Looking At Health Safety And Environment Management Construction Essay

Published:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Existing health and safety regulations are a continuum of a larger legal framework of law. The Health and Safety of Work Act (1974) established the Health and Safety Commission (HSC) giving it the power to propose health and safety regulations and to approve codes of practice. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) was also set up to enforce health and safety laws. The Act moved emphasis to individuals and their duties rather than being concerned with premises. It is the primary safety legislation in the UK and the Act under which most subsequent health and safety regulations have been made.

Subsequently under the influence of European legislation which obliges member states to "pay particular attention to encouraging improvements, especially in the working environment, as regards health and safety of workers" (article 118A of the Treaty of Rome) further regulations have been implemented.

These are known as the Framework Regulations as they create broad and general duties on employers, employees and the self employed. The aim is to improve health and safety management and to make more explicit what is required from employers. A more systematic and better organized approach to health and safety is being encouraged. Therefore a company that is operating a health and safety management system encompassing the duties under the Health and Safety at Work Act and the Framework Regulations should be able to comply with any future safety directives that are enforced.

Standards for Health, safety and environment

With respect to HSE, the following international standards series are of primary importance:

- ISO-9000 (1994 and 2000 version) for quality management (providing the basis for other ISO management standards)

- ISO 14000 for environmental management (ISO, 2004); and

- BS 8800 and OHSAS 18000 for occupational safety [BSI, 2007]

There are also some widely used guidelines or voluntary schemes for environmental and safety management:

- ILO-OSH 2001 for occupational safety (ILO, 2001);

- EMAS (Eco-management and audit scheme) for environmental management (European Council, 2001); and

- the HSE guideline "Successful health and safety management" (HSE, 1997).

Some companies mentioned the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) charter for sustainable development and the UN Global Compact. These voluntary schemes are based on the adherence to between 10 and 16 basic principles, but do not include guidance on management.

The Seveso-II Directive and its later amendment (European Council, 2003) introduced a number of new obligations for operators and authorities, including the operator's obligations to present a concept for preventing accidents with hazardous substances; to present relevant documentation, within the framework of the safety report, reg

arding implementation of the concept for preventing accidents; and to provide proof that a safety management system is in place.

Finally there are some scientific frameworks of safety management, especially addressing the link between the management structure and the technical system. Here we name I-RISK. The I-RISK methodology aims to quantify the effect that safety management of a hazardous installation has on the risk. To this end, a technical model, a management model and an interface are developed and quantified. Part of the ARAMIS project addresses the development of a methodology for evaluating the efficiency and effectiveness of safety management in order to prevent and mitigate major accidents. The safety management applied in a major accident prevention policy also leads to the definition of actions related to technical, human and organizational factors.

Case Study: HSE in Construction Industries of Norway

The principles of total quality management philosophy have been used in managing health and safety (H&S) in the construction industry in Norway for many years. Based on the positive results of this work, the Internal Control Regulation (Ministry of Labour and Government Administration, 1997; Ministry of Local Government, 1991) on occupational H&S management came into force in Norway in 1992. As total quality management focuses on products and services fulfilling certain specifications and customer expectations, internal control embraces the domain of health, environment and safety.

According to the Internal Control Regulation, all private and public companies in Norway, regardless of trade and the number of employees, are required to act systematically to ensure health, environment and safety activities. The Internal Control Regulation (Ministry of Labour and Government Administration, 1997) defines internal control as systematic action (at management level) to ensure and document that the activities of health, environment and safety control are performed in accordance with requirements specified in acts or regulations (such as the Work Environment Act (Friberg, 1990)). The systematic action must be described as administrative procedures. Further, the Regulation's requirements can be grouped into the three following main categories (Gaupseth, 2000):

• Clarifying the aims, responsibilities and tasks for the H&S activities;

• Identifying and assessing the risks and problems and drawing up agendas with measures; and

• Systematically monitor that the company's activities are in accordance with the aims determined by the company.

This includes both content claims, such as technical and administrative standards that can be documented in handbooks, and process claims such as assessments, meetings and H&S training. The employer is responsible for the company's H&S activities, and each company must adjust its H&S management system to its needs and special risk factors. In line with the Scandinavian tradition of democratization of work and empowerment (Gustavsen and Hunnius, 1981; Elden, 1986), the Regulation also emphasizes that both employers and workers should participate in constructing the H&S routines and participate in the H&S activities.

QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

Quality can be defined as meeting the legal, aesthetic and functional requirements of a project. Requirements may be simple or complex, or they may be stated in terms of the end result required or as a detailed description of what is to be done. But, however expressed, quality is obtained if the stated requirements are adequate, and if the completed project conforms to the requirements. (Ferguson, 1998)

Law defines quality in terms of professional liability, a legal concept that requires all professionals to know their trade and practice it responsibly. Every architect and engineer who offers his or her expertise to owners is subject to professional liability laws.

In the construction industry, quality can be defined as meeting the requirements of the designer, constructor and regulatory agencies as well as the owner. According to an ASCE study, quality can be characterized as follows. (Ferguson, 1998)

Meeting the requirements of the owner as to functional adequacy; completion on time and within budget; lifecycle costs; and operation and maintenance.

Meeting the requirements of the design professional as to provision of well-defined scope of work; budget to assemble and use a qualified, trained and experienced staff; budget to obtain adequate field information prior to design; provisions for timely decisions by owner and design professional; and contract to perform necessary work at a fair fee with adequate time allowance.

Meeting the requirements of the constructor as to provision of contract plans, specifications, and other documents prepared in sufficient detail to permit the constructor to prepare priced proposal or competitive bid; timely decisions by the owner and design professional on authorization and processing of change orders; fair and timely interpretation of contract requirements from field design and inspection staff; and contract for performance of work on a reasonable schedule which permits a reasonable profit.

Meeting the requirements of regulatory agencies (the public) as to public safety and health; environmental considerations; protection of public property including utilities; and conformance with applicable laws, regulations, codes and policies.

Project Management

Some of the common problems associated with the traditional management of projects are (Ferguson, 1998)

Collaboration and coordination among the client, design and construction teams is not encouraged.

Communication between some of the parties is either impossible or discouraged.

The traditional mode of procurement appears to encourage conflicts of interests between parties to the contract. There seems to be an incentive for everyone to cut corners on quality.

The barrier between design and construction is a hindrance for cost savings to be passed back to the client.

As several parties are involved in the building process, it becomes difficult to rationalize procedures and responsibilities

In view of the shortcomings of the traditional arrangement, alternative modes of procurement, including the project management approach, were introduced to help overcome some of the more pressing deficiencies of the traditional method. In the project management approach, an individual or an organization is appointed by the client to act as his agent in managing both the design as well as construction process. The project manager's role will extend from the inception of the project right through to its final completion. The client consequently has a single point of contact for receiving and issuing information or instruction, and in return, should expect better performance and achievement of objectives than under the traditional arrangement. Organizationally, the contractor now reports to the project manager whose expectations and requirements are quite likely to be different from those of the architect under the traditional arrangement.

The project management approach clearly shows that the project manager is placed in a position to manage two groups of people, that is, those in the design team and in the building team. Effective management can therefore be achieved only when members of the design team as well as building team co-operate for the common good of the project. Essentially, a people-oriented approach is required for this purpose. Based on this understanding, the ability of the project manager to work with and for his team members within the context of a construction project is not any different from the spirit of team ministry within the context of a church.

Technical Management

Technical management refers to that part of quality management which conforms that the standards and the rules set during the contract are followed or not. The technical contracts have general guidelines on how the project has to be followed and what has to be done. The activities and the knowledge of the things and the work do not come under technical aspect they are a part of operational aspect.

Generally the contracts vary in their content and structure which depends upon the type and the scope of the project. The type and scope might include the directions, specifications or the instructions to the workers, to the other employees to the tenderers and to the contractor. Technical Management also involves the other aspects like bill of materials and quantities, the work scheduling etc. In order to keep the interests of employees there are provisions for performance bond and the defect correction period in technical management

Operations Management

Operations, along with finance/accounting and marketing/sales, are one of the three major functional areas of business; it is crucial to an organization's ability to compete in the marketplace. An operations manager is responsible for the transformation process, whereby people and physical resources are combined into productive systems to provide goods and/or services. Effective, efficient management of an operating system is achieved beginning with strategic decisions and, next, through hierarchical (aggregate and disaggregate) planning, implementing, and controlling of the transformation process.

In brief it can be said that Operational Management involves the planning, designing and the management of all the operations, processes, facilities and activities required for the smooth running of the project in order to achieve the desired goals. Most of the resource control like money, materials, equipments, workers, employees etc comes under the operational management. The Operational management if thus focused on the effective and efficient utilization of all these resources to get highest levels of quality and productivity (Baden, 1993).

Case Study

The case study taken here is of the quality management structure and systems used by tile

Hong Kong Mass Transit Railway Corporation to control cost and time during the construction phases of their railway works.

The first phase of the Hong Kong mass transit railway, the 15.6 km long Modified Initial System (MIS) was opened in October l979. This f5OOM project was completed ahead of programme and below the budgeted cost. The second phase of the railway the 10.5 km long Tsuen Wan Extension (TWE) was opened in May 1983. Work on the TWE was completed 6 months ahead of programme, and the costs are confidently believed to be within the budgeted value of f4OOM. The design, construction and the management of these works has been widely reported in the technical press.

Project control in the MTRC operated through closely structured procedures which ensured that the senior executives within the Corporation had close control over most of the major decisions affecting time and money. It can be said that the successful completion of the MIS was related to such close control operating in a system that was capable of making rapid decisions when required, because of the daily contact between those with the authority to make the decisions and those directly in contact with the problems. Although major engineering problems did arise almost every day at some location on the project, the fact that proven technology was being used helped to ensure that these problems were overcome within the allowed time scale. Probably the most important factor, internal to the Corporation itself, in the successful opening of the MIS was the positive acceptance by all levels of the Corporation's staff that the railway would open on time.

FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

A financial-management system should cover as many of the cost-incurring activities as possible at all the stages of a project. The most effective time to apply financial management is during the early stages of projects. It is at this point that the greatest scope exists for economies, and it is when the consequences of making changes to projects are at a minimum. An ideal financial-management system should, therefore, start at the earliest possible stage in the project, and then be applied to the complete lifecycle. In summary, an ideal financial-control system should

Integrate the requirements for time, cost and quality by allowing informed tradeoff decisions throughout all stages,

Be managerially proactive rather than administratively reactive,

Be initiated at the earliest possible stage in a project,

Apply to as broad a range of a project's lifecycle costs and revenues as possible.

The financial control of construction projects is an integral part of effective project management. The subject has benefited from a number of advances in theory and techniques that have resulted from research. These have included value engineering, elemental cost planning, lifecycle costing, buildability, cost modelling, and the use of knowledge-based systems.

Case Study: Financial Management System of Housing and Development Board of Singapore

The Housing and Development Board (HDB) is Singapore's public-sector housing authority, and it is responsible for providing affordable mass housing. Its activities are undertaken under the guidelines of existing public-sector financial procedures and restraints, and with a keen concern for value for money" (Yeoh et al, 1991)

The board is responsible for large multistory residential construction. It has built point and slab blocks of between 15 and 20 stories throughout Singapore's main island in large estates. The projects are highly homogeneous in terms of their appearance, size, complexity, design and function, means of construction, the contractors that build them, and their other resources. The balance of the time, cost and quality objectives for the projects has been mainly constant, with cost being a priority. The political prominence of the board, and the lack of a large alternative source of housing, means that the economics of the board's performance are a sensitive local issue. The organization is the client authority that also acts as the design and coordinating body through its own specialist staff. It has its own cost consultant staff who comprise the Cost Management Unit of the Contracts and Administration Department of the Building and Development Division. The organization structure of the HDB is shown in Figure 1. It is a hierarchical and functional system without appointed project managers.

Figure 1: organization structure of the HDB (Yeoh et al, 1991)

The system of financial management used by the HDB has been documented14. It is a coordinated set of procedures, databases and cost models, developed over a period with in-house resources, to be applied to the ongoing programme of housing development. The system has four distinct phases. These correspond to the four stages of HDB evaluation that are applied to all buildings and estates: (Yeoh et al, 1991)

The prototype development stage

The planning and design stage

The construction stage

The maintenance stage

At the prototype development stage, the unit evaluates new proposed designs from the Architectural Department before a site or estate is identified. Each proposed design, which will become a new HDB standard, is subject to extensive cost studies aimed at the examination of effectiveness and the seeking of optimization. The HDB uses cost models developed by them for design costs, resources costs and lifecycle costs that incorporate feedback from construction and maintenance experiences. The work includes, iteratively, cost optimization studies for conceptual designs and effectiveness studies of design alternatives.

At the site planning and design stage, for the estate and its constituent buildings, more cost studies are carried out for the purposes of diagnosis, planning, budget control and checking. These are more closely related to the details of a site and the requirements of housing provision within an estate and for a project. These include cost-diagnosis studies and the preparation of a formal cost plan and other budgetary control devices. (Yeoh et al, 1991)

At the construction stage, the HDB follows highly regularized procedures as part of cost control. These procedures include cost comparative studies for large variation orders. Much information is fed back to future prototype and planning and design stages. This includes formal post contract design, reviews and cost evaluations on completion. (Yeoh et al, 1991)

At the maintenance stage, the HDB applies further cost controls, and the resource and lifecycle cost models continue to be applied. One activity that is of primary importance at this stage is ensuring that maintenance-cost data is fed back to the earlier stages of future projects. Formal procedures exist to ensure that this happens. Figure 2 shows the sequence of processes within the financial management system.

Figure 2: HDB Financial Management System (Yeoh et al, 1991)

HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

Human resource planning means anticipating imbalances between availability and organizational needs for all categories of personnel, and planning activities to ensure that the organization has the manpower it needs - in terms of both quantity and skills - at the time and place it needs it. Human resource planning, just like technical, operational and financial planning, must therefore be closely related to strategic project planning.

Human resource planning in PM has to deal with a number of application problems. The first obstacle in the way of planning is uncertainty, initially with regard to actually obtaining the contract after tender, and then with regard to carrying it through to completion. This uncertainty means that it is difficult to anticipate in a definite way what human resources will be required and when they will be used. Manpower supply is equally difficult to anticipate. In PM, human resources are assigned from one project to another, successively or simultaneously, and this makes reconciling manpower supply and demand, and putting available skills to best use, even more complicated**. This kind of problem needs to be assessed and included in the planning process. Finally, project managers may well be limited in their human resources planning strategies if, as is often the case, they are hired only after the project has been approved.

Case Study: Core Assumptions of HRM in US

It has been argued (Brewster, 1999) that there are two core assumptions underlying the classic models of HRM that have come to us from the USA; elsewhere, these have been characterized as "universal" models (Brewster, 1999) in the sense that their prescriptions are intended to apply in all circumstances. The first assumption is that the employing organization has considerable latitude in regard to the management of personnel, including inter alia, freedom to operate contingent pay policies; an absence of or at least a minimal influence from trade unions; and an assumption that the organization has sole responsibility for training and development (Brewster, 1999). In the context of the weakness of the trade union movement in the USA (where membership is currently probably less than one-tenth of the working population and its activities are predominantly site based) and the comparatively low levels of state subsidy, support and legislative control, this makes sense. It also fits comfortably with the notion that the state should not interfere in business, or do so as little as possible, and that it is the right of every individual to do the best for themselves without external interference (Guest, 1990). Such notions may be less common in Europe.

A second closely connected core assumption is that the close involvement of HRM with business strategy represents a radically new departure for the HRM, and that the connectedness of HRM and corporate strategy is a product of "bottom line" calculations. It might equally be a consequence of social norms, laws, regulations or custom, in which case, it may be an established feature of other contexts, such as, possibly, the European one.

Writing Services

Essay Writing
Service

Find out how the very best essay writing service can help you accomplish more and achieve higher marks today.

Assignment Writing Service

From complicated assignments to tricky tasks, our experts can tackle virtually any question thrown at them.

Dissertation Writing Service

A dissertation (also known as a thesis or research project) is probably the most important piece of work for any student! From full dissertations to individual chapters, we’re on hand to support you.

Coursework Writing Service

Our expert qualified writers can help you get your coursework right first time, every time.

Dissertation Proposal Service

The first step to completing a dissertation is to create a proposal that talks about what you wish to do. Our experts can design suitable methodologies - perfect to help you get started with a dissertation.

Report Writing
Service

Reports for any audience. Perfectly structured, professionally written, and tailored to suit your exact requirements.

Essay Skeleton Answer Service

If you’re just looking for some help to get started on an essay, our outline service provides you with a perfect essay plan.

Marking & Proofreading Service

Not sure if your work is hitting the mark? Struggling to get feedback from your lecturer? Our premium marking service was created just for you - get the feedback you deserve now.

Exam Revision
Service

Exams can be one of the most stressful experiences you’ll ever have! Revision is key, and we’re here to help. With custom created revision notes and exam answers, you’ll never feel underprepared again.