Ethentic Ethentic Higher Safety Higher Safety Chipmunk Data Chipmunk Data
  • Higher Safety Higher Safety Chipmunk Data Chipmunk Data Ethentic Ethentic

    ICE AND COSTAIN HEALTH AND SAFETY LECTURE 2013

    HSE Chair questions architects’ contribution to inherent safety

    Judith Hackitt CBE and Chair of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has delivered the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) and Costain Health and Safety Lecture at the ICE London HQ.

    The lecture makes the distinction between Occupational Safety and Operational Safety and identifies two “very simple principles” at the heart of Operational Safety which are applicable to industries beyond the chemicals sector. These principles identified are:

    • Inherently safer design; and
    • Prevention of catastrophic incidents.

    The lecture goes on to draw out the implications for the construction sector. Key points are repeated below. Click here for the full text.

    Inherently safer design

    Ms Hackitt reminded her audiance that inherently safer design is a principle which can be applied during certain “windows of opportunity” in the life of any project or facility.

    Trevor Kletz is remembered by chemical engineers as a leader on process safety who coined the maxim “What you don’t have can’t leak”. In design terms to chemical engineers this means eliminating inventories of hazardous materials within the process. Ms Hackitt added:

    “In civil engineering terms the principle of inherent safety in design lies at the heart of the Construction Design and Management Regulations. One of the intentions of these regulations is to get people involved in projects to consider safety issues beyond the construction phase and to build into the design the means for the facility to be used, operated, maintained and ultimately demolished more safely.

    I have to say that despite the many successes we can attribute to the introduction of CDM, I have yet to see overwhelming evidence that Architects pay sufficient attention to the practical risks of changing light bulbs and other such mundane maintenance tasks in some of the undoubtedly eye-catching and often beautiful structures which they develop.

    Inherently safer design is of course not limited to conceptual grass roots design. There will be many other opportunities during the life span of any project to make a difference and reduce inherent levels of risk. The recent breakthrough, thanks to chemistry of course – which has painted the Forth railway bridge with a long lasting corrosion resistant paint will eliminate the customary reference to painting the bridge as being a continuous operation.

    But inherently safer design may also require some different thinking to take place in companies and organisations who commission major projects. All too often competitive bids for projects are assessed on price alone and by “price” what is actually meant is the capital expenditure required to build the facility without sufficient if any regard to ongoing operating cost.

    It may well be the case that an inherently safer design will cost incrementally more to build, but the case must look at the full life cycle costs and the potential for massive savings in operating expense over the life cycle of the project which could potentially dwarf the increased Capex outlay.”

    Prevention of catastrophes

    The HSE Chair pointed out that her main theme was preventing catastrophe and looking at what lessons can be learned from other industries to apply to the construction sector. She stressed:

    Never assume that the worst can’t happen and that you have “nailed” the problem. Whilst it is true that we have made significant advances in safety systems, remember that those new systems that we have introduced can also fail. We may have added layers of protection but if those layers are not maintained they can provide a false comfort blanket.

    Catastrophes can only be prevented if the potential for them to happen is recognised throughout the organisation from the very top to the very bottom- and if that recognition creates a feeling of constant unease and vulnerability, not a sense of complacency.”

    Catastrophe prevention / Operational safety indicators must be predominantly leading not lagging. The absence of a major incident for several years is not a good measure of performance. Ms Hackitt suggests some such measures which could be widely applicable:

    • how many safety critical systems are overdue for test and maintenance?
    • do you know what your safety critical layers of protection are?
    • how do you know they are working?
    • do your employees feel empowered to stop work if they feel there is a potential problem?
    • do you praise or blame them when they do?

    Ms Hackitt concluded:

    “Process Safety / Catastrophe prevention is not easy. It requires the asking of searching questions. What you need to measure is likely to be specific to your business / process so it’s hard to simply copy what others do – but you can still learn from others.

    Every branch of engineering which builds and operates facilities on a large scale has the capacity for catastrophic events to occur which could not only claim lives but destroy the business itself. Operational safety – catastrophe prevention is an essential part of a comprehensive and effective safety management system.”

    Latest Construction Health and Safety News

    ROOF COLLAPSED UNDER EXCESS LOADING

    Director and company fined over roof design failures

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 11th November 2018

    FORK LIFT OVERTURNED IN SCAFFOLDING YARD

    Untrained operator suffered life changing crush injuries

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 10th November 2018

    STRUCTURAL SAFETY ALERT: EFFECTS OF SCALE

    SCOSS issues alert after concerns disclosed over ‘large structures’

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 7th November 2018

    ASBESTOS EXPOSED BY UNTRAINED WORKERS

    Contractor failed to act properly despite HSE intervention

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 7th November 2018

    GAS MAIN STRIKE REPAIR CAUSED SEVERE BURNS

    Contractor excavator damage to gas pipe ends in £1.2m fine

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 7th November 2018

    REBAR FELL FROM FLT IN UNSAFE LIFTING OPERATION

    Multiple fractures caused by inappropriate use of fork lift

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 7th November 2018

    HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 7th NOV 2018

    hselogo1Prosecutions and enforcement notices register latest version

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 7th November 2018

    POORLY PLANNED LIFT DISMANTLE INJURED WORKMAN

    Counterweight or suspension rope struck worker in lift shaft

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 1st November 2018

    CONSTRUCTION INJURY AND ILL-HEALTH 2017/18

    hselogo1Fatal injury rate in long term decline whilst ill-health trend flat lining

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 1st November 2018

    DUMPER DRIVEN INTO OPEN UNGUARDED EXCAVATION

    Contractor fined over absence of suitable excavation / dumper precautions

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 1st November 2018

    DEATH FAILED TO TRIGGER PREVENTIVE ACTION

    Prison term for director whilst his company ordered to pay £3/4m

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 29th October 2018

    FAILURE TO MAINTAIN GUARDS PROVES COSTLY

    Woodworking machinery defective despite previous HSE advice

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 26th October 2018

    CISRS LAUNCH SYSTEM SCAFFOLD INSPECTION COURSES

    Training courses prompted by growing use of system scaffolding

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 25th October 2018

    HSE INSPECTS CLADDING REMOVAL AND REPLACEMENT

    hselogo1Advice to Inspectors published on fire risk during work on tall buildings

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 25th October 2018

    HIGHWAYS, RAIL AND WATER HEALTH & SAFETY HUBS

    Websites provide useful information, alerts and tools

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 24th October 2018

    ELIMINATING CONCRETE DRILLING VIBRATION HAZARD

    Cutting specialist innovation avoids vibration exposure management

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 24th October 2018

    NEW MEWP WORK AT HEIGHT RESCUE GUIDANCE

    Industry body publishes simple guidance on MEWP stranding actions

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 24th October 2018

    HSE PUBLISH RIDDOR DATA VISUALISATION TOOL

    hselogo1Construction injury records made more relevant and easily used

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 24th October 2018

    DESIGNER CPD EVENT HOSTED BY HSE, APS & IOSH

    CDM 2015 Construction Design Risk Management Event

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 24th October 2018

    COUNCIL OVERLOOKED ICE RINK SLIPPING RISK

    Obvious risk of employees falling on ice rink was left uncontrolled

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 22nd October 2018

    STRUCTURAL SAFETY BODY LATEST NEWSLETTER

    CROSS publishes reports and expert comment on a range of issues

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 22nd October 2018

    YOUNG WORKER FELL FROM PETROL STATION CANOPY

    Steel fabricator after young construction worker falls on first day at work

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 18th October 2018

    FIRM FINED OVER FAILURE AT ASSESS VIBRATION RISK

    Vibration regulations not acted upon until seven years in operation

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 18th October 2018

    FAILURE TO ISOLATE LEAVES WORKMAN PARALYSED

    Conveyor guards removed before power source isolated

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 16th October 2018

    TRADING STANDARDS AND HSE ACT IN CONCERT

    Director given prison term over fraud and health and safety breaches

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 15th October 2018
    Ethentic Ethentic Higher Safety Higher Safety Chipmunk Data Chipmunk Data
  • Higher Safety Higher Safety Chipmunk Data Chipmunk Data Ethentic Ethentic