A risk matrix is used to evaluate the seriousness and likelihood of each risk. The rating for Likelihood and Seriousness for each risk is done in the following matrix. The hazards are rated on the basis of previous records available and author’s own experiences with these hazards (Table 1). In the risk matrix, the recommended actions for various grades of risk are given according to OHS regulations (Table 2).
Before spelling out the recommendations for the construction site, it is important to examine the existing safety management measures
No-Smoking zone: The construction site is strictly a no-smoking zone. There is a designated smoking zone for workers who want to light a cigarette. In case a fire does occur, there are numerous fire extinguishers available at accessible places. The workers are trained in use of these fire extinguishers so that they can control minor fires. The fire alarm is audible to every place at the site and the fire station is located nearby. The evacuation drills of the workers are conducted regularly in case of an emergency. This shows that the existing control measures are reasonable.
Use of PPEs: The workers involved in welding and torching are required to wear facemasks and ear plugs at all times which can reduce the effect of noise. Other employees are also provided with appropriate PPE so that no permanent long term effects of noise are encountered. The machines are oiled regularly so that the noise level is kept to a minimum. However, noise has to be considered an occupational hazard for a construction site which cannot be completely done away with. Thus the existing control measures are adequate so far as reasonably practical.
Bird repellers: ArchitektonikiDomi Ltd. uses bird repellent techniques like spray to drive away the birds at the site. However, these are only used at the ground level. It is not economically feasible to use these sprays at the roof which has become a hub of pigeons. The faeces of these pigeons cause foul smell and mess at the construction site. It is not cleaned regularly which means that the workers are always at the risk of coming in contact with the fungi which can cause lung infection. This shows a deficiency in existing control measures which can be improved upon.
Eating area: The eating area is separated from the construction site so as to prevent possible contamination of dust particles with the food or water. The workers are expected to take a shower before they enter the main eating area though it is not mandatory. During summer months, when it is very hot, there is no arrangement for cold drinking water or glucose water at the site itself. This can cause dehydration or even unconsciousness under extreme hot conditions. The control measures are clearly not adequate and must be improved upon.
The following safety management measures are recommended
Bird shield techniques: The bird repellent sprays are not feasible at heights as their effect is very short lived. A shield can be more effective at repelling the pigeons. This will reduce the bird faeces and thus reduce the risk of lung infection for the workers. Moreover, the ground level must be regularly cleaned so as to prevent the foul smell to cause a nuisance among the workers. This will reduce the risk to health of the workers.
Moving vehicle for cold water/ glucose: The impact of unavailability of cold drinking water or glucose nearby has to be observed over a period of time as it is relatively low level risk. If unfavourable incidences like dehydration or unconsciousness among workers increases over time, action has to be taken. The action can include providing bottled mineral water or glucose to each worker which they can carry with them. Alternatively, a moving vehicle can be allotted for drinking purpose which can reduce the need to travel long distance to fetch cold water under extremely hot conditions.