mosaic does health and safety the smart way

Smart rugged phones for smart site management solutions

The ‘rugged’ phone market, primarily targeting tradespeople,  is forecast to account for around 18 million handset sales from a global predicted overall figure of 1.5 billion in 2016. This segment still represents a sizable profit for handset producers and other entrants. To stretch their brand further Caterpillar and DeWalt have their own version on the market, alongside the likes of iPhone who have produced a tough case for trades people in this space.

The BBC recently tested out the 4G-enabled Tuffphone 400, another popular brand, on a building site and found it could receive calls under water after several minutes of being submerged and survive a tumble around in a cement mixer full of sand. After these ordeals it could still make calls and get online after being dropped from scaffolding over 2m high. However they were advised by the retailer that it would not withstand “a direct blow from a hammer”.

Mosaic’s array of site solutions can either work off a PDA or a smart phone provided it is on the Android, iOS or Windows platform. Should your work phone have the facility for ‘Near Field Communication’ (NFC) or a camera incorporated then it will be able to read our smart card, barcodes and RFID tags used in conjunction with our applications. This means when you are out on site giving a Toolbox Talk simply use your own smart phone – but please make sure it is a rugged one to ensure it survives the rigours of site work!

Mosaic Management Systems provides health and safety compliant site management software that offers you an online and flexible solution to on boarding, competency management, access control, asset management, stock control, fatigue management and toolbox talks.

Source: BBC article

To find out more about our range of products please follow the link

fatigued workers on construction sites

Top tips for managing fatigue within the construction sector

Construction work constantly involves high-risk activities and to work safely, workers need to be physically and mentally alert at all time. Therefore fatigue is a potential risk and one that must be recognised by employers. Both employers and employees have a responsibility to manage fatigue in the workplace.

What is fatigue?

Fatigue is a state of physical and/or mental exhaustion which reduces a person’s ability to perform work safely and effectively. Fatigue considerably reduces alertness and may lead to errors, which in turn could increase the likelihood of workplace incidents and injuries.

There are multitude of things that can impact and cause fatigue, some of them interrelated other not. These include:

  • Work schedules – hours of work, night work and shift work (including breaks between shifts):

Long work hours, irregular work hours, and schedules that require night work can cause fatigue. These types of work patterns can limit the time for a person to physically and mentally recover. Night work can interrupt the natural sleeping rhythm, which in turn can cause fatigue.

  • Sleep disruption:

Everyone needs a certain amount of sleep to maintain alertness and perform to standard. Generally we all need between 7.5 and 9 hours of sleep a night. The most beneficial sleep is deep, undisturbed and taken in a single continuous period. Should this be disrupted, fatigue may ensue.

  • Environmental conditions:

Climate extremes (such as working outside in winter), noise and handling vibrating tools place demands on workers and increase fatigue.

  • Physical and mental work demands:

Construction work is generally physically demanding which can increase fatigue. Mental demands can also increase fatigue, such as tasks that require long periods of intense concentration.

  • Emotional well-being:

Work events can be emotionally tiring and increase fatigue, such as regular criticism or the pressure to complete a task to a deadline. Non-work events can also cause distress and lead to fatigue – for example: when a person faces the loss of a loved one or tries to resolve personal conflicts.

Employers – responsibilities in managing fatigue

Employers have a duty of care to take all practicable steps to ensure employees are safe at work. Fatigue is more commonplace than you may thing and is certainly a workplace hazard that employers must manage. Various strategies are available for employers to reduce the risks of fatigue. These include:

Work schedules

  • Make sure your employees take regular, quality, rest breaks in their working day .Consider extra rest breaks if the work is demanding.
  • Make sure working hours are not too long. If longer working days are required, consider staggered start and finish times, and/or longer rest breaks and periods off work (and carefully monitor a worker’s ability to cope).
  • Schedule tasks suitably throughout a work period. A person’s ability to be alert or focus attention is not constant throughout the day. For most people, low points occur between 3.00am and 5.00am, and between 3.00pm and 5.00pm. Avoid giving out safety critical jobs during this period.
  • Negotiate with your employees if overtime is required. Monitor and place limits around overtime worked. Avoid incentives to work excessive hours.
  • Monitor and place limits around shift swapping and on-call duties. Mosaic will be able to help you here with its fatigue management software.

Sleep

  • Design work schedules well to allow for good sleep opportunity and recovery time between work days.
  • Make sure that schedules are designed to remove any sleep debt. This is due to sleep loss being cumulative.
  • Design rosters that minimise disruptions to natural sleeping rhythms. Avoid work starts before 6.00am where possible. If night work is required, limit the number of night shifts in a row that your employees can work.

Environmental conditions

  • Avoid working during periods of extreme temperature, or minimise exposure through job rotation.
  • Provide adequate facilities for rest breaks.

Physical and mental work demands

  • Limit periods of excessive mental or physical demands (ie through job rotation).
  • Ensure fit for purpose plant, machinery and equipment is used.
  • Make sure workloads are manageable. Take into account work flow changes due to factors such as machinery breakdowns, unplanned absences or resignations. Avoid impractical deadlines.

Emotional well-being

  • Where possible, be aware of personal circumstances that affect your employees and provide support.
  • Create a positive work environment where good relationships exist and workers are encouraged and supported.

Workplace fatigue policy

  • Develop a fatigue policy for all workers, managers and supervisors. This policy should include information about: maximum shift length and average weekly hours; work-related travel; procedures for reporting fatigue risks; procedures for managing fatigued workers.
  • Make sure anyone can report fatigue-related issues to both supervisors and management, and then improvements will follow.
  • Train your new employees on fatigue management.

Once these strategies are implemented, you should monitor and review them to ensure fatigue is managed effectively.

Mosaic has a Fatigue Management module which can bolt onto its system. When used in conjunction with access control systems, it will enter start and finish times. Using the available data, the system will instantly alert the management team by identifying any employees who are at risk of fatigue or have already breached certain controls, such as double shifting.

Please read more about this module by clicking here

snip_20161010124456 about usSource: Worksafe NZ

technologies that may improve health and safety on construction sites

Emerging technologies assisting the construction industry

According to a BBC article instead of the workforce in high-viz jackets and hard hats (PPE – Personal Protection Equipment), there will be drones buzzing overhead, robotic bulldozers and 3D printers producing all manner of new structures. That at least is the hope of those innovators creating new technological solutions. Firstly they have to get buy-in from the traditionally risk-averse construction industry that such change is beneficial.

Some construction companies are already using drones to survey sites and existing structures. Following the earthquake in Christchurch NZ some years ago, they now use a drone to survey the structure of the badly damaged cathedral, which they hope to rebuild.  Japanese construction machinery giant Komatsu has gone one step further – using the drones to provide the eyes for automated bulldozers. The drones send 3D models of a building site to a computer which then feeds the information to unmanned machinery to guide them.

One of the potential solutions to the housing crisis could also be 3D printing, which is already making an impact on the construction industry – cutting both the time and cost of building houses. The UN estimates that by 2030 approximately three billion people will require housing and has mooted 3D printing as one possible solution. A team in the School of Civil and Building Engineering at Loughborough University, in the same town as our HQ, has been working on the technology since 2007, first developing a 3D concrete printer within a frame, but more recently with a robotic arm that can print up to 10 time quicker.

At the forefront of technology ourselves Mosaic Management Systems provides health and safety site management software that offers you an online and flexible solution to on boarding, competency management, access control, asset management, stock control, fatigue management and toolbox talks.

To find out more about the company please follow the link.

health and safety myth

Health & Safety Executive (HSE) determined to put the myths to bed!

With a view to counteracting the daft decisions being blamed on Health and Safety, the HSE has decided to publish a myth of the month webpage, backed up with a myth busters challenge panel. The panel allows you to check if Health & Safety does apply to situations, or it is being used to stop sensible activities going ahead. An example of a case they investigated was where an employer wanted all employees to wear high viz tabards even when their job was regarded as low risk. The panel quickly ruled that this was outside the remit of health and safety as their job was deemed to be low risk.

Just to reassure you all about some classic ones that most of you may have come across and think it is Health & safety gone mad – children do not need to wear googles when they are playing conkers and can still pin the tail on the donkey. Please follow the link to read more of the top 10 myth busters.

Mosaic Management Systems provides health and safety site management software that offers you an online and flexible solution to on boarding, competency management, access control, asset management, stock control, fatigue management and toolbox talks.

To find out more about the company please follow the link.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fatigued worker

How is your Fatigue Management Policy working for you?

In a recent article in SHP online Clinton Horn, a Health & Safety Manager at BAM Nuttall Ltd, provides a really insightful look into why a lot of organisations’ fatigue management policies do not go far enough to manage the underlying causes.

He scrutinises the available academic literature and interrogates a useful model to gauge fatigue issued entitled the Fatigue-risk trajectory model. Early in his article he concludes that fatigue management in the workplace often proves challenging for employers and, therefore, often results in “aspirational” fatigue management policies, at best, when compared against the evidence-based literature.

We welcome this kind of article that analyses the subject matter in depth and brings Fatigue Management in the construction industry to the attention of a wider audience. Mosaic has a Fatigue Management module which can bolt onto its system. When used in conjunction with access control systems, it will enter start and finish times. Using the available data, the system will instantly alert the management team by identifying any employees who are at risk of fatigue or have already breached certain controls, such as double shifting.

Please read more about this module by clicking here

Top 8 Health & Safety risks found on construction sites

The construction industry accident fatality rate stands at twice that of other sectors. Construction sites are therefore callenging places from a health and safety perspective – almost every conceivable hazard exists within this constantly changing working environment.

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However the hazards associated with construction sites are well known and luckily most responsible employers are aware of their duty of care to employees, visitors, and those that may be affected by their activities, and will manage the site effectively, implementing appropriate accident prevention measures.

Listed below are just a few of the main hazards that are encountered on a typical construction site:

1. Working at Height

The construction of buildings invariably requires tradesmen to work at height. Fatalities and injuries involving height relating factors account for many accidents each year. The risks associated with working at a height are often increased by additional access and mobility restrictions.

2. Moving Objects

A construction site is always on the move; hazards are inherent to this industry and only increase as a construction project progress. Construction sites are busy places what with the shear volume of constantly moving vehicles and trades people – overhead lifting equipment shifting heavy loads, supply vehicles, dumper trucks everywhere, manoeuvring around a usually uneven terrain. Site layout is crucial to ensure a smooth flow or goods, materials and the workforce around it to ensure all remain safe. Correct access controls that accurately record entry and exit along with a comprehensive induction go a long way to maintaining safety on site.

4. Slips, Trips, & Falls

When you consider all the activities going on around the site at any one time it is unsurprising that slips, trips, and falls happen frequently. Construction sites are place of holes in the ground, buildings at various stages of completion, scaffolding, stored materials and equipment: you really do need to have your wits about you at all times. Proper training in the form of briefings and tool box talks can be carried out by site managers to ensure workers are made aware of these dangers in general and that can be unique to each site. These should be recorded in a useable format to ensure everyone has been briefed and the message has been tailored to different workers as well.

5. Noise

Noise is a major hazard on site. Excessive noise causes over a period can cause long term hearing problems and can be a dangerous distraction, the cause of accidents. Employers are required to carry out and document a comprehensive noise risk assessment – and issue appropriate PPE (Protective Protection Equipment).

6. Material & Manual Handling

Materials and equipment is being constantly lifted and moved around on a construction site, whether manually or by the use of lifting equipment. Different trades will involve greater demands, but all may involve some degree of risk. Where employee’s duties involve manual handling, then adequate training must be carried out. Where lifting equipment is used, then adequate training must also be carried out, but may involve some form of test, to confirm competency. Records of training must be maintained for verification and kept up to date.

7. Airborne Fibres & Materials – Respiratory Diseases

Construction sites cause a lot of dust, some of which can be toxic mix of hazardous materials and fibres that can damage the lungs. Often the dust is invisible and fine. Just issuing PPE is not enough…employers have a duty to ensure protective equipment is actually used. Failure to do so could render an employee to disciplinary action and in hot water with the health and safety executive. All this activity needs to be logged in a central location for future reference.

8. Electricity

On average, three construction industry workers are electrocuted each year during refurbishment work on commercial and domestic buildings. People working near overhead power lines and cables are also at risk. There are also a growing number of electrocutions involving workers who are not qualified electricians but who are carrying electrical work, such as plumbers and joiners and decorators. Competencies need to be checked prior to contractors coming on site and off limit areas need to be highlighted as part of the induction process.

Mosaic Software – Making Site Management Easier

Behind every construction project there is a need to successfully induct workers, monitor site access and check competencies. Mosaic does all of this and more via an online Network Passport and Smart Card system. With this system one card really does open up a world of innovative site management possibilities.

Please click here to read more about how we can help you manage your projects