Guiding Procedures for Response to Emergency Situations on Construction Projects

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GUIDING PROCEDURES TO RESPOND TO EMERGENCY SITUATIONS ON CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS

By

Maj ® Muhammad Ijaz
Student MS Disaster Management-2012 at NUST (MCE)

Introduction

Construction projects involve use of heavy machinery, execution of numerous work activities simultaneously. Working environment like in Pakistan where safety culture does not prevail results in increased vulnerability to accidents thus frequent emergency situations on construction projects. The author being a Project Manager on construction projects have experienced number of emergency situation involving loss of life of worker. The Safety Rules requires that the constructor shall establish Emergency Response Procedures for every project, Life Insurance of worker is also mandatory clause of the contract agreement in Pakistan but normally not implemented in letter and sprite. This article will be useful to assist constructors in developing Emergency Response Procedures. Detailed Emergency Plan helps to minimize the human suffering and economic losses that can result from emergencies.

It should be understood that the size and complexity of projects, as well as their access and location, have a bearing on the degree of planning necessary for emergencies. It is therefore strongly recommended that the constructor ensure that a member of staff on site assist in developing the emergency response plan.

The Planning Process

Planning shall begin before any work commences on the project. Although there may be little time between the award of the contract and the start of the project, a good emergency response plan can be generic and, with some minor changes, can be easily adapted to specific sites and readily implemented. This is especially the case where a constructor specializes in similar types of projects.

For meaningful Development of Response Plan following considerations should be kept in mind:

1) Identification and assessment of hazard
2) Assessment of resources
3) Mean of communication
4) Implementation of the plan
5) Basic Principles
6) Sharing the Procedure
7) Post Emergency Consideration

Each of these points is explained in the following sections.

Identification and assessment of hazard
The process of hazard identification and assessment involves a thorough review that should include, but not be limited to, the following points: • Transportation, materials handling, hoisting, equipment or product installation, temporary structures, material storage, start-up, and commissioning activities • Environmental concerns

• Consultation with the client regarding potential hazards when working in or adjacent to operating facilities • Resources such as material safety data sheets (MSDSs) to determine potential hazards from on-site materials. • Proximity to traffic and public ways.

Because construction sites are frequently fast-changing, the process of hazard assessment must be ongoing to accommodate the dynamic environment. Once hazards are identified, the next task is to assess the potential or risk involved in each. For each hazard identified, ask:

• What can go wrong?
• What are the consequences?

For each potential hazard it is important to identify resources necessary for an appropriate emergency response. For most events in construction, a simple analysis based on the experience of the people involved on the project is likely sufficient.

Assessment of resources

It is important to identify which resources are available and have contingency plans in place to make up for any deficiencies. The most important resource on most projects will be a provincial rescue system like 1122. It is essential to verify that rescue system is in effect in the area. Most cities of Punjab have a 1122 system in place, but it is important to know the facilities or limitations available in that location. Is a high-reach rescue team available? What is the response time? What must site personnel do in the meantime?...
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