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Since, 1860s there has been evolution of road construction by first introduction of railway system as a means of goods transport in Mauritius. However, in 1964s railway system was stopped due to persistent unprofitability and there was the introduction of motorized transport. There has been construction of road networks to cope with the increasing road traffic congestion like goods vehicles, buses, cars, motor etc. There are 2 066 km of roads in Mauritius in which 48.5% are main roads, 28.7% are secondary roads, 3.6% are motorways and the remaining 19.2% are made up of other types of roads. Three major road construction companies involved in the decongestion of roads in Mauritius namely Rehm-Grinaker Construction Co. Ltd, Gamma Civic Ltd and Colas (Maurice) Ltée.
1.2 COLAS IN MAURITIUS
Colas were established in Mauritius since 1986 as (A&J Maurel Construction Limitée) which is now registered as Colas (Maurice) Limitée since June 2009. It is a leader in the construction and maintenance of road, air, rail and transport infrastructure, urban development projects and recreational facilities. Colas (Maurice) Ltée has played a significant role in the development of the national road networks in Mauritius and Rodrigues.
1.3 COLAS (MAURICE) LTEE ROAD CONSTRUCTION
Colas first came with 1 Asphalt Plant for the road construction in Mauritius as the main projects were given mostly to other companies. Now Colas (Maurice) Ltée has 4 Asphalt Plant in operation in Mauritius and as a result of its long established experience and trustworthiness in road construction, Colas (Maurice) Ltée had been awarded some main contracts which are as follows:
Realignment of Laventure Road,
Construction of Gros Bois - Mare D'Albert Link Road,
Second Carriageway, Pamplemousses to Forbach,
Widening of Motorway M1 between Pailles and Caudan
Construction of Port Louis Ring Road- Phase 1 from Montebello to Guibies
With the good completion of these major projects, Colas (Maurice) Ltée is now with an ongoing construction of the Terre Rouge-Verdun-Trianon Link Road and the Runway and Parallel Taxiway at the Airport of Mauritius. The company has set up a new hot mix Asphalt Plant different from the other 3 Asphalt Plant in Plaine Magnien on a site next to a stone crushing plant belonging to United Basalt Product Ltd (UBP). The Asphalt Plant there is actually producing for the construction of the Runway of the Airport and it receives aggregates from the stone crushing plant nearby which is helping a lot to complete the project right on time.
1.4 INTRODUCTION TO HEALTH AND SAFETY
The Occupational Safety, Health & Welfare Act 1988 was repeal and replace by Occupational Safety and Health Act 2005 in October 2005 as the dynamism of the world of work necessitates a constant scrutiny of the law. The OSHA 2005 aims at "consolidating and widening the scope of legislation on safety, health and welfare of employees at work". This Act unreservedly binds the State, meaning it is applicable invariably in the public sector.
However this Act is not yet in force; it is awaiting proclamation. If it were to be enforced now, the government itself, as employer, would be in contravention due to the scarcity of Safety and Health Professionals at the moment.
OSHA 2005 is not much different from OSHWA 1988, except that it contains more elaborate provisions with regard to duty holders' responsibilities. Also some implicit provisions in the previous law have been rendered more explicit. For instance there are specific provisions with regard to risk assessment, safety and health policy, vehicle lifts, escalators, manual handling operations and health surveillance of employees. The penalties for offences have been reinforced.
Every workplace risk exist which may cause danger to the health and safety of employees. It is therefore necessary that mitigating actions are taken to protect workers and other people who may be affected from these hazardous situations. There are number of control methods that can be used to tackle occupational hazards. Controlling a hazard at its source is the first and best choice because this method will eliminate it from the place of works altogether or will isolate it from the workers. However, it is imperative to first of all identify the hazards and to take the required action to reduce the risk or eliminating them. Risk Assessment is therefore one essential component in the hierarchy of controls that can significantly reduce the number of accidents and injuries in the workplace. Regardless of whether a workplace, a workshop or a company is involved, such an analysis allows to form the hierarchical order of hazards depending their dimension and the efficient assignment of resources for priority measures.
Risk assessment implies the identification of all risk factors within the system under examination and the quantification of their dimension, based upon the combination between two parameters: severity and frequency of the maximal possible consequences for the human body.
Management participation is fundamental in preserving a health and safety condition at work. OSHA (2005) places a legal duty on employer to provide a safe work setting. According to section 5(1) of OSHA (2005) it states that "Every employer shall, so far be reasonably practicable to ensure the safety, health and welfare of all his employees". An employer has the duties under OSHA (2005) to assess risks in the workplace. Risk assessments shall be carried out by employer so as all risk is being identified and preventive measures are being taken.
1.5 RISKS IN CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY
In construction industry, it could be the likelihood of the occurrence of an event or a combination of events which occur during the whole process of the construction that are risky. In the various definitions of risk, there are many different ways of categorizing risk in a construction industry. Some categorize risk as external risk and internal risk and in more detailed categories risk as political risk, financial risk, market risk, social risk, safety risk, etc. Since construction works have changed significantly over the past several years with the use of new technologies, it also represents greater risk than older ones. Thus, risk assessment is a tool to identify those risks in a project and manage it accordingly with proper treatment.
Risk is inherent and difficult to deal with. Risk Management is a formal and orderly process of identifying, analyzing and responding to risks throughout the life-cycle of a certain construction project to risk elimination and control.
Some sources of risk in construction projects are:
Misunderstanding of Contracts
Poorly defined responsibilities
Poor coordinated work
1.6 PROBLEM DEFINITION
The types of exposure to risk that an organisation is faced with are wide-ranging and vary from one organisation to another. These exposures could be the risk of business failure, the occurrence of major construction accidents and organisation risks. It is desirable to understand and identify the risks as early as possible so that proper control can be implemented to retain particular risks or to transfer them to minimize any likely negative aspect they may have.
As Colas is involved in many activities such as construction of roads and buildings, Safety and Health is the integral part in the organization. Most of their employees carry out their work on-site and while performing their activities, different types of hazards and accidents occurred which could be prevented by risk assessment. The employees are also provided with PPE but they do not use it in a proper manner and for some among them, they are not comfortable with the PPE. Risk Assessment plays a fundamental role in identifying the types of hazards and recommending measures to minimize or eliminate the risk. The risk register shows that there is an increase in accidents on the asphalt plant industry.
Table 1 Number of accidents
Figure 1 Number of accidents
Figure 1 represents the number of accidents that normally occurred at colas sites. As it can be found that every year accident occurs and the highest number of accidents occurred in 2010. The accidents are obviously in connection to the number of construction projects given to the company and the management commitment towards safety of employees. The number of accidents until mid-year 2012 was found to be about 39 which could increase more by the end of the year. Identification of the main types of hazards and taking remedial measures is fundamental in reducing the rate of accident.
1.7 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
1.7.1 Aims of the project
The main aim of this assessment is to develop a risk assessment plan while doing surveys and risk assessment in order to reduce the level of hazards and accidents on the asphalt plant industry.
1.7.2 Objectives of the project
Evaluate the effectiveness of risk assessment in identifying the risk of an asphalt plant industry for the construction of the Parallel Taxiway at the Airport of Mauritius.
Analyze how risk assessment can reduce risk, be cost effective and increase productivity.
To evaluate the type of health hazards involved in an asphalt plant
To propose recommendation based on the research findings so as to minimize the health hazards to employees.
In order to achieve the aim of this assessment, and to help the employees to have a safe place of work, these tools would be useful:
Data collection through survey, questionnaire, interview and observations,
To propose measures for the risks identified, do a risk assessment,
Risk assessment matrix,
Data analysis through SPSS software which is a Predictive analytics program which helps an organization to anticipate change to improve outcomes through planning and implementations of strategies.
1.9 OUTLINE OF THESIS
Chapter 1 - Introduction
Road Construction in Mauritius, Colas in Mauritius, Colas Road Construction, Health and Safety in Mauritius, problem definition, aims and objectives, proposed methodology.
Chapter 2 - Company Profile
Colas Ltd (International) and Colas (Mauritius) Ltd, Structure of the company, description of the structure
Chapter 3 - Literature Review
Importance of a Health and Safety at work, OSHAS 18001, Concept of OSHAS18001, Hazards involved in an asphalt plant industry, risk identification, risk assessment and risk control.
Chapter 4 - Research Methodology
Methodology (risk assessment data, questionnaire, interview) and tools and techniques used, for example, risk matrix.
Chapter 5 - Findings and Analysis
Analysis of the risk assessment results through SPSS and interpretation of the results.
Chapter 6 - Recommendation
Discussion on the new risk assessment and proposed measures.
Chapter 7 - Conclusion
Has the proposed objectives been achieved?
2.1 COLAS LTD INTERNATIONAL
The Colas Group International is a leader in the construction and maintenance of road, air, rail and maritime transport infrastructure, urban development projects and recreational facilities. Colas internationally consist of 66,000 employees - half of them work in France - and a network of 800 profit centers and 1,400 production units operating in nearly 50 countries on five continents. The Group carries out 110,000 projects each year and in 2011, Colas posted 12.4 billion euros of consolidated revenue. The Group share of net profit amounted to 336 million euros.
This business accounts for 80% of revenue which consists of three activities:
Construction and maintenance of roads, highways, airport runways, port, industrial and logistics infrastructure, bus and tramways, urban transport and recreational facilities, bicycle paths, and more.
Manufacture and recycling of construction materials (aggregates, emulsions, binders, asphalt mixes and ready-to-use concrete) via an extensive international network of quarries and emulsion, asphalt and concrete plants; manufacture and sale of bitumen.
Colas also provides a broad range of other road-related products and services:
signage, safety and traffic management systems
civil engineering structures and pipelines
waterproofing, cladding and roofing
building construction, restoration and deconstruction
railroad infrastructure construction, upgrading and maintenance
2.2 COLAS (MAURICE) LTÉE
Colas (Maurice) Ltée is a subsidiary of the Colas Group operating since 30 years in Mauritius with its head office in Coromandel, Colas has also developed activities in Rodrigues Island. Road works is 70% of its overall activity, building and civil engineering 15% and private contracts 15%. Colas (Maurice) Ltée has set up a system of quality management with objectives for quality work, customer satisfaction, and continuous improvement of its performance. Colas is also committed to share its expertise by training graduates, operators, Mauritian engineers to new technologies not yet used on the island.
With the thrust of the government's highway projects and the overall economic development of the island, the activity of road construction has become very strong since 2008. The RDA (Road Development Authority) is at the origin of many innovative projects, and is now one of the main clients of Colas (Maurice) Ltée. In addition to the maintenance of standard sizes projects on the existing road network, Colas has turned to the "major projects" where duration of work exceeds 12 months. Spread throughout the island, they represent real technical challenges for the company.
Some of the major achievements of Colas (Maurice) Ltée during the past three years have been the construction and completion of the Pamplemousses-Forbach Carriageway, the Triolet Bypass and the Phoenix Beau Songes Link Road. Based on its expertise and the efficiency of its manpower, three of the island's major infrastructural projects have been awarded to Colas (Maurice) Ltée: The Ring Road Phase 1 Pailles to Caudan, the Terre Rouge-Verdun-Trianon Link Road (A First in Mauritius) and the Runway and Parallel Taxiway at the Airport of Mauritius. Moreover, Colas (Maurice) Ltée is also participating in the PPP (Public Private Partnership) project for a better Mauritius.
2.3 ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE
2.3.1 Administrative Department
The administrative department elaborates and implements the information, communication and financial management systems that enable the strategic planning of the company. Genuine control unit, the administrative department account for compliance with local regulation and ensures that internal procedures are in line with the Group general policy.
18.104.22.168 The Accounting Department
The detail figures of various operational and functional costs of the company reflect of the performance and profitability of the company; they explain its functioning and guide it towards optimal development.
22.214.171.124 The Human Resources Department
Responsible for managing over 1000 employees, the recruitment, payroll and compliance with social regulation, this department is a key link in the running of the company.
126.96.36.199 The IT Department
With more than 120 connection to the internet network, this department assures the flow of information and links over 150 configured terminal across the island for the colas department.
2.3.2 Divisional Manager of Building and Civil Department
Divisional Manager of Building and Civil Department helps to establish objectives that define key result areas of the Division and communicate to their staff. Moreover, this department helps to prepare and submit construction project budget estimates so as the director can evaluate the project and provide resources.
2.3.3 Divisional Manager Road, Workshop and Major Works.
Division Managers provide leadership and assistance to their team members. They provide technical direction and work-related advice. They oversee, review and direct the actions of their team members' deadlines. Moreover, they also manage the communication and facilitate inter-departmental cooperation and shared assignments and projects. They make sure that their employees meet their organizational goals and so as to provide high quality of service.
2.3.4 Health and Safety Department
Colas Mauritius reinforces its action towards the prevention of work related accidents for all of its activity. Indeed, increase labor force and the recruitment of staff that are not familiar with site activity amplify the risks of accidents. While benefitting from the exchange of good practices and experience of other branches of the group, Colas Mauritius has defined a security policy adapted to its activities and to the particularities of the local environment.
With a continuous frame of mind, the frequency and gravity of work related accidents are monitored via indicators so as to meet annual targets. Action plans are implemented base on the assessment of the risks and the finding of the root causes of the work related accidents.
The elaboration of the safety policy of colas Mauritius is based on the specific health and safety recommendations: monthly "safety talks", training module (road safety, scaffolding assembly, operating construction equipment, handling of fire extinguishers, etc.), enhancing awareness about the important of personal safety equipment and safety audits.
SITES OF COLAS (MAURICE) LTÉE
After the completion of the Ring Road Phase 1, Pailles to Caudan, the major projects that Colas is working on are the Terre Rouge-Verdun-Trianon Link Road which is a first in Mauritius and the Runway and Parallel Taxiway at the Airport of Mauritius. For these constructions, Colas is using its own Asphalt Plant where it produces the different types of asphalt needed with the mixture of bitumen and aggregates which it takes from UBP and Gamma. Colas has always been placing its Asphalt Plant on the site where the stone crushing plant is found and near the construction sites so that it is easy for the loading and unloading of materials and asphalts.
PROBLEMS INVOLVING HEALTH AND SAFETY ON SITE
Construction workers are at risk of exposure to various health hazards that can result in injury, illness, disability or even death. Different types of health hazards are grouped as:
Chemical are fond in variety of products used at construction sites. Workers may also be exposed to chemicals generated during construction activities and these hazards are: dusts, fumes, liquids, gases, vapors and fibers (solids). Physical hazards are different types of energy which may be hazardous to workers and these include: noise, vibration, temperature extremes and radiation. Biological hazards also can cause diseases or illnesses for example, bacteria and viruses. Ergonomic hazards can cause painful and disabling injuries to joints and muscles and these occur from:
Heavy, frequent or awkward lifting
Using wrong tools for a particular job or simply using the tool improperly
Ergonomic hazards are the most frequently occurring health hazards in construction and the cause of most injuries.
The site chosen for this assessment is the Runway and Parallel Taxiway at the Airport of Mauritius. Apart from road construction, Colas also provide extensive airside capabilities and expertise on all aspects of airfield pavement construction and maintenance. Employees working at the Asphalt plant industry of the Parallel Taxiway, they are exposed to many health hazards resulting from their own work as well as from nearby activities. For example, they are exposed to materials that can cause serious illness and affect health in the long-term. Workers are also exposed to noise, vibration, chemicals and more hazards on the site. These types of hazards and risks should be prevented on construction sites and this can be done by doing a proper risk assessment.