This week’s Build Safe UAE (BSU) alert outlined some best practices initiated by companies such as Alec and CSCEC as well as some on-site incidents.
The Alec Formwork Team at the Yas Golf Links project in Abu Dhabi noticed that concrete pouring activities carried out above the formwork expose workers to falls, even if edge protection is erected. Normally the required height of the top rail from the working surface of the platform is not less than 38 inches and not more than 45 inches. But due to the layer of reinforcement steel placed above the platform, the working area becomes more elevated and the top rail can no longer protect employees who are working near the edge.
To address this safety concern, the Alec team utilised a post with a multi-barrier holder to accommodate a third wooden railing and increase the height of edge protection. Hence, employees will have more protection as they move or work above the reinforcement steel, especially during concrete pouring.
CSCEC said it is introducing a Near Miss Card Reporting System throughout its projects. The cards, in English and Chinese, will be positioned in the office complex and site area adjacent to locked drop boxes. The reporting of near misses is an integral part in reducing the number of serious accidents and allows preventive measures to be implemented, said the company. The boxes will be checked every day by designated members of the project HSE team.
Meanwhile, NSCC has notified BSU that it displays best practice alerts, animated safety stories and signage at all its construction sites.
In terms of site incidents, a worker sustained life-threatening injuries while curing concrete panels in the precast yard. Loose sand below the panels got washed away and a panel became unbalanced, tilted over and hit him. Though the worker has recovered from internal injuries, he will require further hospital treatment. The use of improvised material for supporting heavy panels was identified as the cause of the accident. Concrete supports can be manufactured on site easily from waste concrete, recommended BSU.
Another incident occurred when a crane engaged in lifting operations of underground services experienced grab hooks of the chain sling dropping to the ground from a height of 20 metres. BSU recommended that riggers and crane operators should receive additional practical training on inspection of lifting equipment. Sites must ensure that a competent rigger should carry out daily visual inspection of lifting equipment, it added.
In an incident reported from London, a rack of acetylene bottles caught fire due to welding activity close to the containers. BSU warned that acetylene fires are notoriously unpredictable and an explosion could have occurred at any time, injuring or killing a number of workers.