Construction Safety and Health Management

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9780130871732: Construction Safety and Health Management

For junior/senior and graduate-level courses in Construction Safety and Construction Management.This text presents clear, concise coverage of construction safety. It provides practical, easy-to-implement techniques that will help reduce or eliminate construction hazards and improve job site safety. This is a compilation of specially commissioned articles by world-renowned authorities in the field.

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From the Inside Flap:

PREFACE

The construction industry continues to be the industrial sector responsible for the most occupational accidents, injuries, and fatalities. Many reasons have been postulated for the poor safety record of construction. These reasons have included:

the uniqueness of the products of construction with respect to form, size, and purpose; the fragmented nature of the industry; the nature of the construction safety legislative and regulatory framework; the lack of continuity in the composition of project teams; separation of design from the construction process; divergent objectives of the major contracting parties; lack of integration into the project schedule; compressed work schedules; inadequate and inappropriate safety education and training programs; lack of commitment by management to safety in the workplace; subjection to economic cycles; changing governmental priorities and policies; constantly changing physical work environments; impact of natural phenomena such as weather and climatic conditions; and unfavorably high supervisor-worker ratios.

Despite all of these seemingly negative influences, construction safety is still achievable. Virtually all the hazards prevalent in construction can be identified, reduced, or, at a minimum, totally eliminated. The improvement of safety and health in construction is, therefore, still a necessary goal for all the participants in the construction process—from project inception through to the final demise of the facility through demolition at the end of its usefulness.

This text is a contribution toward the effort to improve safety performance in construction. It has been produced from a selection of the papers presented at the University of Florida in the United States during the Rinker Eminent Scholars Lecture series on Construction Safety and Health from August through December 1998. Each of the scholars has earned an international reputation for their work in specific areas of construction safety. The chapters in this book are produced specifically for all participants in the construction process, university and college students, and others who have more than a passing interest in producing an industry that is safe for all. The many techniques and approaches presented in the book are practical and can be implemented with ease by any construction participant.

Boyd Paulson, in his chapter on safety programs for volunteer-based construction projects, suggests that volunteer organizations and their workers seem ignorant about safety hazards and safe procedures, which are well understood in conventional sectors of the industry. There are more similarities than differences between volunteer and conventional construction. Best practices will produce improved safety results in either environment.

Costs are incurred whenever an accident occurs on a project. Jimmie Hinze, in the chapter covering investing in safety versus incurring the costs of injuries, suggests that a distinction must be made between the cost of safety and the cost of injuries. He discusses the level of certainty of the occurrence of cost. However, quantifying the costs of injuries and the investment being made in safety is not a simple or easy task. The influence of the investment in safety or injury occurrence is discussed.

In their chapter on scheduling for construction safety, Richard Coble, Brent Elliott, and Michael Adair postulate that integrating safety into every aspect of the construction process is something that must first start with the project schedule. They describe the use of safety software to identify safety needs, integrate safety databases into the schedule, and provide field access to this information.

Steve Rowlinson deals with human factors in construction safety in his chapter. He discusses the roles of the men and women who manage the construction company, those who manage the construction project, and those at the sharp end of the industry, who are exposed to the risk. Issues of training, the nature of workers and their preparedness for work, and the role of management are covered.

Amarjit Singh presents the results of research studies into falls and fall protection in his chapter on innovative fall protection for construction workers on low-rise roofs. Falls are a major cause of accidents and injuries in construction. The variables of feasibility, simplicity, economy, flexibility, passivity, and protection need to be optimized when determining the most suitable fall protection system to be implemented. He suggests that prefabrication systems are highly feasible, protective, and simple.

In their chapter on safety and health teambuilding, John Smallwood and Theo Haupt argue that team building and the development of a teamwork ethic can contribute to the achievement of improved safety performance on construction projects. The roles and contributions of stakeholders as well as several strategies, systems, and processes are presented to demonstrate the effectiveness of teambuilding, team-based structures, and team-work in achieving adequate safety and health performance.

Kent Davis suggests that there are many striking similarities between construction quality and safety, which include the scope, causes, and effects of associated problems. In his chapter on the implications of the relationship between construction quality and safety, he describes several contrasts, including the typical failure scenario and the presence of a "third party" in safety. Taken together, quality and safety losses represent a major unnecessary source of expenditure in construction. The application of existing safety research knowledge might be used to improve quality.

The design profession has not been an active participant in the safety effort. This is the view of John Gambatese, expressed in his chapter on designing for safety. He argues that the lack of designer involvement in worker safety has been attributed to their educational focus, limited experience in addressing construction site safety, restricted role on the project team, and a deliberate attempt to minimize liability exposure. He suggests that the design community should consider adopting the philosophy that their scope of work includes designing for construction safety. Implementation of this knowledge represents a proactive effort to reduce worker injuries and fatalities and will ultimately create a safer construction workplace.

Ronald Sikes, Tan Qu, and Richard Coble describe the approach of an owner to safety in their chapter, "An Owner Looks at Safety." In particular, the responsibilities, rights, and expectations of owners are examined. The benefits in terms of avoidance of human suffering and in the realization that safety is good business will far outweigh the perception of increased risk through undertaking to act responsibly.

In her chapter on the health consequences of working in construction, Marie Haring Sweeney suggests that construction workers die at a greater rate than the general public from chronic diseases, such as chronic lung diseases (asbestosis, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema). Construction workers are also at high risk for musculoskeletal disorders, particularly of the back and shoulder, noise-induced hearing loss, dermatitis and other skin disorders, and eye injuries. All these problems are preventable when the right information and preventative strategies are available and utilized.

It is hoped that this book will help in the all-out war against accidents, injuries, and fatalities in the construction industry and produce a safer industry. The words of Barbara De Woody of Universal Studios, Florida, that "safety is everyone's business" ring truer today than ever before. They need to ring louder still!

The editors acknowledge the contributions of every scholar in the fight to improve safety and health in construction. Without the efforts of Boyd Paulson, Jimmie Hinze, Richard Coble, Brent Elliott, Michael Adair, Steve Rowlinson, Amarjit Singh, John Smallwood, Theo Haupt, Kent Davis, John Gambatese, Ronald Sikes, Tan Qu, and Marie Haring Sweeney, this book would not have been produced. Thank you, too, to the thousands of warriors who wage war daily to keep construction safe.

—Richard J. Coble, Jimmie Hinze, and Theo C. Haupt, editors

From the Back Cover:

  • "Safety Program for Volunteer-Based Construction Projects," Boyd C. Paulson Jr.
  • "Incurring the Costs of Injuries versus Investing in Safety," Jimmie Hinze
  • "Scheduling for Construction Safety." Richard J. Coble, Brent R. Elliott, and Michael Adair "Human Factors in Construction Safety—Management Issues," Steve Rowlinson
  • "Innovative Fall Protection for Construction Workers on Low-Rise Roofs," Amarjit Singh
  • "Safety and Health Teambuilding," John Smallwood and Theo C. Haupt
  • "Implications of the Relationship Between Construction Quality and Safety," Kent Davis
  • "Designing for Safety," John A. Gmbatese
  • "An Owner Looks at Safety," Ronald W. Sykes, Tan Qu, and Richard J. Coble
  • "Health Consequences of Working in Construction," Marie Haring Sweeney, David Fosbroke, Linda M. Goldenhar, Larry L, Jackson, Kenneth Linch, Boris D. Lushniak, Carol Merry, Scott Schneider, and Mark Stephenson

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Richard J. Coble, Jimmie W. Hinze, Theo C. Haupt
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