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PROCEEDINGS OF THE ELEVENTH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON CIVIL, STRUCTURAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING COMPUTING
Edited by: B.H.V. Topping
An Empirical Safety Framework for Assessing Construction Safety Programs
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The United Arab Emirates University, Al-Ain, Abu-Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
N.S. Al-Kaabi, "An Empirical Safety Framework for Assessing Construction Safety Programs", in B.H.V. Topping, (Editor), "Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference on Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering Computing", Civil-Comp Press, Stirlingshire, UK, Paper 71, 2007. doi:10.4203/ccp.86.71
Keywords: construction safety, safety evaluation, safety performance, decision making, safety management, empirical model.
Construction projects are controlled by a number of objectives deemed necessary for the success of the time consuming, challenging, and risky process. Safety of all project participants are among the main objectives of any construction project and any industry in general therefore a comprehensive safety program should be used by the construction firm to protect all parties involved in the construction process. For a safety program to be effective and comprehensive as it required a continuous evaluation process is necessary.
This paper proposes a framework for a safety evaluation model that emphasizes the continuous assessment and modification of the safety program. The proposed model consists of three main phases or aspects of evaluation which collectively guarantees the program effectiveness and continuous upgrades. These elements are the comprehensiveness of the safety program, the actual implementation of the safety measures referenced in the program, and finally the program ability to update itself and incorporate new technologies and methods. These three aspects are organized in a hierarchal series where each phase output or results are incorporated into the next phase input to maintain integration between the three phases. The comprehensiveness phase measure the availability of all safety codes in the organization safety program, while the actual usage inspects and observes workers, machine operators, and material handlers to assess their safety attitudes and implementation. And the third phase identifies new construction methods and forces their integration in the organization through safety codes and training session for the workers.
The safety system framework is designed on the assumption that a safety and health program exists within the construction organization, and a continuous assessment is required. While other researchers proposed methods for safety performance evaluation including fuzzy based , and environmental based evaluation , few focused on the need for a continuous process that could be integrated in the organizational structure.
The continuous evaluation promotes safety in the organization and eliminates the need for radical measures to overhaul safety application, especially that the model integrates safety codes and onsite inspections into a knowledge base to guarantee maximum benefit and usage of the program. Moreover, the system requires minimum maintenance if safety codes are updated regularly and all new technologies are frequently defined and integrated. Thus by performing the evaluation on all projects, the organization creates a strongly woven culture of safety that needs minimum effort for its application.
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