaic Induction Manager. Due to the high number of safety critical roles evident across the network, Mosaic Briefing Manager, most notably during Toolbox talks, is used to great effect. Having a robust ‘Competency Management System’ that has bolt-ons, such as Mosaic Briefing Manager, and is delivered on-line is proving a success in this newly privatised operation.

To find out more about us click here

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Latest Health & Safety Statistics

Health and safety statistics for 2015/16 released

Health and safety statistics for 2015/16 released 

Using information from the Labour Force Survey, RIDDOR reporting, HSE cost model, death certificates and HSE enforcement data, the report pulls together key facts about illness and injuries.

Occupational health in numbers

In 2015/16:

Latest Health & Safety Statistics

  • 1.3 milion workers suffer from work-related illness
  • 0.5 million suffer from work-related musculoskeletal disorders
  • 0.5 million suffer from work-related stress, depression or anxiety
  • There have been 2,515 deaths from mesothelioma

The costs of occupational ill health on business is clear. In 2015/16 there were 30.4 million working days lost due to work-related illness and non-fatal workplace injuries.

In monetary terms this cost business £14.1 billion in 2014/15 – excluding the costs of long latency illnesses, like cancer, and new cases of work-related illness cost £9.3 billion in the same year.

Fatal and non-fatal injuries in numbers

In 2015/16:

  • 0.6 million non-fatal injuries to workers
  • 72,202 non-fatal injuries to employees reported by employers
  • 144 fatal injuries to workers

The annual costs of workplace injury in 2014/15 was £4.8 billion.

The trends behind the figures

Figures alone mean virtually nothing unless you look at them in the context of wider data and comparisons.

Latest Health & Safety Statistics
Latest Health & Safety Statistics

With regard to occupational health, the HSE statistics report shows that there has been a general downward trend in the number of self-reported, work-related ill health disorders – at least until 2011/12 and more recently this rate has been broadly flat.

Similarly, the rate of self-reported stress, depression and anxiety has remained broadly flat for more than a decade.

These statistics indicate that we have reached a plateau, and that new and different approaches need to be adopted when tackling occupational health.

There are projected to be around 2,500 deaths per year from mesothelioma for the rest of this decade before numbers start to decline.

There has been a downward trend in the rate of fatal injury in the long-term, although this seems to have also hit a plateau in recent years.

The majority of fatal injuries come from falls from height, with being struck by moving vehicles coming in a close second.

Comparisons

The UK has the least fatal injuries when compared to other large EU economies, including Germany, Poland, Italy, Spain and France.

However, the UK comes in second place when looking at the percentage of self-reported, work-related injuries and health problems resulting in sick leave.

To find out more about us and the system then please click here

construction health and safety

Construction in focus

Two years ago the UK Government published a report on worker well-being in the construction sector, arguing how improvements in this area were not only a target in themselves but also conducive to economic growth. This win/win focus on promoting greater levels of health and safety within the sector, is supported by regulations which govern some of the key operational tasks carried out by construction workers.

These include laws around working at height, which are structured under the basis of avoid, prevent, arrest, requiring employers and self-employed contractors to assess the risks and then organise and plan the work so it is carried out safely.

Work at height is the biggest single cause of serious injury within the construction industry, with over 60 per cent of deaths resulting from falls on a site.

The starting point for planning is for employers to look at where they can avoid working at height. Where this is not possible, they must otherwise prevent or arrest a fall and the potential for serious injury, instructing and training their workforce in the precautions needed.

Method statements are widely used in the construction industry as part of this process. These are a useful way of recording the hazards involved in specific work at height tasks and communicating the risk and precautions required to all those involved in the work. The statement need be no longer than necessary to achieve these objectives effectively. It should also be clear and illustrated with simple sketches, where necessary, avoiding ambiguities or generalisations which could lead to confusion. Statements are for the benefit of those carrying out the work and their immediate supervisors and should not be overcomplicated. Equipment needed for safe working should be clearly identified and available before work starts with clear guidance on what should be done if the work method needs to be changed.

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As well as avoiding work at height operations where it practicable to do so, there are a number of additional precautions employers can put in place. Measures should be taken to prevent a worker from falling a distance which is liable to cause personal injury. This could include erecting a scaffold platform with double guard-rail and toe boards, for example. Installing equipment like safety nets to minimise the distance and consequences of a fall is also vital where work at height cannot be avoided or the fall prevented.

Manual handling is another key area covered by construction law governing the movement of items through lifting, lowering, carrying, pushing or pulling. While the weight of the item is an important issue, employers must also recognise the many other factors, including the number of times an items needs to be picked up or carried or the distance it is carried, as these can enhance the risk of musculoskeletal disorder injuries (MSDs).

MSDs are common construction-related injuries which include damage or disorder of the joints and other tissues in the upper/lower limbs or the back. Statistics from the Labour Force Survey indicate that MSDs, including those caused by manual handling, account for more than a third of all reported work-related illnesses.

The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 require employers to manage these risks on behalf of their employees. This includes avoiding hazardous manual handling operations, moving loads through automated or mechanised processes wherever possible. If it can’t be avoided, a suitable and sufficient risk assessment from hazardous manual handling operations is required which sets out ways of reducing the potential of injury.

It is also important for employers to adopt an ergonomic approach to manual handling across their operations, taking into account the nature of the task, size of the load, the working environment and where and when direct worker participation is necessary.

The HSE has developed a number of supportive resources, including the MAC and the V-MAC tools which help employers analyse lifting, carrying and team handling. The ART tool gives advice and guidance on managing repetitive upper limb tasks, while the RAPP tool covers pushing and pulling requirements on a construction site. Often multiple tools will be required to complete a task. More information on these can be found at the HSE website.

These resources are there to support the wider legislative agenda of further protecting the people who work in the UK construction sector. It’s important for employers to be aware of these rules and use the tools that are available to promote a better working environment.

Source: SHP – Jerry Hill Safety, Head of Consultancy Support for NatWest Mentor, gives an overview of  some of the key topics in health and safety in construction.

To find out more about us and the system then please click heresnip_20161010124456 about us

Innovative construction trends to look out for in the future

Innovative construction trends to look out for in the future

The construction marketplace continues to astound us with attractive structures, innovative construction and methods and improved architectural models as more and more construction projects are getting smarter. The rapid development of emerging construction opportunities with high tech machinery and equipment can make high end structures much faster, with lower costs and better buildings and structures. With modern technology and construction trends to continue at pace in the upcoming future, here are some innovative construction trends which would definitely shape and improve construction projects to make the industry and the marketplace more competitive and dynamic.

One smart card to manage all site worker competencies

Detailed 3D Architectural Modeling

Gone are the days when construction buildings needed an architectural plan or blueprint. Now architectural models have become more innovative. Instead of blueprint or 2D drawings, more 3D computer designs are made to provide better visualizations for the clients and provide a clear live picture of how the construction building would look like from all different angles.

Architectural plans have thus become more modernized and innovative and are not limited to the traditional print methods. A basic 3D model outlines specific building models and systems, basic model structural engineering, mechanical and electrical plans, plumbing systems, ductwork and more. Architect designers can ensure that no systems interfere for any drastic or severe consequences and that each and everything is properly in place to make sure that the construction process runs smoothly without causing any severe damage.

Schedule Modeling through the Use of BIM

Many construction companies are adapting the use of BIM (Building Information Modelling) to show owners how digital representations of physical and functional characteristics of the construction may affect schedule deadlines, constructability, construction equipment and machinery or the transportation equipment needed to evaluate large scale options and used them in the construction phase. These modern and scientific digital prints evaluate and review early design concepts if they are viable for the building structure or not.

Integrating the Use of Energy Saving Building Systems in the Construction Phase

Construction companies are increasingly integrating the use of efficient energy saving prospects in early stages of the architectural and construction phases. Builders and architects have to model on how different energy saving solutions or systems will affect the building or construction phase. They also need to conduct a cost analysis and make informed decisions to achieve a higher ROI against the overall building value and if it is a viable option in the future as well.

Making Buildings More Digitalised and Smart

As more digitisation is taking place for businesses as well as in the construction building process, more and more systems are being digitalised for data monitoring and to provide remote access for the owner to make things easier. Such digital technologies are emerging and are on the rise as owners can not only keep track of their facility systems but also automate them whenever they want to. Such systems provide monitoring and security for the owner. The system can allow for the distribution of lighting and can easily be turned on or off at specific zones or reasons to require efficient and smart energy savings for the owners. Such smart and intelligent systems are slowly becoming the norm for the newly developed buildings..

The Flow of Information On-Site

Mosaic Briefing Manager

On-site construction teams need to coordinate with different stakeholders for instructions and guidelines. Thus the use of mobile phones, mobile apps and constant engagement to share information on-site has become a necessary element in the construction process.

Thus, the use of this technology and the constant update about the information saves time, reduces costs and improves upon the reliability and availability of materials from retailers and vendors. Using custom mobile applications; the construction team can draw up plans and evaluations on-site to take fast decisions regarding any complicated problem. Quick pictures can be easily taken and sent out to ask for guidance or advice regarding any difficult on-site or construction problem.

Using UAVs

Integrating the use of (UAVs) Unmanned Aerial vehicles with an on-board camera to take static or moving images and live video feed of the construction project. Construction project teams are exploring its use more while surveying geographical terrains, sites and landscapes to create efficient 3D models of the site prior to the construction phase.

Having UAVs can provide on-site live monitoring, inspections and safer evaluations for difficult terrains or hard to reach landscapes. Such evaluations are most effective for complicated construction projects such as colossal bridges, skyscrapers, huge tunnels or jaw dropping dames. It can also fly on top of the building (80 feet) to provide aerial view and used as marketing tool for investors.

The Use of 3-D Printing

3-D printing can easily generate and print 3-D designs which are necessary for the construction process. A 3-D printer can add and print any small necessary construction equipment layer by layer with correct specification and size dimension details. As construction projects demand 3-D models, and thus 3-D printing comes as a logical future progression. Many high tech construction companies have giant 3-D printers for printing out necessary piping, insulation or difficult installation materials.

It reduces health and safety hazards, use of recyclable materials, waste reduction and the capability to build better construction material with design concepts and correct size dimensions. Some colossal construction projects are already integrating the use of 3D printing for building components.

Enhancing On-Site Safety and Protection

As technological advancement and innovation takes place, so does the dangerous risks associated with the construction procedure. Thus it is important to ensure

What makes a worker competent

that construction projects are executed with safety and protection. Ensuring safety and protection in construction has always been the challenge for construction companies. That is why it is necessary for construction companies to provide workers with protective gear and safe protective clothing to protect them from the harmful on-site dangers that can happen during construction. Many construction companies establish safety guidelines and procedures for workers in order to protect them so that construction jobs are less dangerous and there isn’t any loss of life in the process.

Labour Work Being Automatized

Construction projects involve a lot of repetitive manual labour work which can be easily automated through the use of robots or machinery. More automated technological advancement is taking place to handle exhausting labour work routines such as brick-laying or transporting constructive materials at different construction levels of the building. Implementation of such a technological trend would only require less labour workers and construction companies would only hire skilled labour force that can oversee the work and make sure that everything is being properly executed and implemented.

All such modern and innovative construction trends are more cost effective, sustainable, easier and has a scientific approach in order to execute the project with proper scheduling and using the latest building methods, tools, techniques and technologies so that construction projects are not just built, but are built smart and efficiently to ensure longevity and survival.

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Source: Rachael Everley

Importance of managing and implementing health & safety measures in construction

The issue of health, safety and environment (HSE) remains one of the top priorities in the local, regional and global construction industry.

Efficient health and safety at workplace not only ensures that employees are happy and productive, but can also help to reduce both the human and business costs of injuries and unnecessary lawsuits. By making health and safety the priority, construction companies are effectively communicating that competent employees are a valuable resource in the industry. Additionally, improved health and safety standards help companies become more effective to finish projects on time and improve their business profile with customers and clients. By introducing basic health and safety standards, organisations can understand the human capital benefits this has across the company.

Management must not only provide their workers with the right safety tools at work, but also equip and induct them with understanding on proper use and maintenance of these tools. Several organisations, for instance, focus on educating and explaining HSE rules and regulations to employees, contractors and vendors, as well as utilising industry experience to implement such standards.

HSE standards and technical specifications must first be discussed and implemented before any person steps onto any construction site, whether in an established building or a new site. Also, gaps between local and international HSE standards can be bridged through an approach that involves a method statement, risk assessment and job safety analysis.

  1. Method statement:

A method statement is a standard document widely used in the construction industry. It details specific instructions on how to perform a work-related task, including how to operate a piece of machinery or equipment.

This breakdown of tasks is essential in a workplace where a large part of the workforce is unskilled and lacks general knowledge in HSE standards. In addition, the method statement includes how this process should be completed for both employees and contractors throughout the duration of the project. A method statement features a step-by-step process on how to implement HSE standards, must be prepared for each task on a particular worksite and then included in the overall construction safety plan, ensuring that HSE standards have been taken into account for every section of the project. The document is a testament to the fact that workers are a priority, which in turn means they will remain happier and more productive.

Another vital component of the method statement is considering worker welfare and the long-term benefits that this has on raising the health and safety standards throughout the industry. Considering that many labourers come from countries where their worksite safety is not treated as a key concern, it is important to educate workers with the basics of HSE standards.

  1. Risk assessment:
Fatigue Management is one of many things Project Managers have to stay on top of
Fatigue Management is one of many things Project Managers have to stay on top of

Risk assessment determines the quantitative or qualitative value of risk on a particular worksite and any recognised hazards. Risk assessment is a core component of HSE standards and is also an opportunity to focus on what might cause serious harm to people, and determine whether an organisation or company is taking the necessary preventative measures to tackle it. During a risk assessment, there is a valuable opportunity to identify sensible measures to control in the workplace and to think about how accidents may happen and concentrate on the very real risks that are involved.

Most accidents are more likely due to the lack of workers’ knowledge of health and safety. However, the problem can be addressed through regular training programmes and safety talks.

Risk assessment can be broken down further into two parts: a hazard, anything that may cause harm; and the risk, the chance that an individual may be harmed by a hazard along with a suggestion as to how serious this harm could be. An organisation should concentrate on both of these components as HSE standards remain applicable to all aspects of the construction industry.

  1. Job safety analysis:

Job safety analysis focuses on identifying and controlling workplace hazards, and aims to prevent personal injury to any operative working there or that may be passing by. During this phase, the company determines which job/task needs to be analysed as a risk or hazard, followed by breaking this down into a step-by-step sequence. This ensures that nothing is missed, and health and safety remain integral parts of each and every job. It is important to follow it up by categorising potential hazards, with the final step being implementing measures to overcome these hazards. Once more, by focusing on identifying and controlling workplace hazards, workers’ welfare remains at the core importance of a construction organisation. This then leads to motivated workers who understand the implications of these hazards and how to avoid personal injury.  

The role of management:

snip_20161010124149 product infoWhile method statement, risk assessment and job safety analysis are critical parts of HSE standards, this must be coupled with the role of management and their workers’ welfare. All these factors combined will help successfully implement HSE standards for the long-term benefit of organisations and more importantly workers. Instilling the knowledge and understanding of HSE standards among unskilled labourers through proper induction and training should start by focusing on the basics. This includes giving an overview of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), which is a another vital component of onsite safety and refers to protective clothing, safety reflective vests, safety helmets, hard hats, goggles or other garments or equipment that are designed to protect the wearer’s body from injury.

This overview must be done in basic terms and include a demonstration; with simple, supporting images to reiterate their point; along with a construction manager who can communicate it in the best way. This gives the workers an opportunity to ask any additional questions and further familiarise themselves with HSE standards. By implementing these measures, workers become more proactive when it comes to health and safety and what it really means to them. Some safety issues under management’s role include proper signage on site, and warning the workers and other visitors about potentially dangerous parts on site.

Source: Construction News

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