Improving Construction Industry Performance Quality Construction Essay

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Health, safety and welfare consequences are inherent to the project procedure and how central civil government as a client of the construction industry can accomplish excellence in health and safety. Health and safety consequences are not confined to the construction phase of a project, but occur throughout a project or facility's life. Many of the common health and safety problems encountered during construction and operation could be avoided if due consideration and effort were invested during the project brief and design phases.

It is generally accepted that the construction industry needs to radically improve its performance on people issues. Improving the industry's health and safety performance is not a high-minded aspiration; it is a business necessity [HSE CDM initiative].

The Government is committed and invested to attaining excellence in construction. This requires departments to do more than the minimum required by statutory health and safety law.

Client leadership is recognized as a crucial drive for improving health and safety performance throughout the supply chain. As major construction clients, central government departments must commit to, demonstrate and achieve excellence in their procurement practices.

1.1 Principles

Three main drives for improving the construction industry's performance, including the health and safety aspects:

The need for client leadership and commitment to continuous improvement

The need for integrated project teams (IPTs) and supply chains.

The need to address people issues.

Too few clients view the design and construct of their project as part of their business, nor do they realize that the health and safety of people who construct and maintain, as well as those who subsequently work in, their buildings are their responsibility. The health and safety of all these people depend on the quality of the design and construct. Indeed, many of the difficulty faced by designers and contractors are the result of unreasonable pressure put on the price and time by the client[OGC: 2003].

1.2 Health and Safety Objectives

The appointment of senior team members to champion health and safety.

Health and safety issues are integrated into the project's management strategy

Planning supervisor appointed and client is fulfilling all CDM duties

Feasibility studies address and quantify major health and safety risks

Health and safety risks integrated into revised risk management plan and business case

Procurement route specifies whole-life health and safety performance standards and measures

The proposed contract includes specific health and safety people performance standards for the whole life of the project

Health and safety management regularly assessed and performance managed to achieve best practice standards

Principal contractor completes commissioning as lay out in the construction phase health and safety plan or design.

Facility is safe to operate and maintain, does not adversely affect users health and meets the contractual health and safety -related whole-life costs and performance targets.

Construction Industry Health and safety initiatives

In 1999, a major initiative, Revitalizing Health and safety by the Health and safety commission (HSC). Published in June 2000, the Revitalizing Health and safety Strategy statement called for action to provide a new impetus for improving health and safety at work and in particular in the construction sector. Central government has taken a lead and aims to set an example of best practice for this initiative[nCrisp: 2003].

Due to the growing concern over the increased level of fatalities in the construction industry, a national summit was held in February 2001 that challenged the industry to address its failings. In response, the industry committed to step change in performance as detailed in the box below. The commitment includes central government departments as construction clients who must demonstrate that they are leading in the charge process. The targets are aligned with those set for safety improvements under the Government's own ongoing Achieving Excellence in Construction initiative.

Construction Industry Advisory Committee (CONIAC) Revitalizing Targets set in 2001:

Reducing the relative incidence rates of fatalities and major accidents by 40% by 2004/05

Reducing the relative incidence rate of cases or serious events happening of work-related ill-health by 20% by 2004/05 and 50% by 2009/10

Reducing the number of working days lost from-related injury and ill or poorly health by 20% by 2004/05 and 50% by 2009/10.

The Following initiatives by departments are encouraged to explore the wide range of information and guidance published and presented by these and other organization:

A Commitment to people - Our Biggest asset: one of the primary areas covered by the Respect for People initiative.

The Clients Charter issued by the Confederation of Construction Clients (CCC) provides guidance on the development of action plans on health and safety and on the measurement of performance through the use of KPIs and benchmarking. Many public sector clients have developed their own KPIs - an example is NHS Estates.

The British Constructional Steelwork Association operates a scheme that invites organization responsible for managing construction sites to certify that the site is safe for the purpose of the steelworks contractor before the latter's arrival on site.

2.1 Achieving Excellence in Construction

The Government's Achieving Excellence in Construction initiative, launched in March 1999, encompasses health, safety and sustainability.

Sustainability Action Plan committed central government construction clients to:

Have in place by March 2003 procedures for construction procurement which include criteria for the evolution of competence, resources and commitment of designers and contact in relation to health and safety, training and engagement with local communities, where relevant.

Use the Considerate Constructors Scheme or similar when caring out all new projects. The scheme aims, among other things, to raise standards of site management, safety and environmental awareness beyond stator duties.

The OGC report Building on Success- the Future scheme for Achieving Excellence in Construction presents the Government's successes and progress as at 2002. One of the key findings was that departments have overwhelmingly accepted the principles and benefits of the Achieving Excellence in Construction initiative and there is emerging evidence of real value for money gains being realized as a result'. However, the report also challenges departments to achieve further strategic targets related to the project process. This new revision of AE10 has been developed to assist departments in meeting the new targets and aiming for continuous improvement in their performance [OGC: 2003].

Several Construction industry and government best practice initiatives have concentrated on improving health and safety performance through the whole life of the project and especially during the construction phase. The respect for People took it includes separate health, safety and working environment checklists and scorecards for use during the construction phase. Clients are encouraged to adopt these toolkits and the Rethinking Construction Key Performance indicators to monitor and track the supply team's performance.

Clients should consider implementing the following performance - monitoring measures throughout the project lifecycle:

Rethinking Construction Toolkits for design and site visits once every six months.

Rethinking Construction headline KPIs for Safety and the Considerate Constructor report annually

Annual competence and management arrangements review.

CDM - an introduction for Government Clients

The Construct (Design and Management) Regulation 1994 (CDM), as amended, place specific obligations on clients and designers to help ensure that health and safety is managed effectively throughout the whole life of a project

Duties are placed on all team members including clients, designers, planning supervisors, principal contractors and their sub-contractors. The project sponsor will typically be the team member best placed to manage and fulfill the clients' legal duties. Though the fulfillment of the client's CDM duties could be part of a service contract, the legal accountability cannot be transferred to a consultant or contractor and remains with the client. Failure to comply with the CDM regulation is a criminal offence and could result in prosecution [HSE books: 2001].

3.1 CDM regulations

Set out the responsibilities of those involved in the design, planning and execution of the construction process

Major controlling factor in establishing Health & safety Systems in construction

Prescribe the actions required and establish a clearly auditable trail of documents in the Health & Safety system

3.2 Statistics 2004/5

71 Fatalities

56 Employees - 15 Self employed

32% of all deaths were in the construction industry

Rate of injury is falling (13 year low)

60% of all injuries by falls from height

Getting better but still not acceptable.

The safety and well-being of all those involved in or affected by a construction project must be seen as a key requirement. Almost all of the deaths and injuries that occur in construction are foreseeable and preventable. Work-related ill-health is a further consequence of poor practice, and creates pain and suffering on a far greater scale than accidents. In addition, the costs arising from inadequate attention to health and safety are significant [HSE books: 2001].

What Departments should be doing?

Departments should introduced and demonstrate to others a corporate commitment to health and safety in construction procurement decision-making. The following list of actions provides a summary of some of the initiatives and recommendations that departments should consider adopting and implementing as part of their Achieving Excellence programme.

Demonstrating a high level of commitment to health and safety through unambiguous policies, senior management actions and excellence beyond simple compliance with statutory requirements

Adopting procurement routes that involve during the early development and design stages, those parties that will construct, operate maintain(including cleaning) nad use the facility

Taking account of national construction client initiatives

Caring out rigorous assessments of potential suppliers during selection processes to establish:

Their competency and adequacy of their resources

Their commitment to a significant reduction in the no of accidents and near-misses.

Their commitment to continuous health and safety improvement year on year.

Their commitment to training and improving skills

Creating at an early stage, an integrated supply team(IST) and especially ensuring that all health and safety aspects of the design and construction have been properly considered before construction work starts

Auditing suppliers to check that they are actually complying with their stated approach to health and safety

Knowing their own current health and safety performance and continuing to set realistic and increasingly demanding targets against which to measure and improve their performance and that of their suppliers over the whole life of the facility

Using the Considerate Constructors Scheme or similar carrying out all new projects

Creating an environment where everyone, including workers, can play a full part, including putting forward suggestions that improve health and safety performance.

Departments should require supplier companies to demonstrate, as a matter of good practice, that all those working on their sites have a proven level of competence (Knowledge, skills and experience), including health and safety. Evidence of appropriate skills is available on accredited schemes such as the Construction Skills Certification scheme (CSCS).

MANAGEMENT REQUIREMNT

This section provides a brief advice on the process for integrating health and safety into construction projects [OGC: 2003]. This outlines the main health and safety management requirements during a construction project by including and addressing the following project specifies:

Objectives, the key health and safety performance and success criteria during construction and for the finished asset.

Background, the key health and safety drives ( such as the intention to achieve excellence as a client and to align the project with current national improvement campaigns.

A business case that recognizes the need for client health and safety leadership and commitment

Quality plans that measure health and safety performance during design, procurement and construction(including , where appropriate, facilities maintenance etc)

Risk management plans that identify major health, safety and people risks and how these will be managed

A list of stakeholders acknowledging from the outset that the following groups of people have a stake in health and safety impacts:

Those who will be at risk during construction, including the IST's supply chains, both onsite and during off-site prefabrication

Others who will be affected but not directly involved , such as the local community and business

Those who will operate maintain, alter, refurbish, repair and ultimately decommission and deconstruct the facility

Project organization, addressing responsibilities for the management of health ans safety risks as part of project governance.

5.1 Investment Decision

Health and safety considerations should feature prominently at the investment decision and contact preparation stage. Potential suppliers will have had the opportunity for engagement with the client team, who should have left them in no doubt about the deaprtment's commitment to pursing excellence in health and safety performance.

Health and safety issues carried forward from the feasibility studies would now include additional issues that arose during the ongoing development work. The draft contact should clearly set out how all the health, safety and people risks will be managed, including arrangements for monitoring performance [HSE CDM initiative].

The draft contracts should include or reference:

The project pre-construction health and safety plan prepared by the planning supervisor based on:

Site information supplied by the client team

Health and safety risk information from the design teams

Guidance in the CDM approved Code of Practice

Whole-Life costing schedules for health and safety resource allocation and costs to meet health and safety performance standards as detailed in the tender documentation and contractual requirements

Requirements for supply team's registration with the CSCS or equivalent body as evidence of their competence and skills level.

HAZARDS

Hazard means anything that can make harm (e.g. chemicals used in industry, electricity appliances, fall during working from ladders, etc). Risk is the take a chance, high or low, that a person will be affected by the hazard.

Slips or trips - The slip or trip at work in almost all kind of businesses activities or work place cause many serious injurious such as food and catering.

Falls from a height - Falls from ladders results serious harm to people and to protect falls from height, the work is planned or designed and conveyed out by capable people and adopt the hierarchy for managing and dealing with risks.

Fire and explosion - Each year many people's health and safety in danger because of the flammable materials present at workplace or they work with it like heating fuel(LPG gas), Petrol, Paint thinners and during wielding gas used.

Musculoskeletal disorders - Manual (or mechanical) carrying or moving or delivering or working with loads by hand or using bodily force or power .For example Upper limb disorders (repetitive strain injury (RSI)) due to repetitive, or forceful or full strength using manual activities or actions in awkward positions, for prolonged periods of time, back problems to computer using employees, repetitive strain injury, or other relating to muscles and skeleton disorders.

Noise - High levels or degrees echo of noise at work can probably cause hearing damage deafness to both age group young and old.

Conclusion

A systematic and regular audit of Safety Systems and Performance can lead to significant improvements. There are certain laws and legislation are made in favor of workers and employee for their safety and there are so many committee and representative are assign to groups of worker under safety representatives.

CDM Regulations highlight roles, duties & responsibilities of key personnel in process. We appraise the impact of recent government initiatives within the industry.

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