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Construction Site Safety

Most of the injuries and fatalities that occur at construction sites are preventable and can be minimized if employees at these sites are provided with the proper working equipment and learned techniques. Safety improvement, health and working conditions depend solely on people working together, whether employers, management or workers. Construction sites employers have the responsibility of ensuring that all the workers have access to adequate instructions so that they can perform their duties safely. This is normally done through education and training. Every workplace has its unique health and safety programs additionally to the formal Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) program. Some of the responsibilities of the construction sites employers include establishing the health and safety program, conducting reviews of training and equipment, providing a safe and healthy work environment, and training supervisors.

There is always a need to have an effective health and safety program within a workplace to prevent occurrences of injuries and fatalities. An effective program is one that helps in identifying hazards in the workplace; minimize or eliminate the potential for diseases, injuries or loss of life; limit financial losses, which can result from diseases and injuries; and is constantly monitored to ensure that it fulfills its goals. Construction work can be considered to be among the most dangerous occupations due to the dangerous conditions associated with it. Many of the construction sites are crammed with dangerous conditions that can easily cause harm to the workers. Some of the tools used in these sites are very dangerous and require a lot of attention when using them. Therefore, advisable for the employers is to provide favorable conditions within construction sites to prevent injuries and fatalities, as well as save money by avoiding costly accidents, violations/fines and cost of supplying equipment and training. Being properly prepared as an employer will prevent possibilities of such problems.

Problem Statement

A number of injuries and fatalities related to construction work are being reported every year. The best way to deal with this situation is by preventing and obtaining a working environment free of accidents. The purpose of this project will be to persuade, inform, and instruct possible new safety procedures. The research questions of this project will include:

  • Do construction businesses apply construction safety measures?
  • Are construction workers trained on security issues?
  • How can fatalities and injuries be prevented in a construction site?
  • Are there possible new safety procedures?
  • Are hazards easily identifiable?

Literature Review

This section will present an overview of work done previously that provides the required background for this research purposes. It will concentrates on various construction site safety topics and other related fields. This section will begin with a thorough coverage of construction site safety topics, which will assist in setting the context of this research.

There are many kinds of literature that can help workers and employers understand the causes of workplace accidents. There is a major site by the name WorkSafeBC that investigates incidents occurring in workplaces and produce reports that can assist employers and workers to enhance construction sites safety. The information they provide is very crucial since it assist those in the construction sector to prevent similar incidents in their workplace. This site provides a lot of information concerning safety not only in construction sites but also in other areas such as confined spaces, road safety, personal safety, violence prevention among others (Worksafebc, 2007). It is a very vital site for people in the construction sector.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) plays a major role in ensuring that workers are working under safe and healthy conditions. It provides rules and regulations to different sectors that will help in ensuring the United States worker is working under safe conditions (OSHA, 2005). If your organization does not fulfill the requirements of OSHA, they have the right to use, as well as close your firm. In their website, publications provide potential hazards that occurred in different sectors and suggestion of possible solutions to these hazards. For instance, in the construction sector, the potential hazards which have being identified by OSHA include falls from heights, electric shock and arc blast/arc flash, scaffold collapse, trench collapse, repetitive motion injuries, and failure to use proper personal protective equipment (OSHA, 2005). Suggested solutions to these hazards are well presented in their publications. People in construction work should be encouraged to go through the materials provided by OSHA as they will gain considerable knowledge that will help them prevent some fatalities and injuries in their workplace.

Construction businesses have a responsibility of providing safety and well-being of a construction site in all their construction activities. Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) legal guidelines have to be followed strictly by all construction sites, and it is the government role to ensure that these guidelines are strictly followed. OH&S legal guidelines mostly focus on who is supposed to get into a site, procedure to be followed, safety equipment required, and the general safety of the construction site (Safety Personel, 2012). Safety equipment should be provided to the construction site workers as this is considered to be one of the crucial issues of complying with the federal government rules. Safety training is also an essential part of preventing fatalities and injuries in the workplace. Workers should be trained on how to use some security equipment provided to them. For instance, they should be trained on how to use safety harness tools while working at a height.

According to Meola (2009), many of the accidents that occur at construction sites normally involve the machine operators, but over half of these incidents involve people on the ground including co-workers, sidewalk superintendents, laborers, spotters, passers by, and shovel hands. Most of the injuries are usually major ones that cannot be solved by a mere first-aid due to the forces and physics involved in causing them; an ambulance or a coroner has to be called to the construction site in case of an accident (Meola, 2009). To prevent these accidents, all operators are supposed to have identifiable and verifiable training on equipment or machine. Since most of the equipment dealers provide training as part of their customer service, employers should take advantage of this and make sure that all the operators in the site are well trained (Meola, 2009).

Approximated $8.9 billion dollars are being spent each year in the U.S. to cater for accidents that occur at construction sites (Boddecker, 2012). This is a clear indication that most of the workers are working under dangerous construction environments. Construction safety is very crucial to the lives of workers and should be enhanced to keep the site safe. It does not matter whether you are working on a small project like a home construction project; construction safety is a must to prevent the potential death and injuries in the sites (Boddecker, 2012).

Research Approach/Methodology

This section will address how the research will be carried out and the methods to be used to gather the required information. This section will also address the limit of the study and the data needed to collect. Justification of the methods used to collect the data will also be addressed in this section. Participants of this research will include people who have prior knowledge concerning construction site safety including my instructor.

Questionnaire method of data collection will be the quantitative data technique that will be used in this research. The advantage of this method is that the researcher gets various responses on the same issue from different correspondents/participants (Denscombe, 2007). This helps the researcher to identify biting issue easily on the subject he/she is researching about. The reason why I have chosen this method of data collection is that it has succeeded in many types of research, and I believe it will not fail on this one (Newman, 1998). The questions, which will be included in the questionnaire form, will address the interest of this research, and nothing outside the boundaries of this research will be asked.

Data analysis assists in emphasizing useful information, as well as suggesting convincing conclusions (Thomas, 2003). The quantitative data of this research will be analyzed using numerical and statistical analysis. SPSS and MS-Excel programs will be used to represent the data using graphical methods such as histograms, pie charts, tables etc (Agresti, 2002). These programs will also assist in carrying out validity tests so that a concise conclusion can be drawn.

Proposed Timeframe

S/NO.

Task

Duration

Start

Finish

Predecessor

1

Research proposal preparation

5 days

15/05/2012

20/05/2012

 

2

Searching the literature

6 days

21/05/2012

27/05/2012

 

3

Reviewing the literature

12 days

28/05/2012

09/06/2012

 

4

Drafting research methods

8 days

10/06/2012

18/05/2012

3

5

Drafting questionnaires

3 days

19/06/2012

22/06/2012

4

6

Meeting with the supervisor

4 days

23/06/2012

27/06/2012

5

7

Distributing questionnaires

4 days

25/06/2012

29/06/2012

 

8

Collecting data

6 days

28/06/2012

04/07/2012

6

9

Analyzing data

8 days

05/07/2012

13/07/2012

8

10

Data evaluation and discussion

9 days

14/07/2012

23/07/2012

9

11

Final draft preparation

10 days

24/07/2012

03/08/2012

10

12

2nd meeting with the supervisor for approval

4 days

04/08/2012

08/08/2012

11

13

Proofreading and correcting grammatical errors

2 days

09/08/2012

11/08/2012

12

14

Printing and binding

1 day

12/08/2012

13/08/2012

13

15

Submitting the final copies

1 day

14/08/2012

 

14

Expenses to be incurred while preparing the report are as follows:

Type of expenses

Amount in $

Typing expenses

65

Printing expenses

50

Personal expenses

200

Research expenses

155

Total

470

Expected findings

Expected findings on this project will include:

  • Safety tools, which should be used in construction sites
  • Whether workers and employers comply with safety rules
  • Possibilities of achieving zero accidents
  • Whether employers and workers are able to identify a hazard
  • Whether construction site supervisors conduct weekly safety meeting
  • Whether workplaces are involved in safety improvement

Conclusion

Fatalities and injuries that occur in construction work can be prevented if the correct security measures are applied. As the saying goes "prevention is better than cure"; so if it is possible to prevent these accidents, it would much far-sightedly, cheaper than curing their outcomes, and may prevent someone's death. OSHA plays a critical role in ensuring that American workers are working under safe conditions. They should continue with their good work, and the government should enforce strict rules and regulation to ensure that all individual in construction businesses are providing tight security measures in their construction sites. This project is very crucial because it will identify how some hazards can be prevented. It will involve people who are directly affected by construction hazards, thus making the study very useful.