The key role of Safety Officers

posted in: Construction Chat | 6

The key role of safety officers

Safety Officers and Their Functions:

Safety officer… Brrrrrr.… Just the mere words alone are enough to send cold shivers down any foreman’s spine.
This important professional can close down a construction site within an hour if proper safety and precaution measures are not adhered to.
They do, however, form probably the most vital part of the whole operation – And that is ensuring the safety of all personnel on site.

We all know how quickly and easily accidents can happen, especially on a dangerous construction site, where accidents are almost inevitable. These officers detailed, pedantic and precautionary planning is an essential part of ensuring the safety of everyone involved in the project.

 

Not to mention the financial losses that are incurred with the insurance claims which lead to more financial losses caused by delays and it just grows exponentially worse from there.

 

Reputations can be tested and destroyed, and the hardest hitting reality of it all…

People can die!

Remember the bridge that fell down over Grayston Drive in Sandton, Johannesburg, not that long ago? The first point of contact for the investigation was the Safety Officer!

Not sticking to the safety regulations is simply a lose-lose situation.

OK, now that I have scared everyone and put you all in a sombre mood, let’s get serious and highlight just some of the important functions of a Safety Officer.

1. Creating and Implementing Safety Policies:
The Safety Officer with the assistance of managers and construction workers determine what policies are needed to help employers reduce the accident-related costs and prevent losses
due to any decline in productivity. They then finalize these policies and are responsible for alerting workers about any changes and monitoring of compliance.

2. Workplace Inspections:
Safety Officers are responsible for inspecting the interior and exterior work areas to determine if there are any safety hazards. In these inspections, they look for any broken equipment, damaged or unstable equipment, slip-and-fall hazards and any other potential hazards. They also observe workers to ensure that the required personal protective equipment (PPE) is being worn and machinery is operated in the correct manner and that the employees themselves are adhering to the company’s safety policies.

3. Accident Investigations:
Should a workplace accident occur, a Safety Officer will conduct the investigation to determine why and how the accident happened. This includes questioning witnesses, accident site inspection and pictures may be taken of the scene for the comprehensive report he or she must write. They also then provide recommendations to prevent future accidents.

4. Training and Coaching:
Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) requires employers to provide training on multitudes of safety topics, ranging from fire prevention plans, hazardous materials handling to machine operations. Safety Officers need to identify training needs, develop the correct programs and then deliver these programs to the employees.

5. Last, but not least… Regulatory Compliance:
These standards have already been put in place by OSHA and Occupational Safety Agencies, and are a necessity on construction sites. This involves reviewing these already set out standards, implementing plans to meet those standards and follow all of the correct record keeping procedures.

So as you can clearly see, these professionals play an integral part of keeping you and your workers safe.

Their job is your well-being!

 

 

 

Sources:
http://work.chron.com/duties-safety-officers-13515.html
https://www.aiha.org/get-involved/…/IPRWG-SafetyOfficerResponsibilities.doc
http://www.claybrick.org/what-are-duties-construction-health-safety-officer
https://resources.workable.com/safety-officer-job-description
http://fspbusiness.co.za/articles/hse-representatives/your-health-and-safety-officer-has-seven-essential-responsibilities-are-you-familiar-with-them-7081.html
https://www.thebalance.com/what-is-a-construction-safety-officer-844595

 

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About Nikki Blake

I am an Account Executive in our Gauteng branch. I have been with L2B for almost a year now and it has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I am so passionate about people and being able to assist them grow their business with the use of our amazing system. It has not only given me an overwhelming sense of self fulfilment, but has also become my motivation to be the best person I can be each day. Thank you L2B and to all of our awesome clients!

L2B Blog: Fire Risks

Fire Risks


Since the early dawn of man, the discovery of fire has brought us progress in every way. A discovery that has pushed the human race beyond grunting and digging for roots, catapulting us into the future. It has provided us with warmth, transport, cooked meals and a living environment that is far more convenient and healthy.
Fire brings a risk of injury and/or death. The importance of treating fire with respect and a mental presence is pertinent to everyone’s wellbeing. This article will give you an overview of some of the risks that fire brings.

Fire requires three elements to start; heat, fuel & oxygen. Stupidity might be added as a fourth for a safe measure as this seems to be a common factor. Examples of fire hazards will include but are not limited to: objects generating heat, faulty electrical equipment, overloading of power supply sockets, smoking, human error and negligence as well as meteorological events (lightning).

 

Hoarding is considered to be one of the major contributors towards fire hazards. Hoarding is defined as the persisted collection and accumulation with an inability to relinquish a large number of objects. Hoarding might include variable objects and materials that humans collect and store causing clutter that will be the fuel for any fire. The rule of thumb is that if you haven’t used it for two months then get rid of it. It is not worth getting your mono-brow or ponytail singed by fire as a direct cause of your hoarding.

Whilst the list of materials posing possible fire risks is endless, the common list would include: flammable liquids of all kinds, gas, and fabric etc. It is of value to know the flash point of flammable material that you might utilise and or store on your premises.

The flashpoint of a volatile flammable material is the lowest temperature at which the vapours of the material will ignite when given an ignition source. The flash point is often confused with the autoignition temperature, which is the temperature at which the vapour ignites spontaneously on its own without an ignition source. The fire point is the lowest temperature at which the vapours of the material will continue to burn after being ignited and the ignition source has been removed. The fire point is higher than the flash point because at the flashpoint more vapour may not be produced rapidly enough to sustain combustion. Flammable materials almost always have a Material Safety Data Sheet that will include information in regards to the particular materials flash/ignition point. It is of value to take the time to read and familiarise yourself with this data if you are inclined to handle the material in an environment that could cause it to ignite.

 

 Whilst it is common knowledge as to the danger linked to well-known flammable materials, the risk of fire is hidden in materials that we do not commonly associate with fire. Ordinary cake flour is one of these products. In its original solid form, it has no risk of ignition. However, when converted into a fine dust, the risk of ignition increases exponentially. Other organic materials that fall into this category will include but are not limited to: grain, starch, sugar, powdered milk, cocoa, coffee, and pollen.

Fireball spreads rapidly:
A cloud of flour is ignited:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, if waking up from a “Rip Van Winkle” coma with your favourite little dog named “Skippy” imprinted as a vague Bushman drawing on your kitchen wall doesn’t appeal to you, then rather don’t celebrate your perfect ginger-bread man biscuits by applauding yourself with a hand full of flour over your ignited gas stove.

Be aware and educate yourself on all aspects of fire.

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dust_explosion
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_point

Examples of Fire Hazards in the Workplace

 

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About Richard Venter

I joined the property division as the Financial Manager in 2017 and oversee the management and investment aspects of all properties owned.

L2B Blog: History of Hard Hats

.History of Hard Hats

History of Hard Hats

Hard Hats; a common symbol of the Construction Industry, but have you ever stopped to wonder about the History behind this safety accessory?

History

According to Prescot Valley Tribune, “The Hard Hat originated with Edward Bullard, a WWI veteran. He brought a steel helmet home after the war. This metal headgear was the inspiration to revolutionize industrial safety. Bullard’s father worked in the industrial safety business for 20 years and sold protective hats, but they were made of leather.

Construction of the Hoover Dam, which began in 1931 was the first project in which construction workers were required to wear Hard Hats. Later, in 1933, the construction site of the Golden Gate Bridge became America’s first “Hard Hat Area”.”

The first Hard Hats were made from:

  • Leather
  • Canvas
  • Steel
  • Aluminum
  • Fibreglass
  • Plastic
  • and finally today’s High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE).
Functionality

The function of the Hard Hat is pretty obvious. If worn and fitted correctly it provides limited safety from shock, perforation, fire, water and heat.

Hard Hats also provide a form of identification.

A wearer can use colour coded Hard Hats to differentiate between job titles/responsibilities:

  • White – Managers, Engineers, Supervisors/Foremen
  • Blue – Electricians, Carpenters and other technical operators (besides civil workers)
  • Green – Safety Officers
  • Red – Fire Fighters
  • Yellow – Labourers
  • Brown – Welders and workers with high heat application
  • Grey – Site Visitors

These colour codes are general and could change according to the Project.

Over time Hard Hats, like most things also need replacing. As a wearer, you should inspect your Hard Hats before each use.  Your support strap should also be replaced annually and the entire hat every five years. Hard Hats may also allow for the attachment of safety accessories; most noteworthy are face shields, respirators, hearing protection and work lamps.

Future

Today’s Hard Hat hasn’t changed much since the 1960’s and has become a staple of safety, but they may be getting an upgrade in the future.

According to Sourceable, “In Australia, RMIT has developed a system whereby sensors can be embedded onto safety glasses, helmets or boots and can monitor and inform workers of impending danger…”
Sounds really interesting, after all, technology is a part of our every day lives and why not safety too.
Industry leaders can achieve much by ‘upgrading’ the Hard Hat. For example, by monitoring and assessing stats you can take precautions; not only in the present but also in the future through behavior analysis. But this may also present issues; like how much monitoring is too much when it comes to privacy and tracking? What are your thoughts?

In conclusion, the future sure looks safe when it comes to Hard Hats. The History of Hard Hats was certainly an interesting topic to research and blog.

Finally

Do you have any Hard Hat stories or facts you’d like to share? Or do you frequently use one?

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_hat

https://www.pvtrib.com/news/2018/jan/26/ask-contractor-history-hat-protects-workers/

https://www.thenbs.com/knowledge/what-colours-are-safety-helmets-hard-hats-on-construction-sites

http://www.civilology.com/helmet-color-code-construction/

https://sourceable.net/smart-hard-hats-next-trend-construction-safety/

 

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To view notes with screenshots on how to use our website, please visit our Wiki site.
To view more articles, please visit our blog.

About Sasha Anderson

I enjoy making new professional acquaintances and corresponding with existing clients. Reach out if you want to talk, L2B, social media, construction, technology, shoes, dachshunds, popular culture or travel.

L2B Blog: Exploring New Ideas in the Role of the Project Manager

Exploring New Ideas in the Role of the Project Manager

If you are involved in the construction industry you have most likely come into contact with a Project Manager (hereafter referred to as a PM) or heard of one mentioned in the process of developments and particularly larger developments.

Certainly in Leads 2 Business’ Projects Department PM’s are one of the most common professionals we deal with. The reason for this, is their role within construction projects.

So, what does a PM actually do? It would seem rather obvious right, they manage the project? But nothing is ever as simple as it seems. PM’s actually do a whole host of duties.

Some of which include: planning, organising, controlling, communicating, executing, reports, programs, advice, analysis, resource control, health and safety, budgets, administration and handover.

All of these duties are done ensure that the project runs successfully thus lowering the risks while meeting all of the objectives timeously to ensure completion which effects the profitability of the project.

So, when do new ideas come into the picture? What new ideas would PM’s have to explore in todays construction industry?

To be honest, I was at a loss when pondering this question, after all I’m not a PM and it’s not a role one easily assumes to answer. So I emailed a few PM’s to get some feedback on ideas that they might want to put out there… but still no luck, probably snowed under with work given our economic environment. I scoured the Internet and there didn’t seem to be any publications or news out there for new ideas when it comes to PM’s until I happened on some LinkedIn Posts. Phew!

This may not be a new idea but how about technology, either using existing tech and / or molding it to PM’s requirements, partnering with IT and creating PM specific tech or even sharing your tech tricks with other PM’s? For example: Ahmed H. Emam, PMP writes “Detect and Fix Dangling Activities in Time Schedule using Excel Macro.” https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/detect-fix-dangling-activities-time-schedule-using-excel-pmp

Using tech could make PM’s jobs easier but some seem to think that PM’s might be replaced in the future by Tech/Bots. As Oliver Yarbrough, M.S., PMP illustrates in “Can a Robot Do Your Job? Here’s “How Project Managers Can Survive a Takeover.” https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/can-robot-do-your-job-heres-how-project-managers-oliver

There are some things that tech, no matter how advanced it gets, cannot replace. Oliver suggests to focus on the following skills in order to stand out: “Leadership, Diplomacy, Negotiating, Public Speaking, Emotional Intelligence, Communication (verbal and nonverbal)” and instead of fighting tech, work with it to enhance your service delivery.

Another thought also came to mind: what is one of the key aspects that I think of when I think of a PM? It would have to be communication. So, what new idea would make communication more effective? What about a platform where all the schedules, notes, admin, planning and analysis can be seen by all the professionals involved in a specific project? Where each person can make notes or get alerts thus avoiding confusion, emails back and forth, potential loss of material, and saving time, something like Google Sheets for PM’s? Does this already exist? It’s possible… calling all PM’s out there, let us know! Perhaps I need to patent this idea.

After all, we all know that communication is key whether you are a PM or not. Another useful tool to facilitate communication and interaction between professionals and all other contacts which fall within the scope of projects is to use L2B (Leads 2 Business). If you are looking to get involved in the different aspects of construction, information is our business. We encourage communication, new ideas and growth in order to build and establish business.

If any of the above sparks your interest leave a Comment below or or Contact me on SashaA@L2B.co.za

Source:

http://profica.com/Project-Management

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/detect-fix-dangling-activities-time-schedule-using-excel-pmp?trk=v-feed&lipi=urn%3Ali%3Apage%3Ad_flagship3_search_srp_content%3B6Q7NbKiCNqOpFrfh9U5jyg%3D%3D

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/can-robot-do-your-job-heres-how-project-managers-oliver?trk=v-feed&lipi=urn%3Ali%3Apage%3Ad_flagship3_search_srp_content%3Brgd4BBE3JHWCHOXLUg24dg%3D%3D

 

 

About Sasha Anderson

I enjoy making new professional acquaintances and corresponding with existing clients. Reach out if you want to talk, L2B, social media, construction, technology, shoes, dachshunds, popular culture or travel.

L2B Blog: The toll on our roads: is it fair & the impact on accidents and safety

posted in: General | 0

The toll on our roads: is it fair & the impact on accidents and safety

Before starting the discussion if tolls are fair we need to know the following:

 

What are tolls?

Most roads are built with local, state or national government money raised from taxes. Tolls are like a tax that applies only to the users of the toll road. Some lanes may have people working the toll booths so that you can pay with change or cash like we usually see in South Africa.

Click here to view the source

 

Why have toll roads?

Roads form the main artery of economic competitiveness, growth and social development. To build roads costs billions of rands. Toll roads assist us in meeting the demands of social services, which are important for the growth of our country. Toll roads accelerate the availability of initial funding for construction, compared to traditional tax-based funding. They also make new road capacity available to motorists sooner. Toll roads, therefore, reduce the total net cost to the economy, ensuring greater opportunities for prosperity and growth.

 

What are my tolls used for?

The tolls collected on a specific road are used to, among other things, repay the loans obtained to finance the building, upgrading or improvement of the road. In addition, it provides a dedicated on-going revenue stream, which enables the road to be adequately maintained and improved, independent of tax –based revenues.

 

What do I get from using a toll road?

Toll roads are built and maintained to the highest possible standards. Because we uphold such standards, South Africa is recognised as a world leader in pavement technology.

Therefore you are ensured of a smooth ride, saving you on the running costs of your vehicle and saving you time. Improved security ensures you a safe and pleasant journey. Tolls ensure that funding is available much sooner, for adding highway capacity at the right time thereby relieving congestion, reducing losses in time and productivity.

I feel an argument coming on, does the government use this revenue wisely? Do they take the commuters using these roads daily in consideration?

If you use the tolls once in a while one might not be affected by the increase in toll fees, but if you use these daily routes to work and back, costs start adding up.

A trip from Soweto to Pretoria cost motorists an additional six percent in tolls. This is just one route‚ as the increases cover tolls across South Africa,

The Automobile Association (AA)‚ commenting on the South African National Roads Agency’s tariff increases announced unexpectedly in March 2017‚ calculated that the increase in rand terms is from R731.80 to R775.40 for a return trip between Soweto and Pretoria on a monthly basis.

Click here to view the source

 

Like all costs, tolls fees have to be increased as well as toll roads are constantly being upgraded, but one wrong decision made by a civil engineer and millions of rands could go to waste.

Okay, but that’s opening a whole new can of worms.

Accidents can be caused by various aspects when using roads, including bad road surfaces, bright lighting from oncoming traffic (from the not so courteous drivers), no proper barriers in place which could avoid a string of vehicles from being involved in an accident, potholes… POTHOLES!!!

Click here to view the source

 

Every driver’s nightmare, besides causing damage to your vehicle that can cost you thousands to repair, these tiny holes and some not so tiny, can cause truck accidents and motorcycle accidents in addition to poor road conditions that often result in serious car accident injuries.

Moreover, motorcycle drivers are at an increased risk for serious and fatal injuries due to the dangerous road conditions potholes create. When a vehicle hits a deep pothole, the impact is similar to that of a collision at 35m/ph (56.3km/ph). All motorists have a responsibility to look out for road hazards, such as potholes and drive carefully to prevent car accidents.

Yes, motorists have to do to their part concerning road safety, but the government also has to play a vital role in this.

Road safety campaigns have been implemented from their side. Is this enough? Have they drawn enough attention to these campaigns?

A key aspect of the integrated Road Safety Management Programme is increasing pedestrian safety. In planning and design, SANRAL (South African National Roads Agency) provides for interventions such as traffic calming, safe stopping areas for public transport and pedestrian bridges. The Department of Transport also engages communities adjacent to national roads to find solutions to pedestrians’ needs.

To contribute to safety on the roads, SANRAL has developed a database of projects that need to be implemented in areas that are hazardous to pedestrians. The solutions range from pedestrian bridges, pavements, road safety education and traffic calming measures.

When it comes to managing safety on freeways, SANRAL’s incident management system, supported by central coordination centres, embraces interaction between emergency services and law enforcement agencies on all declared national routes.

Be safe on the road my fellow commuters, overall we have to keep ourselves safe on the roads.

Here are a few tips to keep you and others safe when travelling,

  • adhere to the speed limit
  • avoid the use of cell phones while driving
  • ensure that your vehicle is roadworthy
  • do not cross the road where it is not safe to do so
  • take regular breaks
  • buckle up, safety belts save lives
  • avoid driving under the influence of alcohol

 

Also visit the Arrive Alive website for more safety tips, https://www.arrivealive.co.za/

Travel safely!!!

 

Did you Know #DYK: Interesting facts about research in South Africa

About Sharika Raman

I have worked for Leads 2 Business from January 2015 till present. I work for the Leads 2 Quotes Department for Directory and Control List.