Safety Management System and Risk Assessment in Infrastructure Projects

March 22, 2017

infrastructure

An area-wide legacy is guaranteed when a new infrastructure project commences. There are new roads coming, new railway tracks and zoned parcels of land. Accompanying the engineering plans, a properly structured safety management system is required. It covers every hazard, every safety-oriented aspect of the construction work. That same meticulous approach forms the underpinnings of a potent risk assessment strategy. Let's investigate the results of these converging studies.

Safety Management Systems Protect Lives

Infrastructure projects radically transform large tracts of land. On this project land, massive engineering resources are congregating on multiple sites. Operational chaos would seem a likely consequence of all of these processing streams, but that's never the case. Instead, the work is meticulously organised. That same organisational acumen governs the development of a Safety Management System (SMS), a site employee framework that functions as a life-saving mechanism. Granted, this mechanism exists on paper, but it dictates real world resources, site assets that are there to minimise the risk factors that could hurt those same employees.

Defining Risk Assessment Procedures

Worldwide workplace fatalities have passed the one million person mark (www.ilo.org). Infrastructure projects have no wish to add to this terrible statistic, which is why a proactive measure is required. A meticulously conducted risk assessment study is at least as important as any engineering development, for it identifies all site hazards and manages those risks so that they no longer threaten an industrious workforce as they labour to complete each stage of the project. If that threat isn't sufficiently neutralised, then an alternative method for completing the task must be found.

Science and Safety

Casual observers are unaware of the science that now shapes these disciplines. There are entire books and courses that only instruct workers and executives in this science-based field. The risk assessment study alone fills entire documents, with the results covering a diverse cross-section of the project's structural assets. Everything, from the depth of the utility trenches to the height of the temporary scaffolding towers, falls under the purview of the safety management system and its probing risk assessment survey.

There are several methodologies that come to the fore when these disciplines are enacted. Block diagrams and hierarchical maps divide the many work streams of the project into manageable chunks. Branches of these organisational aids direct at-height operations, underground tasks, structural work, and heavy lifting assignments. Then, with all risks identified, the proactive safety management system overlays the project to create an invisible but high-functioning employee hazard buffer.

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