Safety First! Walk with Care and other safety precautionary signals and signage’s are visibly posted in every passageway, lifts, ladders, stairs and name it you’ll find it loudly calling ones attention but why still an incident happen? How it was able to slipped the tightly guarded workers population in a sudden tick of the clock? Programs and drill exercises are up to date, complete with actual simulation yet accidents happen and loss of limbs, lives and dreams still written in the police records logbook. Something is really not clear here or somebody is not sincerely listening to the basic purpose of safety prevention program laid in a certain work-place. Another death due to incident fall of a workers lift should’ve awaken again the Safety Engineers, Aides and workers this week revisiting their safety man-hours if really recorded as safe and free of injuries either from human error or mechanical error, horseplay or the most common of all NEGLIGENCE.
Is it really hard to post a record of an ACCIDENT-FREE work place? Is it too difficult to implement a safety program work policy and how costly it is to efficiently put a high-risk working environment into a safe and sound area which is beneficial primarily to its workers and the neighborhood. Pollution’s such as air, noise, garbage, gas, visual, traffic and peace and order are the several issues highly needed to watch for during the pre-conception of a project implementation plan in the aide of the proper government institutions both local and national level. The idea is to prevent, protect, put safety measure, safeguard the areas of highest risk we think an accident might occur and these equates more money or deeper pockets for developer who owns the projects. So this is the ideal way if not the perfect one to limit the loss of life and limbs of a talented worker but are we “really” following the countless list of items to put up, equipped the workers in the performance of their duty and “closely monitor” it ? Some are serious and some are not! Is there an antidote we can consider to make the safety program or policy work for us to go out in the last man-hour scheduled from a work place and happily tell them that were glad to make it with everybody alive and satisfied.
If the government agency is to ask for regarding safety policy and its implementing rules and regulations you’ll be amazed that all is written then it shall be done policy and IRR. So where is everybody failing that they end up talking to hospital emergency doctors of what transpired and how it happen so fast with the notion that you’ll get fired tomorrow due to chain-of-command company policy. The rule is there and we just need to fully understand and holistically do as needed, easier said than done is most likely the common response we’ll get from the other end. Rules and Regulations are framework that were being enacted after a series of extensive deliberations from the experts and explore the pros of each for a certain facet of issues. The question is where do we start to have a great framework of safety program effectively applicable to your needs and be assured of not only of being compliant but also guilt free of any incident to occur in your workplace and get a good sleep while the works is in progress. Here are my suggestions;
First in the list is the sourcing of RFP or request for proposal or Expression of Interest it is the best timing to put firm word on safety programs needed for a certain undertaking. There should be a premium for it is of the same effective amount of losses or bigger once an incident occur through its insurance provider. Scrutinizing the program submitted, ask their previous clients and management firms that handled the project a get a better understanding on how they were able to do it safely. Make an actual visit to a bidders ongoing work site including their warehouses or yard where they maintain the safety equipment’s, tools and others. If they’re leasing these items you can also do the same visitations for you to get the hands-on idea of how the maintenance practice for these items are being done? This exercise will only eat up a mere days works and you’ll surely learn a thing or two once you do.
Second is the Bidding & Awarding Process wherein the process of elimination or negotiation takes place. There are several negotiations where the Safety Cost is the first casualty of the dealing process. Next is equipment and last is the quality. This is where a technically prepared developers representative is put to a test, their full knowledge of the project limitations and actual pre-identified risk must be listed and cross-match with that of the bidder before the so-called negotiation must take place. I remember during my presentation to a Japanese Company whose project was the addition of another floor of equal dimension of an existing building wall-print that they took turns to asked questions of verified facts and assessed risk ensuring there will be no stones left un-turned prior to awarding of the project. Depending on the scope, location and other parameters of sound consideration cost really spike-up the development cost. These should be incorporated right from the start and made known to investors or shareholders that they’re selling a product made from the safest way acceptable to the public.
Lastly is the implementation process, so you have the project and haven’t you noticed that the first thing you’re talking about inside the war room is about safety? The hardest part lies in the selection process of the team composition to perform, promote, proceed, prevent and be PRO-ACTIVE with the policy and safety program discussed, accepted and agreed during the awarding process thereby re-assuring that every member of a team is in on the same page. The company’s Human Resource Division must be well-informed of the same programs, actions and expectations to keep the talent sourcing easier and proper for the required qualifications needed. A workplace can be considered as a small community almost complete with the basic services its people need such as clean mess hall, clean barracks or quarters with highly sanitized comfort rooms, clinical/medical treatment area complete with sterilized paraphernalia’s, medicine issued by the company accredited doctor or hospital or clinical service provider a competent Occupational Health and Safety Nurse whose training encompasses but not limited to trauma treatment, fire-fighting equipment and a well-trained Fire and Life Safety personnel to provide the lead in case of emergency, a congregation area and a place where they can seek and enhance their sports activity to promote better camaraderie within the workplace community. Therefore a workplace is not a “work-place” at all if everybody involved with it and duly understands their existence right from the beginning and these must be properly initiated during the hiring process. Making everybody’s concern about safety counts, creates a place with a sense of high moral bloc and establish a friendlier atmosphere in the place. So why still the incident? sudden death occurrence in a flash leaving everybody shocked, fearful and mum inflicting low-morale and trauma to work conveniently. These not only hurt the people directly involve but the investors as well, the business unit that is handling the development will have to re-think strategies to sell make it on time as promoted to its clientage. There are so many hows, whys, and what to do to further eliminate these accidents and create an accident-free product for the public.
Will extending the time-lines of implementation do the trick? How about the total-ban of working outside during rainy days? Full implementation of pre-cast technology for higher heights for mid-rise and high-rise building respectively? Categorically awarding projects to those with extensive and proven experience in the required fields might be one of the key answer here even to its (primary service provider) sub-contractors. These are only a few things to consider if we wanted to achieve a ZERO-ACCIDENT-PROGRAM or ZAP. With the near-end of countrywide construction boom in the middle east local service providers have ventured into acquisitions of tested complex equipment’s from this side of the world complete with operations training and preventive maintenance program it has created a selected boom also in our country, tower cranes everywhere, moving ready-mix-concrete truck in major highways after truck bans are a testament that development is bullish as they say in the business meetings. With the technology abound how qualified are the local equipment operators are remains a big question, how many Actual-Training-Hours they need to master the full operations in a safest manner a certain type of equipment they’re assigned to? do we accept multiple equipment know-how? is it advantageous to him and the company? Are they well compensated? Insured? and Fit for the job on a daily basis? i said on-a-daily basis as they’re commonly coming from a drinking binge after a day-off. Does a TOTAL BAN to operate an equipment still being implemented even if the progress is at stake? It is in the imposition of the policy and program that makes or break a fine safety implementation. An ABA or alcohol breath analyzer must be utilized and included in an all male dominated work place to reduce and eliminate incidence due to intoxication’s! How about the equipment being use? even the tiniest motor-driven tool that needs daily check-up or routine-checks as the latest fatal incident in one work site in Metro Manila was due to failed-mechanical incidence wherein the pulley had slipped off its track. It would’ve been avoided should they’ve routinely practice daily VISUAL Checks and get the experts advised on what to do next to prevent its damage or somebody might have informed the concerned party and performed the routine-checks but underestimated its ill-effects in the next operational hours or days.
Safety at work need not be focus on people movement but the same with the equipment installed or assigned therein be it static or moving it needs the same amount of consideration. All motor, equipment operators and workers using electrical/battery driven tools must be well-educated on the fatal effects it could bring once they relaxed or underestimate the probable results after miscalculation of proper and acceptable handling of the same. Continuous practical studies of these equipment or tools must be adhered to and total removal from the active work area of defective, malfunctioning equipment and tools must also be observed and implemented. Careful analysis on effective utilization of tools and equipment embedded in Equipment/Tools Loading Plan is vital and useful in determining the true length of work duration, right manpower loading, sequential timing of work cycle through enough distribution of labor force required will deter, prevent and eliminate the rushing of work and sacrificing its quality. By providing the list and conduction of high-risk-analysis in every turn and cycle of the project Provision will result to Prevention of unsafe work environment. Safety is Everybody’s First Priority.