Building a Safety Culture
'Safety First’ initiatives for a safer site
Building a Safety Culture
'Safety First’ initiatives for a safer site
L&T is constructing an Integrated Technology hub in Bangalore on a 52-acre campus. Execution of the project entails working with various contractors and managing a workforce of 3,000 people. The challenge was to ensure a safe project site with uniform practices, across multiple contractors, sub-contractors and a diverse workforce.
In order to build a culture of safety, we need to remind everyone about safety hazards and risks, to include them all in the safety journey. We want people to know that safety is on the top of our minds, as it should be, so that we can all go home safely, every day!
Assessing Risks
A large portion of the workforce was young, spoke different languages and for most of them, it was their first job. The Company trained and re-trained the workforce, appreciated safe practices with on-the-spot cash rewards, strictly adhered to safety procedures, and measured safety performance using leading indicators. New methods were introduced to reduce risks in the form of mechanisation of processes to reduce manual handing. Zero tolerance towards neglect of safety practices, with a vigilant approach to risk management helped the site improve its standards.
Committed To Safety
Safety measures are incorporated into an activity right at the planning stage. The methodology of execution and equipment used, is carefully assessed for possible hazards. The planning stage addresses a major part of the risks, remaining few are addressed during execution. Projects are planned to make sure that risks are kept to a minimum. For example, 200 mm-wide blocks are used for masonry, and they weigh around 38 kg each. However, the maximum limit that a person can manually handle is 20 kg. So, the blocks were altered to 100 mm width, so that they weigh only 17 kg. This decision was made at the planning stage itself, even though it meant investing additional time and material.
Job-Specific Training
A robust selection and induction process was put in place, and an animation-based induction training module was developed. An important element of the module was trade-specific training conducted in multiple languages. Demonstrations and simulation of site conditions were used to improve effectiveness of the programmes. New workmen were given extra attention during their first month at the site, and buddy systems were organised to engage them.
A robust training plan was designed as per the competency assessment framework, and need analysis surveys were conducted at regular intervals. Apart from this, engineers and supervisors were trained on work permit systems, ‘safe-to-start work’, firefighting and first-aid. In addition, they were provided with specialised training, including customised two-day construction safety programmes.
Promoting Upward Communication
Workers and their representatives were actively involved in health and safety committee meetings and food committee meetings. They were encouraged to report near-miss events, and were recognised and lauded for such reporting as well as interventions
Committed To Deliver - Managing Risk
All the activities carried on the construction site are well planned, and method statements are prepared to define the scope of each activity. Documented safe operation and maintenance procedures were developed for activities involving site engineers, supervisors and workmen. Risk assessments are conducted at least three months prior to the commencement of the activity, and are revised and reviewed before carrying out a job.
Fire is a significant hazard identified in operational areas, as our work involves gas lines to be welded into the laboratory building. To minimise the risk, all the employees are trained on basic firefighting, which includes operation of fire extinguishers. The work supervisors are trained on advanced firefighting techniques. Apart from these, a dedicated team with nine retired army personnel was deployed. Their primary job was vigilance and firefighting. A well-equipped fire detection and alarm system with manual call-points and smoke detectors were set up in the Labour Colony.
Working at heights is yet another key area of concern. To manage this, the site decided not to use an external scaffold for façade works. Various other control measures were included at the bidding stage itself. Some of them are extensive use of boom lifts and scissor lifts with integrated and built-in safe working platforms and powered access platforms. They considerably reduce the risks involved.
Results
The project received a five-star rating and an ‘Excellent’ safety score of 98.65 from the British Safety Council (BSC). The project won the prestigious Sword of Honour Award.
   
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Cream of The Crop
   
Safer Project Execution Also Reduces Costs
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A Winner All Round
   
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Digitally Driven Schooling
   
Keeping an Eye on
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