This paper is on the topic of hazard management system for the construction company specializing in rebuilding and renovating in Renovabuild. The first section of this paper will discuss the hazard management system for Renovabuild. The second section of this paper will discuss the type of hazard identification required for different phases for renovation. The third section of this paper will identify and access hazards and choose the controls of hazards pouring concrete decks at the roof of storage building. The final section for this paper will indentify the hazards and determine the consequences of hazards. Also, it will prioritize the hazards and rank them in terms of order.
Hazard management is one of the most important parts of a Renovabuild’s Occupational health and safety management system. As indicated by the words “hazard management” comprises of managing hazards at workplace so no one gets harmed. It is essential and it is one of the relevant responsibilities of employers and also as it needs to be the system which ensures the work environment in which peoples’ health isn’t affected negatively. Hazard management steps apply to the present production processes and work and in case of introduction of change e.g. new machinery, new processes or any new way to organise work.
Identification of Hazards
For Renovabuild to identify all possible sources of hazards it is relevant to implement several methods. There are 3 main ways of systematic identification of hazards from the expert perspective. These ways are: identification with use of task analysis; identification with use of area, and identification through the process. Task analysis takes its onset from two elements either the employees or organisation. Analysis by the area takes its onset in environment and from there also in the equipments and materials, as they are related to certain areas. Identification by processes takes its onset in equipments and materials and the processes which transforms the materials.
After assessment of hazards in the area, Renovabuild can look at the organization and the employees. Here, they can look at the tasks that are to b carried out; the standard operation of equipments; planning and preparation of the standard operations e.g. preparation of the machine for maintenance and production and the reparation of equipments and how these tasks get distributed between employees. Distribution of task influences the exposure to the all possible hazards and likely consequences due to the exposure. For maintenance workers who work only for a few hours in Renovabuild engineering workshop it becomes important to combine possible hazard identification with other hazard identifications in other firms of similar nature and combining them in assessment. Maintenance workers get mostly exposed to hazardous situations. Few of the causes are that workplace is mostly not designed with maintenance in the mind and therefore many workers can have to operate in abnormal situations.
It is necessary to use the recognised sources in process of hazard identification, particularly in the practice where people doing hazard identification are non-experts. This way can be helpful in bringing expert perspective for hazard identification in local perspective. Using materials from codes of practice, suppliers, industry guidelines and other standards helps in widening the local understanding about hazards.
Hazard control programme comprises of steps relevant for protecting workers from any exposure to system or substance and the procedures needed for monitoring worker’s exposure and health to hazards like materials, chemicals, or substance, or other kinds such as vibration and noise. A written hazard control program for workplace needs to outline the methods that are being used for controlling the hazard exposure and how these controls would be monitored for test effectiveness. Selection of a suitable control is not easy; it often requires performing a risk assessment for prioritizing the risks and hazards. In addition, normal and potentially unusual situations are to be assessed for control. Every programme needs to be designed especially for suiting the requirements of the Renovabuild workplace.
Some hazard controls would be outlined specifically in the legislation. In all cases, it is employer’s duty of conducting due diligence and is held responsible for taking actions and all practicable steps, in particular circumstances for preventing injuries or certain accidents at the workplace. In situations where there are no clear ways of controlling hazards or if the legislation doesn’t impose any limit or guideline, Renovabuild needs to seek guidance from the occupational health professionals like an safety professional or occupational hygienist about the best practice or standard while working in certain situation.
Hazard management is divided into 5 main steps. Firstly, hazards have to be identified. Secondly, significance of these hazards needs to be assessed for prioritising them. Thirdly, methods of controlling hazards needs to be identified and then controls have to be implemented. Finally, efficacy of controls needs to be reviewed. Documentation is needed for structures, processes, planning activities, responsibilities, procedures, resources and actions taken for development, implementation, evaluating and reviewing Occupational health and safety management. In the Hazard management principle there are three understandings (Jensen, 2001, 2002).
Expert-based understanding: The expert or specialist possesses special knowledge in particular area or in certain aspects that are related to the hazard identification. Expert-based understanding in relation to risk is based on the estimation of the likelihood or the impact (extent of illness and injury) of exposure or hazard (Quinlan, Bohle, & Lamm, 2010).
Legal understanding: It is expressed in workplace exposure limits, regulations, approved codes of practice that are often established through the political processes (Jensen, 2002) and through practice of the WorkSafe New Zealand court cases and inspectors. Here the risk based on expert-based understanding relates to assessment of whether all practical steps are taken and when assessing if the present knowledge about likelihood of any harm was implemented.
Local understanding: It is the understanding that people are involved in identification and management of hazard in the workplace. This is among the other things that are influenced by industry that people working in, the culture of their business and the previous experiences of the people that are involved in their training and education.
Type of Hazard Identification – Renovabuild
For Renovabuild identification of hazards during different phases of renovation would include all aspects which are involved in renovation. During Brickmasons identification of hazards includes awkward postures, cement dermatitis and heavy loads. While, stonemasons can have hazards like cement dermatitis, heavy loads and awkward postures. Hard tile setters can have hazards like dermatitis, awkward postures and Vapour from bonding agents. Carpenters can have hazards like wood dust, repetitive motion and heavy loads. Drywall installers can have hazards like plaster dust, heavy loads, walking on stilts and awkward postures. Electricians can face hazards like heavy metals in solder fumes, heavy loads, awkward posture and asbestos dust. Electrical power installers and repairer work can have hazards like heavy loads, heavy metals in solder fumes and asbestos dust. Painters can have hazards like toxic metals in pigments, solvent vapours and paint additives. Paperhangers can have hazards like awkward postures and vapours from glue. Plastering can have hazards awkward postures and dermatitis. Plumbers can have hazards like welding fumes and lead fumes and particles. Steamfitters can face hazards like asbestos dust and welding fumes.
Carpet layers can face hazards like awkward postures, Knee trauma and glue and glue vapour. Soft tile installers can face hazards like bonding agents and Insulation workers can have hazards like synthetic fibres, asbestos, awkward postures. Paving, tamping and surfacing equipment operators can face hazards like gasoline, asphalt emissions and diesel engine exhaust and Roofers can face hazards like Roofing heat, tar and working at heights (Weeks, 2011).
Silica particles can be inhaled by the dust created with cutting the set concrete or surface treatments of hardened concrete that contains high silica aggregates can cause the respiratory damage. Where respirable dust has high quantities of silica in form of quartz, there are risks of developing silicosis. Any finishing and cutting can also lead to particles being projected at higher speed with consequent risks of damage or damage. Planning safer approach for a job can help in identification of hazards that are associated with working on roof. Planning safer work takes into account hazard management process including steps of identification of hazards, assessing hazards by deciding if identified hazards have significance, controlling possibility of hazards by either by isolating, eliminating or minimising the exposure to hazards. Documenting information in the work plan and monitoring work plan (Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment, 2012).
Hazard assessment needs to be carried out on all working on roofs. It is important that all hazards get identified before nay work starts and that necessary equipment, systems of work and appropriate precautions are shared and implemented. Hazard identification needs to be repeated periodically or in case there is any change in the conditions; for example, the number of staff or weather onsite (Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment, 2012). It is important to assess where workers can fall from the roof and there is a simple control hierarchy that needs to be considered by the duty holders:
• Access if it possible to do the job without exposing employees to the hazard. This can mostly be done during the design or construction planning and the tendering stages.
• Access of it is possible to eradicate the potential of an employee falling from the roof. Some sort of edge protection needs to be used for isolating workers from falling.
• In case elimination or isolation is practical, then steps are needed to be taken for minimising the likelihood of harm that results.
All employees should be provided appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment) as specified by the regulations and are necessary for controlling or eliminating the hazardous exposures that can cause illness or injury. Personal protective equipments include all the clothing and other work accessories that are designed for creating the barrier against any workplace hazard. Selection of proper personal protective equipment is relevant for protection of employees from any workplace hazard (Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment, 2012).
Employees and visitors have to wear the protective helmets while on the company projects unless they are informed otherwise in the safety plan that is site-specific. Protective helmets help in protecting visitors and employees from any potential head injury that is caused from falling, impact or flying objects, or any kind of electrical shock and burns (Federal Highway Administration).
Any exposure to high-noise levels can also cause possible hearing loss or future impairment. It can also lead to creation of psychological and physical stress. There are no cures for possible noise-induced hearing loss. For the noise exposures above 90 decibels, all employees should use the hearing protection and have to be included in hearing conservation program. Hearing protection devices such as ear plugs or muffs have to be fitted or by a competent person.
Eye and Face Protection
Eye and face protectors must Provide adequate protection against hazards for which they are designed. Be reasonably comfortable when worn under the designated conditions. Fit snugly and not unduly interfere with movements of the wearer. Be durable. Be capable of being disinfected. Be easily cleanable. Be maintained in clean and good condition (Federal Highway Administration).
Accessing high and low places at the jobsites, variety of equipment can be used like ladders, suspended platforms, scaffolding, aerial lifts, climbing lines and stairways. Using these access systems mostly presents fall hazards. In addition, employees can get exposed to the falls while they work on these elevated structures, climbing off and onto equipment and even while they walk by falling in holes or either slipping or tripping (Federal Highway Administration).
Types of hazards
Chemical hazards are mostly airborne and they can appear in form of fumes, dusts, mists, vapours or form of gases; thus, any exposure usually occurs with inhalation, although few airborne hazards can settle and can be absorbed through intact skin such as pesticides and organic solvents. Chemical hazards also occur in the form of liquid state or semi-liquid state like glues, tar or adhesives or as in powdered form like dry cement. Skin contact with these chemicals can occur in addition to the possible inhalation of vapours that result in the systemic poisoning or contact dermatitis (Weeks, 2012).
Physical hazards are available at every construction project. These hazards include heat, noise, cold, radiation, barometric pressure and vibration. Construction workers often work in extreme heat or cold weather, also windy, snowy, rainy or foggy weather and sometimes even at night. Sprains and strains are common injuries in construction workers. These are among many chronically disabling musculoskeletal disorders like tendinitis, low-back pain and carpal tunnel syndrome that occurs resulting from traumatic injuries, repetitive or forceful movements, awkward postures or continuous overexertion (Weeks, 2012).
Biological hazards are developed by an exposure to the infectious micro-organisms, toxic substances of animal attacks or biological origin. Excavation workers sometimes develop histoplasmosis that is a lung infection caused due to common soil fungus. Since, there are constant changes in the labour force composition in one project, workers come in contact with each other and the consequence can be infection with contagious diseases, tuberculosis and influenza (Weeks, 2012).
Social hazards result from social organization of industry. Employment is the intermittent and changes constantly and control over all employment aspects is limited as construction activity depends on several factors over which workers have zero control like the state of weather or the economy. Due to the same factors, there is intense pressure to deliver productive results (Weeks, 2012).
In New Zealand, Hazards are prioritised on the basis of seriousness of an injury resulted from hazard. In some other countries Hazards are prioritised on the basis of both the seriousness of injury and the possibility of injury occurring. In New Zealand, the possibility should only be implemented for identification of the types of controls for the hazard. Hazard management is the process which fulfils the legal requirements and it is not very different from processes that are used in several other countries. Choosing a control method involves evaluating and selection temporary and permanent controls, implementing the temporary measures until a permanent control can be placed and implementing the permanent controls when it is reasonably practicable. The main methods for hazard control are elimination or removing hazard from workplace, engineering controls that include modifications and designs to the equipment, plants, ventilation systems and processes which reduce the exposure source, administrative controls that alters the way work is performed, including the timing of policies, work and other rules. Work practices like the standards and operating procedures that includes housekeeping, training, equipment maintenance and personal hygiene practices and personal protective equipment that is worn by the individuals for reducing exposure like contact with the chemicals or exposure to the noise. Controls are usually placed at the source where hazard originates, along the path where hazard travels and at the worker.
The table provides some examples for hazard control:
Hazard identification, assessment and control are important elements of effective Hazard management and occupational health and safety system. Not only these are key parts in the health and safety program; they also are necessary requirement of occupational Health and safety code. Armed with knowledge of hazards Renovabuild can raise awareness about the impact of operations and make a well informed decision for effective elimination or risk reduction. Foresight and planning of hazards are important tools in successful implementation and management of hazard management system for Renovabuild. Intent of Hazard Management Program is allowing leaders and employees to proactively and collaboratively locate a people, environmental, equipment, material and process factor that potentially harms individuals, institution or community. Safe and healthy workplace requires proper planning and actions. Renovabuild needs to think about whatever that can go wrong at the workplace and the consequences of hazards. Then it is necessary to take actions to eliminate or at least minimise the health and safety risks that arise from Renovabuild.
Jensen, P. L. (2001). Risk assessment: A regulatory strategy for stimulating working environment activities? Human Factors and Ergonomics in Manufacturing, 11(2), 101-116.
Jensen, P. L. (2002). Assessing assessment: The Danish experience of worker participation in risk assessment. Economic and Industrial Democracy, 23(2), 201-227.
Weeks, J.L. (2011). Health and Safety Hazards in the Construction Industry. Retrieved 30 March 2014 from, http://www.ilo.org/oshenc/part-xvi/construction/health-prevention-and-management/item/518-health-and-safety-hazards-in-the-construction-industry
Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment. (June, 2012). Best practice guidelines for working on roofs. Retrieved 30 March 2014 from, http://www.business.govt.nz/worksafe/information-guidance/all-guidance-items/best-practice-guidelines-for-working-on-roofs/roofs-best-practice.pdf
Federal Highway Administration. (n.d.). Safety and Health on Bridge Repair, Renovation and Demolition Projects. Retrieved 30 March 2014 from, http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/research/infrastructure/structures/98180/ch3/ch3.cfm
Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment. (n.d.). Manage Hazards. Retrieved 30 March 2014 from, http://www.dol.govt.nz/infozone/businessessentials/safety/hazards/