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!
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.
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
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
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