Managing Risks – How to Avoid Accidents?

One of the best techniques of preventing accidents at a large project site is to let the contractor supervisors ponder over the jobs to be done and then putting them down in writing.

It’s a common fact that workers coming together in a large construction project have different levels of experience and training. The key persons for preventing accidents are the supervisors.

By getting the supervisors to put their work steps and procedures in writing, safety personnel can use this method to reduce incidents of workers taking shortcuts in safety.

The way to do this is to have a form for the supervisors to fill. This is called the site incident prevention plan or SIPP. It’s just a form that informs the safety officers their work plan. A good description of the work plan will include the following:

1. A sequence of work that starts with informing the project manager or supervisor before starting work. The work will then have a description of the potential hazard if this was not carried out. Having made aware of the potential hazard, the person writing the work plan will also write down the countermeasures that he will take to eliminate the hazard. An example of this control measure will be seeking approval from the safety officer and conducting tool box meeting with the workers before starting work.

2. The next sequence will most likely be mobilization of tools and materials to the work site. The potential hazard could be personal injury or messing up of the work area. To reduce the hazard, the supervisor may require his workers to wear safety gears like helmet and safety shoes.

3. The job itself will also be stated in the work plan. Depending on the location, the potential hazard could be personal injury, falling from height, or possibly causing a fire. So the supervisor will have to state all the control measures that he will have to take. An example could be for the workers to wear safety personal protective equipment, in this case, safety harness to prevent falling from heights. Applying for hot work permit could be another control measure.

The hot work permit itself is a separate form to be filled. This is applicable for hot work that can possibly cause a fire at the site. The hot work permit may require the applicant to make ready fire extinguishers, remove combustibles, use torches and burning equipment that are in good working order, etc…

There may be other control measures to be taken. It depends on the job. One control measure might require that workers do not step on the existing piping. Another control measure might be to erect barricades…

4. The last item in the SIPP could be housekeeping after the completion of the work. The potential hazard could be fire or tripping hazard. The control measure – cleaning up, removal of debris from the site and sweeping the floor after work completion.

In this work plan, the supervisor will indicate his name, the location of his work, the company name, and the work to be done. Depending on the complexity of the form, he might include a site map with the location of his work clearly marked out.

When supervisors make the effort to submit this SIPP work plan one day before the execution of the work, they are able to control the work hazards to prevent accidents. It all happens when thoughts are put into writing.