How to integrate health and safety in construction phases

Role-players should integrate management of health and safety in construction phases, the ACHASM conference 2015 in Cape Town agreed.

The discussion session of the conference on ‘A Team Approach to Zero Fatalities, Injuries, and Disease’, in Cape Town on 20 October 2015, proposed a range of specific interventions in the six stages of construction.

The proposals include the formalised use of Health and Safety Building Council (H&SBC) ratings, and the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) health and safety demerit system.

The six groups of interventions in health and safety in the construction phases resulted from a 40-minute discussion facilitated by Prof John Smallwood;

Construction project initiation and briefing phase
• Partnering approach /Collaborative working protocols
• Client briefing must address H&S goals
• Briefing of designers on client H&S goals
• Design ‘Analysts’ must be appointed
• Financiers must interrogate H&S / records H&S conditions when financing projects
• Optimum /diverse team involvement on H&S
• ‘See the end at the beginning’
• Emphasis on ‘designing for H&S’.

Construction concept and feasibility phase
• Briefing of designers on client H&S goals
• Insurers must assess designers on previous performance
• Implementation of BIM
• Constructability reviews
• Emphasis on ‘designing for H&S’ /team reviews
• H&S Building Council (H&SBC) rating of design.

Construction design development phase
• Emphasis on ‘designing for H&S’ /team reviews
• Consultation of CHSAs when design changes (imperative)
• H&SBC rating of designs
• ‘Prevention through design’ approach.

Construction tender documentation and procurement phase
• Insurers must assess contractors on previous performance
• Pretender site visit /project brief to include the H&S specification relative to the project trades
• Project specific H&S Specification (a requirement, but not the norm)
• Briefing of contractors on client H&S goals
• H&SBC rating of design
• ‘Two envelope’ tender system – one with H&S qualification(s)
• Detailed H&S Preliminaries
• CIDB H&S demerit system.

Construction documentation and management phase
• CIDB H&S demerit system
• Scientific design of support work (a requirement, but is it the norm?)
• Support work ‘compliance certificate’
• Risk review of design changes and adjustments to H&S plans
• Review of the contractor’s risk management of H&S during the construction process Continuous toolbox talks (risk based) and assessment thereof. Actual engagement i.e. facilitation
• Site specific trade specific documentation
• Continuous risk assessment and behaviour based H&S.

Construction project close-out phase
• H&SBC rating of design and ‘construction’
• H&S ‘completion certificate’
• CIDB contractor performance report
• H&S ‘lessons learnt’ included in ‘close out’ report
• ‘Building’s’ H&S File (as intended)
• CIDB H&S demerit system.

Source; ACHASM symposium 2015.

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7 thoughts on “How to integrate health and safety in construction phases

  1. John,
    Thanks for sharing,
    I agree with an Intergrated Project Management System (these are used in the O&G) approach, the groups should be gate reviews and some of the points raised eg.Review of SHES requirements during finacial review – this should be risk based, as SHEs performance is played down just to numbers.
    Project Initiation – Mobilize key persons early with the experience ( SHE manager / consultant ), must be familiar with Feed / Design and engineering – this is an area of improvement as the SHE manager is mobilized during construction execution phase.
    Once again thanks for sharing, I look forward to updates and implementation.


  2. Prof John, Well done! ACHASM is bang-on. Research suggests that 50% of accidents can be mitigated through alternative design. That coupled with a design-build procurement approach where up front designer and constructor ‘two-way learning’ can occur during the design phase will go a long way toward mitigating construction hazards and risks.
    A buy-in from architectural, and other, designers is essential, as opposed to ramming the law down the unwilling throat. Once again, well done to you and ACHASM. Best Regards, Craig.

    1. In my esteemed opinion, this is not new knowledge. Process design such as in the chemical / gas industry has been employing design risk elimination and mitigation through HAZOP, fault tree, bow tie and whatever other tie for many decades. Or in my words using other words, if you fail to design, you design to fail (see what I did there… to plan, plan to fail).

      1. Hello my good friend Sakkie. How goes it? Still accumulating titles I see? Don’t worry, come to the UK, people with Phd are like popcorn on the floor of the cinema after a cheap B-grade flick.

  3. The ideas are good, but my fear is the overdesign of the Health and Safety Management system that might lead to difficulties in implementing it. We need to guard against that.

  4. Good day all,

    I am presently doing one right now integrating the method, the biggest problem for me is that the PC’s have no clue what a plan is, it always the same regurgitation of the regs.

    I ask them simple questions such as, How would you plan to buy a new car, how would you plan to build a fish -pond in your garden to try and get a message across. I then progress to give me a business plan – and then it all falls apart. I ask them to look at the specifications and once again the generic (given) ones are all there, but as to those specs that require though and include a bit of physics/chemistry etc are just missed, as it the constructability side.

    Prof I can only agree with you as I am already following your approach, but its still early days on the curve, (I would hate to see the S-curve) on the implementation.

    Have a good one
    Shane Lishman

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