Enhancing construction safety through technology, design, and material management
Srishti Ahluwalia, Director, House of Kashtee, discusses electrical safety challenges and project safety practices.
How is the construction industry’s safety evolving in terms of project safety?
Over time, in the construction industry, technological advances have made safe work practices increasingly achievable. In addition to safer tools and items like fall protection harnesses, netting, and PPE protocols, advanced technologies like software programs, robotics, and virtual reality are increasing access to education and the ability to complete work items while avoiding injuries or fatalities.
How do government regulations and certification standards emphasise construction safety through equipment and technologies?
There are several Indian regulations dealing with the working conditions of construction workers, like the Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Services Act, 1996; the Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Services) Central Rules, 1998; and the Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Cess Act, 1996. In recent years, the government has started issuing notifications for construction equipment.
Please discuss the architectural requirements that can be incorporated into the initial design phase of building construction for safety.
Traditionally, architects prepare plans and specifications for construction projects. They have little involvement in the actual construction process. The contractors start with the plans and implement whatever means and methods are required to complete the project. The contractor has to manage hazards during the work. Certain design details, and sometimes the lack of other design details, can make a building more hazardous.
This can be improved by providing contractors, owners, design/build firms, engineers, and architects with information on recognising and anticipating construction hazards and eliminating them with well-thought-out design features. So that architects can identify factors that contribute to construction injuries and fatalities and then provide methodologies and design stages that will eliminate or reduce the risk of an injury.
What difficulties do builders and contractors encounter in conforming to design safety parameters?
Despite their experience and skills in handling construction projects, contractors need help to do everything independently. Construction materials may be placed at several locations at a construction site. This makes it challenging for construction supervisors, managers, and contractors to monitor the material closely. Effective material management services can help them counter this challenge. Keeping the project moving at a productive pace is a challenge that will remain until its completion. There are many hurdles and sources of delays in a construction project. Lapses in supply and chain management, machinery failure, injuries and casualties to any worker or workers, and a lack of funds also may stop a project.
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