07/01/2007

5 Things to Consider in Jobsite Safety

Responsive owners must develop clear and concise safety guidelines for any construction project - large or small

 

Jobsite Life-Safety Questions to Ask Yourself

  • Are my plans for smoke detection, fire detection, and fire suppression adequate?
  • Are my plans and facilities for storing combustible materials appropriate?
  • Are my main and alternate access routes for emergency vehicles wide enough and marked appropriately?
  • What additional safety measures should I incorporate where welding is taking place?
  • Are the existing life-safety systems - fire and smoke detection, alarms, and suppression equipment - in good working order? If not, you have to fix them; they are your responsibility during construction.
  • What measures do you need to take to prevent false alarms (for example, changing smoke detectors to heat detectors, or bagging smoke detectors during the day)?

 

Nothing is more important on your construction site than life safety. Such focus might include strict no-smoking and no-truck-idling policies on every site. Among the most important considerations for jobsite life safety are access to emergency exits, emergency vehicle access, close consultation with the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ), air-quality control, and signage.

1. Access to Emergency Exits
Materials are delivered to your jobsite, moved, and disposed of constantly, and you know that housekeeping is a never-ending job. But, no housekeeping is more important than ensuring that emergency exits are always unobstructed. Occasionally, an area with emergency exits needs to be blocked off and occupants need to be rerouted to the next best egress. When this happens, materials tend to accumulate nearby. Before you open or re-open any emergency exit, double check that everything obstructing the exit has been removed.

2. Access for Emergency Vehicles
You are required to maintain uninterrupted access to your construction site for emergency vehicles. If a delivery vehicle or anything else is blocking the emergency vehicle access route even briefly, you need to open an alternate route that provides the same level of ready access for emergency vehicles, including large fire trucks. Set up this alternate route at the same time you set up your main route - at the very beginning of the project - and have your AHJ sign off on it.

3. Authority Having Jurisdiction
Ask your AHJ to review your life-safety plans before construction begins (for example, during and after the permitting process or during the drawing review). Your whole team needs to be apprised of the plans, so be sure to coordinate meetings with the owner, design team, construction managers, and construction safety officers. Keep your AHJ up to date on any changes affecting the original plan that he or she approved, and always think of the AHJ as a valuable resource to help ensure safety for everyone at the site. Don't forget to include other authorities in the process, such as a campus life-safety officer at a university.

4. Air-Quality Control
Construction and renovation can generate airborne dust, dirt, odors, and fumes that can compromise safety, especially at sensitive sites like hospitals. Always isolate construction areas with temporary partitions that are smoke-tight and non-combustible. Also, make sure you maintain one-way airflow out of occupied areas and into construction areas. Consider using HEPA filters, fans, and other equipment to maintain negative pressure in the construction area and clean air in occupied areas. You may also want to consider using wall-mounted magnehelic gauges to monitor air-pressure differentials.

5. Signage
Clear and concise signage is critical for life safety. When construction activities temporarily block off an emergency-escape route, make sure you immediately establish new routes and clearly mark them, and post highly visible, up-to-date escape routes. And, always make sure that emergency contact information is posted at several high-traffic locations on your site.

Tom Perry is director, engineering services division, at Shawmut Design and Construction (www.shawmut.com), Boston.

 


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Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.

Add highly responsive multi-zone comfort to any building project, in any climate. Our CITY MULTI H2i R2- and Y-Series VRF systems give you flexibility to fit the needs of any building. Enjoy 100% heating capacity at 0°F outdoor ambient, and 85% heating capacity at -13°F outdoor ambient.  For more information, log on to www.mitsubishipro.com


Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With thousands of satisfied customers already using award winning ec-H2O technology, why not see what you're missing? Test ec-H2O on your soils in your facility. Get a free demo.


Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With thousands of satisfied customers already using award winning ec-H2O technology, why not see what you're missing? Test ec-H2O on your soils in your facility. Get a free demo.

 

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