The essay written below is an insight into Poor occupational health and safety and will contain an in-depth research methodology into the costs constraints has upon the construction industry and how the use of effective proactive health and safety risk assessments can reduce these costs
Health and safety can be defined as the "training in the prevention of human harm originating from UST activities including installation, operation and management, closure and corrective action" (Unknown Author 2, 2006). This is another construction risk that could considerably affect the Stockborne redevelopment in terms of its progression.
This particular type of risk is vital to consider in the construction industry, many projects are complex and involve new techniques that have not necessarily been "tried and tested" before. It is therefore important to ensure all the parties involved in the design and construction of the project are not at risk in terms of health and safety.
Health and safety risks should be identified during the "design" and "planning" phase of the Stockborne redevelopment. It is important to identify this type of risk at this stage in order to plan and design in advance to help prevent such events occurring, later in the project. HSE, (2005), states that "One major area where significant improvements could be made is in the elimination and reduction of risk at the design stage"
The designers of the Stockborne redevelopment are in a position that allows them to both influence and reduce risks. While identifying health and safety breaches that may arise during the construction, maintenance, refurbishment and demolition processes. An example of this can be given in relation to the construction of the warehouses. The warehouses will require a number of construction works to be done at considerable height, given the scope of the buildings.
The designers need to consider this issue and design the building's appropriately in order for sufficient means of scaffolding to be utilised, this way risks including "falls from height" will be severely reduced.
Another alternative to prevent the likely hood of risks occurring is to employ a health and safety officer. These individuals are experts in this area and should be able to locate and provide solutions to various health and safety breaches that may occur.
Health and safety officers are responsible for" ensuring that safety requirements are met on site, they also encourage and educate employees to take precautions and adhere to safety rules to protect themselves and the equipment they use from damage"
(B Constructive, 2004)
If these requirements set by health and safety officer are followed by the contractors on site, this type of risk should only be considered to be a "medium" scale risk. There is always the possibility that risks can occur on construction projects, therefore this type of risk can never been really seen as a "low" one. None the less, with the use of these "experts" who have specialised training in the field of health and safety, there is no reasons for this risk to be rated any higher than "medium" in terms of its severity.
It is said that "decisions taken by designer fundamentally affect the risks faced by workers and those that use the building" (HSE, 2005)
A number of Acts and regulations are used to help both locate and eliminate health and safety risks, an example of some of these include:
Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
Construction (Health Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1996
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
The above acts and regulations contain statutory requirements that must be followed for compliance in terms of preventing health and safety issues at work. I will use the Construction (Health Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1996 to convey this point further.
A requirement under this set of regulation is the production of a health and safety plan. It is thought felt that the "design risk assessment and pre-tender health and safety plan required by the construction design and management regulations (CDM) prove beneficial to a number of construction projects" (HSE, 2005)
It is thought that the process should be used to its advantage to target the key issues, including risks. Also to "develop a project policy and to manage the issues identified throughout the process" (HSE, 2005). The Stockborne contractors should aim to sit down and discuss a safety strategy, at the beginning of the project and discuss hand over issues. This will reduce the chance of accidents occurring as a result of misunderstandings between different contractors.
Health and safety risks will affect all parties on the Stockborne redevelopment. In terms of the designers that produce the warehouse designs, they will be affected by this type of risk because alterations in the designs may be required, in order to make the construction of the building's more health and safety conscious and free from risk.While the contractors and sub contractors will also be affected because they will be expected to follow strict codes of conducts when on site and during the construction phases.