Tag: construction risk assessment

Generic risk assessment template for construction

Source: Generic risk assessment template for construction

Employers are responsible for workplace health and safety. All construction companies must have a workplace health and safety policy that outlines its commitment to workplace safety.

Construction businesses need to complete a risk assessment template to identify and manage workplace risks. There are inherent risks with all construction projects that threaten those who work in construction. These risks can also damage your reputation and profit margins. Having a construction risk assessment template helps keep construction risks under control. Here are some things you need to consider when compiling a risk assessment template.

Workplace health and safety policy

Organizations must show a commitment to working within the Health and Welfare rules to ensure: workers complete all workplace activities in accordance with policies and procedures, the relevant people update the Safety Statement regularly and communicate the results, the organization implements and maintains all protective and preventive measures identified , the organization prevents behaviour likely to endanger others, employees have safe plant and equipment and work systems in the workplace, emergency plans are in place, well communicated and updated as required. Where it is not possible to eliminate hazards, minimize them using safety procedures and personal protective equipment, ensuring there is always safe entry and exits to the workplace. Also to ensure employees store hazardous goods and chemicals correctly to prevent injury to those in the workplace.

 What is a risk assessment template?

  • A construction risk assessment template is where an organisation records its evaluation of workplace risks. It systematically evaluates all workplace risks by looking at:

  • what can cause harm to workers?

  • can you eliminate the risk?

  • if not – what can you do to minimize and control the risks?

Keep in mind that:

  • Hazards can be anything – materials, equipment, behavior in the workplace and work practices.

  • The risk is how likely is the hazard to harm someone.

Assessing risks

How to assess workplace risks can be broken into five basic steps:

  1. Identify hazards and who is at risk. Look for things that can cause harm in the workplace and who it has the potential to affect.

  2. Evaluate and prioritize risks. Estimate the severity and probability of each risk and prioritize them in order of importance.

  3. Decide on preventive action. Identify appropriate actions and procedures to eliminate or minimize each risk.

  4. Taking action. Take action by putting in place preventive and protective measures in a plan that prioritizes the risks. It is unlikely you can resolve everything immediately. Specify what actions are taken by who and by when.

  5. Monitor and review. Monitor and review the risk assessment template on a regular basis. In construction, risks can change a lot and often. You may need risk assessments as a record of your commitment to workplace health and safety if there are problems in the future.

Roles and responsibilities

The key role of a risk assessment is set out in the relevant legislation. Employers have a general duty of care towards the safety of all their workers. They must put policies and procedures in place to protect the health and safety of staff members. These obligations include:

  • preventing occupational risks

  • providing adequate ongoing training and information to all workers

  • ensuring adequate measures are put in place to mitigate workplace risks.

Health and safety in the workplace is everyone’s responsibility including employers, workers and contractors.

Employer’s responsibilities

Employer’s responsibilities include:

  • preventing behaviour that puts other workers at risk

  • managing work activities so there are no adverse health or safety effects on workers

  • providing a safe workplace

  • being proactive in preventing risks to employees

  • providing training, information, tools and supervision at the appropriate level for the skills of workers

  • providing appropriate personal protective clothing and training on when and how to use it

  • providing and maintaining welfare facilities such as a medical room equipped with a trained person.

Employee’s responsibilities

An employee’s responsibilities include:

  • complying with workplace policies and procedures and reporting unsafe practices, procedures and equipment

  • taking responsibility for their own safety and for the safety of others

  • cooperating with workplace policies and procedures

  • reporting any hazards, injuries, near misses, accidents or incidents in the appropriate manner

  • using the personal protective equipment provided in the appropriate manner and situations

  • attend the training required

  • behaving in a professional manner and in a way that will not put yourself or others at risk in the workplace

  • not coming to work under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

 
Contractor’s responsibilities

Construction sites have contractors working on site. Their responsibilities include:

  • providing all employees with site-specific health and safety instructions and induction

  • identifying hazards, eliminating them and reducing the risks on a constructions site

  • monitoring employee compliance and take relevant action where required

  • working in a safe manner to protect themselves and others from harm.

Risk assessment templates are complex and these are just a few things to take into account. There is no room for complacency on a construction site. Get good quality software to help keep track of your risk management plan.

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Improving construction safety

Source: Improving construction safety

Safety on construction sites is a constant challenge. Improving construction safety is of paramount importance for all construction companies. There is no denying, construction sites are hazardous places. Workers face daily challenges including preventing falls, and chemical and trip hazards. Construction health and safety is on everyone’s mind. What do you do to reduce the chance of accidents on work sites?

 

Set up safety steering committees

Often organisations use the top down approach to construction safety. Dictating compliance rather than involving workers so they have input into the process. Increase worker participation in safety activities that mean something to them. Give workers ownership of safety in the workplace.

Set up a safety steering committee made up of respected employees. Let them meet at regular intervals to review the safety audit, discuss issues and make recommendations. No management or supervisory personnel should attend. It is a place for open communication. For workers to express their concerns, leave management out. The purpose is to allow all workers to discuss construction safety and offer solutions from personal experience. This is the opposite of managing by directive.

Involving workers in construction safety, gives workers a sense of inclusiveness. After all, an organisation’s workers know how to better manage the risks in their workplace. Giving workers ownership of construction health and safety increases productivity. Highlight safety as a personal value the organisation stands behind.

Cutting safety budgets can be a disaster

Often the first thing to suffer budget cuts can be safety training programs. This can be a false saving over the long-term. New and inexperienced employees are more prone to accidents without the safety training they need. They also become a risk to themselves and to the rest of the work site. Accidents cost and if you lose a worker through an accident at work, then you will pay a high price. Invest in safety training to empower workers instead.

Keep safety training updated

Keeping safety training updated empowers workers. It keeps construction safety fresh in their minds. It also promotes better communication between workers and management. Safety hazards on construction sites can go unreported because of ineffective communication. More awareness results in less accidents. Less accidents means there is more time to focus on getting the job done. Good safety protocols boost productivity.

Updated training means old, outdated safety methods get replaced quickly. Implementing safety into every day operations reduces your risks and liabilities.

 

Innovative thinking

The accident rate would be higher on work sites without the innovative thinking of construction companies. They are devoting extra resources to keeping workers safe. Developing new practices and adopting technology can improve construction safety up to 100%. Keeping up with changing legislation can challenge improving safety protocols. Encourage an open exchange of ideas to find new ways to build on construction safety.

Software and technology

Technology improves managing construction projects. Software can link into your current processes and procedures, and existing safety programs. This allows everyone including workers to interact online using software tools.

Trying to track everything the old-fashioned way no longer works with pen and paper. It is time-consuming. Use software to track changes to construction safety priorities on an organisational level. Software platforms are a guaranteed approach to optimizing construction safety. You can configure software packages to meet individual organisational needs.

Advocate continuous improvement

Knowledge is a powerful tool. When workers know how to work with an organisation’s support, it creates stability. Stability leads to better ways to do the same work faster and safer. This gives the work site a culture of continuous improvement, which results in greater efficiency and productivity.

Document your safety procedures and plan using software to revitalize your business processes.

Proper equipment

Working on a construction site is dangerous enough without cutting corners with the use of incorrect equipment. All equipment should be suited to the job, and all machinery and equipment well-maintained. Most construction workers are subcontractors, what they do affects your reputation. And subcontractors, hire subcontractors to help them with the work. Make sure that you hire those with a good reputation and the right equipment to do the job. Check licences are in place for difficult jobs (for example, heavy crane work). Look at their own safety records from their work on past jobs. Check they are prepared to live up to your construction safety standards. And, make your stand on construction safety clear as part of the contract.

Conclusion

Regardless of whatever else you do, without the right management tools your organisation can be at further risk, you can even use some FREE RISK ASSESSMENT TEMPLATES. Technology has the ability to bring change and progress today. It has never been easier to integrate safety management software into you companies project safety alongside your processes and procedures. It is vital you keep up-to-date and accurate construction health and safety records.

Whatever your goals for improving construction safety, your organisation can have it all cost-effectively. Combine education, inclusiveness, innovation and commitment along with smart software to improve safety on your construction site.

 

Construction Risk Assessment

Source: Construction Risk Assessment

Construction projects can be dangerous places so understanding risk assessments and safety management is vital.  Everyone from the project manager to the site foreman need to be aware of any and all risks at every stage in the construction process. So, controlling risks takes good risk management to prevent or minimize the realization of any risks.

A construction risk assessment should be first addressed at the design stage to address any potential risks before the project ever begins. Next up, the project managers should complete a project risk assessment before any worker sets foot on the site and also have a method to monitor any risks at each stage of construction, a tool that can consider all the risks and possible risks. The tool or system should also be able to help the project manager mitigate any perceived risks and the financial cost associated with each risk. Also, it is important to be able to consider the cost to the whole project if they were to occur.

This brings us to the question; how do you stay on top of managing project risk assessments? The answer is you need good processes, procedures and construction management software. Here are some steps to help keep construction risks under control.

Know the source of potential risks

To manage construction risks, complete a construction risk assessment. Be thorough and consider the following areas:

  • Contractual risks. Missing milestone deadlines can cost time, money and a business its reputation.

  • Occupational risks. The nature of a construction site means there are many risks that can cause injury and possible death. Worker behaviour, technology, working methods, weather or a third party can cause accidents.

  • Project risks. The lack of good project management, workplace procedures, or workplace policies and procedures that are ignored and poor time management are just few project risks.

  • Natural risks. Natural risks (storms, earthquakes) are beyond your control but can shut a construction site down.

  • Financial risks. Financial risks include rising interest rates, a surge in material prices and a lack of sales.

  • Stakeholder risks. Use project management software to bridge communication problems, miscommunication over changes and deliverables.

  • Competition. Competitors can make life tough. They can drop prices to undercut prices and build times. This can put you under pressure to meet the same terms and put the project’s profit at risk.

Assess risks for their order of importance

Assess the risks into order of importance from most likely to occur to the least likely. Also, rate each risk for the level of damage it can do if it does occur and the potential cost to your business.

Dealing with identified risks

Construction sites are busy, dangerous places. Although the risks are varied, there are four basic management techniques to manage risks:

  • Avoid. You may choose to only take on a project in the summer of an area that has winter snow to avoid the risk of time delays.

  • Transfer. Ensure there are good contracts in place with suppliers and subcontractors so they take responsibility for missing deadline agreements with the company. Make sure the project has the appropriate insurances to cover any accidents.

  • Mitigate. Some risks you cannot completely remove. You can reduce the dangers of safety hazards, for example, but you cannot completely remove them.

  • Accept. Seasonal weather can be difficult to avoid. But, with planning and long-range forecasts you can work to reduce the impact on the project.

 

Use the right software

Once you decide how to deal with the risks arising from a project risk assessment, use technology to help optimize risk management methods. Good construction project management software helps manage all facets of a construction project. From costs to risk management, good software can make all facets of construction management more manageable and save time by:

  • simplifying the project risk assessment process

  • helping businesses comply with legislation

  • assessing and recording all tasks and risks on a risk assessment matrix

  • opening up transparent communication between managers, workers and stakeholders

  • adding everyone involved in the project along with their contact details into a central database

  • producing project-specific risk assessment and method statements

  • customizing the software to meet the needs of individual projects

  • providing a safe repository for project related documents that is available 24/7.

Get everyone involved in risk management

Construction risk assessment and management is everyone’s problem. Good project managers get everyone on the construction site involved in risk assessments and managing the risks.

Consult workers when completing project risk assessments. They are the ones at risk on construction sites. It is good to get their perspective and input on construction risks in their area. This gives workers ownership of the risks and more likely to comply with workplace procedures. Always communicate any changes and updates to keep everyone working with the same understanding.

Tips for construction management safety

Source: Tips for construction management safety | Construction and AEC Project management software Raptorpm

Construction safety is serious business with legal and employee welfare implications. During the course of construction management, companies must ensure they take care of their workers. Organizations’ can face criminal charges if they do not comply with occupational health and safety legislation.

Accidents rates can increase on construction sites if safety is not on everyone’s mind. Also, laws are tightening to protect workers in the construction industry. Workers have the right to work in a safe environment, free from the fear of having an injury or worse. While it is a worker’s responsibility to take care of their own safety while on a work site, the employer handles construction management safety. Employers must conduct risk assessments, put risk management policies and procedures in place to guide their workers. Part of that is keeping up-to-date health and safety records, as well as organisational safety processes and procedures.

 

Construction Risk Management software can help organisations manage risk strategies in compliance with legislation. And, for the safety of all workers and anyone else on a construction site.

Even if you are following workplace occupational health and safety guidelines, there are things you should instil into construction workers. Learn how to practice the management of construction projects with appropriate safety requirements. Some is simple commonsense.

Chemical threats

Correct storage of chemicals is important. Some can react with each when stored close together. Workers must know how to deal with chemicals in accordance with manufacturer instructions and workplace procedures. Disastrous consequences can be the result if a chemical spill occurs. All workers handling dangerous chemicals must have the correct training to remain safe.

Walking the scaffolding tightrope

Walking the scaffolding tightrope while building hundreds of feet up in the sky is not for the faint hearted. It is a dangerous job. Common sense habits working at heights include:

  • erecting scaffold on solid ground stable enough to hold heavy weights

  • do not support scaffold on an uneven surface r try to level the ground out using things like planks or bricks

  • work at least 10 feet away from powerlines

  • do not use weak or damaged scaffold parts

  • do not put too much weight on the scaffold (overloading can cause accidents)

  • ensure there are sturdy guard and toe rails for worker protection

  • ensure the rig is checked by a qualified supervisor at the start of each shift and whenever it moves location

  • immediately replace damaged parts

  • do not use scaffold in storms or when there are high winds

  • keep an eye on your workmates and what is going on below.

Use the right tools for the job

Accidents and injuries can occur when workers try to use the wrong tools for the job. Consider the following when managing construction safety:

  • use ear protection in noisy environments

  • use eye protection when welding

  • do not carry tools by the cord

  • understand and follow workplace safety policies and procedures

  • make a conscious effort to be aware of your surroundings at all times

  • do not use damaged tools

  • use signs to keep non-essential workers out of highly-dangerous operating areas.

 

Operating heavy machinery safely

Heavy machinery is dangerous if not operated correctly. All people must be trained appropriately. Workers should keep the following in mind:

  • be careful when boarding or getting down from heavy machinery

  • wear appropriate gloves and footwear for the job

  • use a spotter to alert you to hazards in your blind spots

  • make there is enough room to move the machine safely

  • alert people close to the equipment of your intention to move

  • leave enough room to turn the equipment safely (heavy machinery needs more turning space than a light vehicle)

  • be extra careful when manoeuvring up and down inclines

  • do not allow unauthorised people use machinery

  • do not leave the keys in machinery when left unattended.

There is no room for complacency on a construction site. Using good construction management safety strategies for risk management will help keep everyone safe.