How it Started
Content started in “Constructability” reviews by Project Management Teams working with engineering.
Limited amount of safety training required in engineering educational activities.
- Contract Administrators
- Procurement Professionals
- Over 2,000 Over the Last Year
Involvement in Design Build Activities with our own employees increased the awareness.
- The grating fastener system was not part of the original design. The fastener system was proposed by Heart Construction as a change, and accepted by the Engineer.
- Special wrenches are required to install and remove the grating fasteners. Two wrenches, owned by Heart, were available on the jobsite. The wrenches were sometimes lost or misplaced and not available.
- Heart Construction held weekly project safety meetings. Jerry attended only one meeting.
- During previous safety meetings, concerns were brought up about lack of support for the grating sections at locations where portions of the sections were modified. Occasionally wood was placed across the grating to provide additional support.
- A temporary ladder between the upper and lower levels which was located several yards from the accident site was removed before the accident.
- How could the accident have been prevented?
- What could have been done in the design and/or the design phase to prevent the accident?
Example Construction Site Accident
McNairy Dam Fish Facility
Construction of a laboratory visitor center, a large fish collection facility, and power line from the dam to the visitor’s center.
Columbia River, Oregon
- Example Construction Site Accident
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE)
General Contractor: Heart Construction
Electrical Subcontractor: J&J Electric
Scope of work: Install electrical lines and controls throughout the project.
Company owners (brothers):
Frank Jones (on-site project superintendent)
Jerry Jones (office manager, some work on-site)
- Fish containment area consists of an upper working level and a lower fish collection level.
- Upper level constructed of steel framing supporting galvanized metal removable grating. (3 feet wide x 4 feet long sections)
- Mechanical and electrical equipment is located on the upper level.
- Elevation of lower level is 30 feet below the upper level, except for a concrete ledge along one wall which is 3 feet below the upper level.
- No permanent access (stairway, ladder, etc.) is available between the upper and lower levels.
- Lower level is under water during normal operation.
- Fish containment area construction complete.
- Electrical system testing under way.
- Frank, Jerry, and several Heart employees enter the upper level of the fish containment area to prepare a test of the equipment controls before opening the facility.
- Frank and Jerry work on the first control panel.
- After the first control panel is completed, Jerry proceeds south to the second control panel and begins to work.
- Frank remains at the first control panel talking to the Heart employees.
- Heart employee, George, sees an obstruction on the ledge 3 feet below.
- George walks over next to Jerry and removes a section of metal grating to go down to the lower level. The section of grating was not secured with fasteners.
- George jumps down to the ledge (3 feet below) and replaces the grating above him, but does not correctly place the grating over the bolts.
- While sliding the grating back into place, George says to Jerry that he didn’t want anyone to step in the opening.
- Jerry hears George say something, but does not understand because of the high noise level.
- After a few minutes of working on the second control panel, Jerry calls to Frank to bring him a wrench.
- Frank walks over to hand Jerry the wrench.
- Frank steps on the grating that George replaced and falls through to the lower level 30 feet below.
- Frank sustains head, back, and neck injuries.
- Frank now performs only minor office work, rather than on-site work.
- J&J profits are less since the accident.
Like many good ideas, DfCS faces barriers:
- Contract terms
- Added costs
- Designers’ fear of liability
- Designers’ lack of knowledge
Potential solutions to these barriers involve long-term education and institutional changes.
- Design underground utilities to be placed using trenchless technologies1
- Specify primers, sealers and other coatings that do not emit noxious fumes or contain carcinogenic products2
- Design cable type lifeline system for storage towers3
- OSHA workgroup 2-4 hour powerpoint
- Construction Industry Institute database
- United Kingdom Health & Safety Executive designer guides
Example from: www.hse.gov.uk/construction/designers
- Include holes in columns at 21” and 42” for guardrail cables and at higher locations for fall protection tie-offs
- Locate column splices and connections at reasonable heights above floor
- Provide seats for beam connections
Avoid hanging connections
- Design connections to bear on columns
Avoid awkward and dangerous connection locations
- IBC paragraph 704.11.1 requires that a parapet wall be at least 30 inches high
- OSHA 1926 Subpart M requires a 36-42 inch guardrail or other fall protection
- If the design professional specifies a 36-42 inch high parapet wall, fall protection would not be required
- Example: Anchorage Points
- DfCS Examples: Roofs
|Upper story windows and roof parapets|
– Increased productivity
– Fewer delays due to accidents
Allows continued focus on quality
– Proactive clients
Starting to demand safer construction and safer designs
Example of the Need for DfCS
- Dig groundwater monitoring wells at various locations.
- Wells located directly under overhead power lines.
- Worker electrocuted when his drill rig got too close to overhead power lines.
- specified wells be dug away from power lines; and/or better informed the contractor of hazard posed by wells’ proximity to powerlines through the plans, specifications, and bid documents