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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10 construction trends for construction in 2017

10 UK construction industry trends that will make an impact in 2017

We’ve identified 10 key construction industry trends set to shape the market this year. Advancements in technology and an increased focus on sustainability play a vital role here, pushing construction companies to consider different construction methods and technologies that are smarter and greener than ever before.

  1. Smarter buildings

As technology rapidly progresses and becomes more affordable, our buildings are becoming more intelligent. Innovations such as the Internet of Things (IoT), are being incorporated into modern building designs to automate certain functions such as energy and water consumption. This use of technology can improve sustainability, efficiency, safety, personalisation, interactivity, and comfort for those who use the facility.

  1. Prefabricated buildings

Architects are experimenting with the prefabricated building technique and enjoying some surprising results. With new technologies in the construction tool-kit, the modern-day prefabricated home can be built in 24 hours – and built well. This has even reached the attention of the British government as a possible solution to the UK’s housing crisis.

  1. BIM modelling

3D computer designs that use Building Information Modelling (BIM) are the new standard. These drawings provide a truly visual experience that gives the whole picture from every angle. As construction industry trends go, it’s becoming an increasingly popular method to view the architectural designs with the specific building systems in place.

When all potential problems have been addressed before the foundations have been poured, the jobsite will be easier to manage, field coordination will be simpler and construction can be done faster, safer, cheaper and to a higher standard.

  1. Mobile technology for on-site construction management

A construction site that runs like a well-oiled machine will save developers time and money. To help foremen manage their site operations more effectively, mobile-operated, cloud-powered software systems and apps are now available to facilitate easier administration. All field coordination as well as individual people management processes such as timesheets, performance reports and task allocation can be assigned, reviewed, tracked and stored on the go. This means managers can get on with overseeing the critical requirements of the build, rather than getting bogged down in administrative staff management.

  1. Green all the way

‘Green’ buildings use less energy and are thus cheaper to run. This, combined with growing concern for the environment, is driving the trend for more environmentally-friendly buildings. In response, new building regulations have come into effect to harness the power of renewable energy.

The British government aims to have 4 million solar-powered homes up and running by 2020. Renewable energies are gaining ground in the construction industry for good reason: between April and September this year, solar power generated more electricity than coal power.

  1. Labour shortage will continue to plague the industry

The next 12 months will see contractors attempt to stave off uncertainty as they deliver a huge pipeline while battling skills and tech challenges.

  1. Uncertainty over BREXIT

Balfour Beatty has already warned that leaving the EU could increase skills shortages in the UK infrastructure sector – and push up costs. Prolonged uncertainty over the split from the EU could have profound effects on the industry if poorly managed by the government.

  1. Offsite/modular construction will gain a stronger foothold in the market

Offsite construction, also called modular or prefab, isn’t new to the industry. However, experts predict the building method will grow in 2017 as quality, time and labour concerns make alternatives to traditional construction methods more attractive. 

  1. Consolidation

The industry’s cyclical nature, fragmented structure, low margins and project risk make sustained financial resilience challenging. According to Construction News fewer companies, better operating structures and more pricing power will reduce the need to underbid and can break the industry’s vicious cycle. Projects will get larger, and require contractors with the resources and balance sheets to shoulder and manage construction risk, and continue to participate in public-private partnerships. Risk mitigation will become a driver.

  1. Safety

The tragedy at Didcot Power Station was the low point of the year for the industry. Investigations continue and the cause will be probed, but the underlying fact is that fatalities rose in construction last year. Since the recession there has been pressure on companies to turn around losses, but this must not come at the expense of safety. We believe there must be a re-focus on this area in 2017.

Health, the oft-overlooked part of health and safety, will finally become a major industry theme in its own right next year. Various campaigns such as Mates in Mind to promote mental health, being led by the Health in Construction Leadership Group and supported by the British Safety Council, as well as CECA’s Stop. Make a Change campaign that is asking companies to use a stand-down day to discuss issues such as mental health and fatigue.

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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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.

snip_20170207123223

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

Tunnel Boring Machine at Lee Tunnel - Thames Tideway Project

Longitudinal health and safety project is a first for UK construction – Thames Tideway project will be used for the fieldwork

Researchers at Loughborough University are embarking on a unique project that will track and inform health and safety leadership, policies, and practices at Tideway.

The project, commissioned by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), is the first of its kind to study the impact and process of occupational health and safety (OSH) in real time on such a large, multi-site construction programme.

Tideway is the company building the Thames Tideway Tunnel, a major new sewer urgently needed to protect the tidal River Thames from sewage pollution. The 7.2m diameter tunnel, which is due for completion in 2023, is 25km long and runs up to 65m below the River Thames.

Loughborough researchers will be embedded into each of the joint venture teams and will monitor key health and safety processes, personnel, documents, events and activities to provide robust evidence of what does and doesn’t work.

Because of their unique positions within the teams, the researchers will be able to witness how OSH policies and practices intersect with other organisational agendas, and review their effectiveness in real-time. Ultimately, it is intended that findings and best practice will be shared across the wider construction industry and will influence future OSH management and practice.

Project lead Alistair Gibb, Professor of Complex Project Management in Loughborough University’s School of Civil and Building Engineering, said: “This is one of the first studies employing longitudinal research methods on a major infrastructure project of this type, providing an exciting opportunity for researchers to be involved at the very early stages of a major project and follow it through to completion.

“Almost all previous health and safety research comes from a snapshot approach. This project gives us a unique opportunity to monitor OSH within a living lab, and to provide real-time feedback that will enable managers to make changes and improvements – and evaluate their effectiveness – during construction. It promises to provide a completely fresh perspective on the ways in which OSH policies are enacted and implemented. ”

Steve Hails, Director of Health, Safety and Wellbeing at Tideway, said: “Taking part in this hugely important research with Loughborough University is one way we are working towards achieving transformational health, safety and wellbeing standards at Tideway.”

IOSH Head of Information and Intelligence Kate Field said: “IOSH is pleased to be funding this innovative research programme, with the opportunities it presents to examine transformational OSH practices over an extended period. It has the potential to provide new insights into key OSH issues that will be of real value to our members and business.”

We, at Mosaic, are understandably very excited about this piece of research, as our system will be deployed across the 3 joint venture consortium’s building the project. Mosaic will be providing a variety of services across the project over its lifetime:

• Electronic Onboarding / Induction
• Competency Management System
• Safety critical real time skill gap analysis
• Recording of Safety messages / toolbox talks using Smart Cards and Mobile devices
• Access integration for safe movement though zones based on skills
• Perception Assessments – Measures Knowledge vs Confidence to highlight high Risk workers (Situational Based Assessments)
• Fatigue Risk Management Systems
• ‘Network Passport’ embracing all Joint Venture (JV) stakeholders

We wish them well with their research endeavours and look forward to hearing the interim findings. John Micciche, Managing Director of Mosaic said “I am particularly thrilled about this piece of research, as it represents an opportunity to gather robust & statistically significant data on a sizeable project where our system is used as a platform to deliver health & safety excellence.”

To find out more about our involvement in this project click here

Competency management system in use at Hinkley Point C

Mosaic helps Costain deliver on marine tunnelling project at Hinkley Point C

Costain, one of the UK’s leading engineering solutions providers, is delighted be a major contract partner in the construction of the new Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset. Costain has started work and will provide the design and delivery of the water cooling systems for the nuclear power station.

Costain will design and construct three marine tunnels, around 11km in total length and each one approximately seven metres in diameter, to take in cooling water from the Severn Estuary for the nuclear reactor before it is cleansed, recycled and returned. They will also be building a jetty at the site.

Mosaic Management Systems will provide an on-line competency management system to support site management on this project. A 500+ strong workforce will be deployed on this phase of the project. Mosaic has been working with Costain now for a number of years, which means data can be migrated across from previous projects that Mosaic has been deployed on. The unique ability of the Mosaic system is that it has a ‘Network Passport’ allowing relevant work details to be transferred across, thus saving considerable time during set up of a new project.

John Micciche MD of Mosaic said “We have worked with Costain on numerous projects now and we are extremely pleased that they have chosen us once again, particularly on such a ground-breaking project.”

To find out more about us click here

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Advancing safety with mobile technology

Advancing safety with mobile technology

Mobile technology plays a vital role in the management of assets and employees in most businesses today, whether it’s a colleague sending updates to a manager about their whereabouts, or the ability to access company servers and information remotely. For businesses with a workforce based on multiple sites, such as construction firms, quantity surveyors, engineers and project managers, there is even more to gain – mobile solutions can not only help drive efficiencies and achieve long-term productivity gains, but can also provide additional protection for workers.  The latest rugged devices can withstand the elements that field workers are subject to, and offer additional call functionality in the event of emergencies.

A mobile duty of care

According to data from the UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE), each year in the construction sector, around three percent of workers sustain a work-related injury, with an estimated 66,000 self-reported injuries. Worryingly in 2015/16, there were 43 fatal injuries to construction industry workers, a rate of 1.94 per 100,000. The health and safety of lone workers is a major concern for construction firms. Could the implementation of new mobile technology help prevent further fatal injuries? Perhaps not, but it will help to give managers the peace of mind that they have taken steps to avoid or control risks where necessary.

advancing mobile usage in the construction sector

While prevention is the ultimate goal, there must also be tools in place to provide rapid help when accidents occur. This means providing a means of consistent, reliable communication with management, team members and emergency services.  This equipment should include specialised mobile devices featuring a pre-installed Lone Worker Protection App, which can be easily accessed at the touch of a button. This offers an audible and text alarm, sending a worker’s GPS location and alert message to their manager or colleague. For lone workers in more hazardous working conditions, an app like this will allow an accelerometer to be set, triggering an alarm if the user suffers a fall. With these features, businesses can be sure their workers will receive emergency care quickly when needed.

Constant connectivity

Ensuring worker safety means choosing a mobile solution which offers both the connectivity of a high-end smartphone, and the additional functionality of a specialised device. For example, dual SIM card functionality allows for multiple network connections, reducing the potential for workers experiencing mobile black spots. These communication precautions can also prove invaluable when it comes to boosting business efficiency. For example, a ‘push to talk’ button will allow a manager to instantly communicate one-to-one or one-to-many, providing cohesion among workers based in separate locations.

Tough on the outside

Anyone with a smartphone will know how fragile these devices can be – dropping a device from even hand-height can easily result in a cracked screen. Frustrating for the everyday phone owner; a potential health and safety hazaAdvancing safety with mobile technologyrd if you’re a lone worker on a remote site. One of the biggest challenges is the lack of mobile devices on the market which are both powerful and rugged enough to withstand harsh environments. Only a fraction of mobile devices offer an IP68 rating (meaning the handset is protected against complete dust ingress and can withstand continuous immersion in water beyond 1m), or robust build quality that conform to MIL-STD 810G. However, most of these devices do not offer the additional functionality of a specialised handset – one which is rugged, powerful and supports functions like Lone Worker Protection and dual SIM – which would allow managers and business owners to comply with regulations, and could help reduce those HSE figures in the years to come.

Smart competition

Construction remains a high-risk industry, and accidents are not uncommon. According to HSE’s figures, the combination of work-related illness and workplace injuries in the sector leads to 2.2 million working days lost annually. This will significantly impact a company’s bottom line, and indicates that not enough is being done to ensure worker safety.

Improvements in mobile technology mean that devices are now available which incorporate the functionality of a high-end smartphone with specialised features and a ruggedised exterior. Mobile technology of course plays a central role in improving business efficiency in other areas too, with smartphones providing features like real-time information and asset sharing, as well as other workforce management tools. In order to maximise the benefits offered by mobile, while simultaneously verifying the safety of a workforce, the construction industry needs to adopt specialised rugged mobile devices which are tough on the outside, and smart on the inside.

Ultimately, the safety of a workforce should be a top priority for any manager today, regardless of the industry. In high risk sectors, this is more important still. A manager is liable for their workforce’s safety, and the financial and moral implications of not complying regulations are simply too high.

Source: Stephen Westley, Dewalt – Advancing safety with mobile technology – SHP Online

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

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.

construction-worker-956496_960_720

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.

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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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