|Industrial Safety and Hazard Management in Construciton Industry|
Code No: TMS141 Price: Rs1800/- Category: Industrial Safety
The construction industry in India today is very large and complex, but the rapid growth has led to a shortfall in terms of safety and health aspects of the construction workers. This has happened largely due to lack of formal organizations combined with a gap in terms of suitable legislations and standards and their implementation.
Accidents occurring at a construction site are usually due to a lack of communication among the various departments involved, and lack of proper inspections. The accidents may be due to the following factors:
- Collapse of building parts and masses of earth.
- Falling of objects and pieces of work on workers.
- Falls of persons from heights, ladders and stairs.
- Loading, unloading and transportation of loads.
- Working on machines.
- Blasting with explosives.
The major occupational diseases in constriction requiring particular attention are:
- Lead poisoning
- Diseases of joints and bones
- Poisoning by carbon monoxide and benzene
- Skin diseases
Though the nature of health and safety hazards are the same in developed and developing countries, the former have made a concerted effort towards identifying the adverse occupational safety and health consequences. This involves:
- carrying out research and investigations,
- arranging training and educational programmes,
- designing appropriate safety equipment,
- formulating effective legislation,
- providing for proper medical facilities,
Scope, objective and methodology
The scope of the techno-market survey on Occupational Health and Safety on Construction being done by Technology Management Centre for Technology, Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council, Department of Science and technology, Government of India, is to review the state of art of safety and health prevention measures in the construction industry in India with particular emphasis on the role of construction companies, government, labour unions, educational institutions and NGOs viz-a-viz the status occupational safety and health in developed countries.
The objective was to bring forth a set of recommendations base don the observations of the survey and to evolve an action plan for a more effective strategy towards occupational health and safety in construction.
The methodology adopted foe carrying out the techno-market survey consisted of the following:
Desk Study – consisted of studying in detail, the available literature on safety and hazard management in construction.
Primary survey analysis - involved site visits and organizing of seminar together with personal meetings with head of various companies, government agencies, manufacturing units and organization involved with health and safety.
The entire data was then compiled and edited.
Occupational safety hazards
A construction project involves a number of small contractors that may be lacking in terms of technical supervisors and trained workers and may resort to unsafe work practices such as :
- Improper building design.
- Lack of guardrails
- Problems with exits.
In addition to the above, occupational safety hazards in construction may occur due to any of the following factors:
- improper illumination,
- improper material handling and storage,
- improper walking and working surfaces,
- improperly protected pen floors and high platforms,
- obstructive and unclean floors and aisles,
- improperly shored trenches and excavations,
- badly maintained tools,
- improper scaffoldings,
- Wrongly designed ladders and stairs
- Unsuitable and badly maintained lifting appliances
- Unsafe demolition methods
- Insufficient protection against fire and electric hazards.
Occupational health hazards
Noise – this causes hearing loss and also effects the heart.
Vibration – causes Raynaud’s syndrome, a potentially damaging disease affecting the fingers. It also causes physiological orders.
Dust – this mainly affects the respiratory system.
Major construction disasters
There are more than 9 million construction workers in India. Though the number of deaths due to construction related activity is not known, some major disasters causes a number of deaths & makes the policy makers review their entire safety programme.
Prevention of health and safety hazards
The management and supervisory staff, at construction sites, ca minimize unsafe conditions by constantly monitoring the progress of the work and the workforce. Training and proper education also helps in achieving safety. In addition to these, the general provisions required to attain a safe work-site are:
- Emergency alarms
Health hazards may be minimized by the following methods:
- Equipment modification
Together with adherence to a good practice and predictive hazard evaluation.
A good work environment is necessary for improving the safety and health of the workers and also helps to increase productivity. It consists of the following:
- work area and work conditions
- Identification of hazard
Safety in Construction: Good practices
To identify good safety practices in construction, the survey team visited the following work sites:
- Thapar-Dupont construction project Gummidipoondi, Tamil Nadu
In India, all building workers who have completed eighteen years of age, but have not complete the age of sixty, and are engage in a construction activity for not less than ninety days during the preceding twelve months shall be eligible for benefits under the Building and other Construction Workers Second Ordinance, 1996.
In America workmen’s compensation laws are state statutes under which a employer is bound to pay a predetermined amount of compensation for any injury suffered by an employee.
In Australia an employer is liable to his employee for injuries caused to him through his negligent order or other negligent act on his part. If the injury suffered by the employee is partly the result of the employee’s own negligence, then the damages are recoverable by the employers.
The provision of safeguards to eliminate or reduce the accidents are based on two important aspects:
a) Cost of accident prevention
Calculation of cost of accident prevention includes:
a) Direct costs
For implementation of the various safety measures, the various safety measures, the management and trade unions must contribute individually to create a safe work environment.
The role of management should be:
- To give some priority to safety measures as to production and quality.
Role of Trade unions:
- Assist government commissions and other public committees dealing with worker’s safety
- A wide variety of research developments in construction equipment and project management has occurred in the recent past.
- Researchers should actively involve the industry in defining and garnering support for long-term construction research agenda.
- TIFAC, Government of India, should encourage NGO’s, such as Technology Management Centre, to disseminate information on occupational safety and health through a joint forum of trade unions and managers.
Desired impact of the action plan
- Construction workers comprise the unorganized and underprivileged section of community. They have been deprived of social justice to which the government is wedded. It is, therefore, imperative that the government gives attention to the construction industry, more particularly to the life and limb of workers employed