Opinion Editorial by Patrick Tarrent, CEO of Crane Management & Leading Safety Expert
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These are the six resources needed to safely complete any task (not just in construction). When these re- sources are identified and procured before commencement of the work an accident is virtually impossible. I have found an acronym that makes these re- sources easy to remember–P E R M I T
The people selected to perform must be capable of performing the task safely. This may involve training, certification, demonstrating or just explaining the task. The appropriate number of people must be assigned to the task. A clear chain of command must be established. Backup personnel must be available in case a crew member doesn’t show up.
A thorough assessment must be made of the task to be accomplished and a list of every tool and piece of equipment that’s needed should be prepared. It is important to reference the number of workers and ensure that no tools must be shared.
R (Room to work):
In every task an assessment must be made of the space needed to store materials, store equipment and have access to the work area. This applies equally to setting up a large crawler crane on site or tiling a bathroom.
Obviously, no work can be done unless the material is on site in sufficient quantities to allow work to proceed in a manner consistent with the number of workers assigned to that task, the room available to stage the material and the schedule. Often there is just enough room to stage material for a few days and then get resupplied when the space frees up. It takes careful planning to work on a JIT (just in time) schedule.
It can be a difficult task to stay up to date with all the revisions, addendums, schedules, RFIs (requests for informa- tion) site safety plans and subcontractor shop drawings but it is a vital part of any construction project. All this information must be available to the lead person on site. It is not enough to have it in different locations in the field office; copies should be made and given to the lead person in the form of a job kit.
There’s never time to do it right; there’s always time to do it over. This is a fact of life in the construction business. It is important to accurately assess the time required to complete the task allowing for all possible contingencies such as weather delays, absenteeism, power failures, fire drills, elevator or hoist breakdowns and emergencies. Float or makeup time should also be included in the assessment.
Editor’s Note: this piece is part of a response to a proposed New York City law to improve safety on job sites in the city. The segment we are sharing here is applicable everywhere.