SERVICES TO GENERAL CONTRACTORS

Critical risks management

On a construction site, the risks considered critical are the dangers that can cause serious permanent injuries or even the death of workers. Each type of site creates different critical risks. In order to reduce work accidents on construction sites, it is important not only to know the critical risks, but to target and prioritize each intervention. Our team can assist you in managing critical risks specific to your site.

Confined Spaces

Each year, several fatal accidents occur due to poor management of the risks associated with working in confined spaces. The main dangers present in confined spaces are linked to the ambient air, contaminants (chemical/biological), physical risks due to the setup, the presence of uncontrolled energy sources and sometimes even the risk of burial or drowning. Regulations require all employers and supervisors to plan the work in confined spaces to ensure worker and supervisor safety in confined spaces.

In order to ensure the safety of your workers and compliance with regulations, here are a few points that you must respect before performing workin confined spaces:

  • Have a complete program for the management of confined spaces.
  • Carry out the complete production and presentation of descriptive sheets specific to each of your enclosed spaces. Maintain an up-to-date register of confined spaces.
  • Develop an emergency plan adapted for each of the confined spaces.
  • Develop a confined space entry permit.
  • Make sure workers are trained.
  • Several other important points must be considered before authorizing access to a confined space. If you are not proficient in risk management in confined spaces, it is important never to allow your workers to enter a confined space, the consequences could be catastrophic.

Entanglement / Crushing

The risks associated with moving parts are high. In order to avoid serious accidents during construction, maintenance or repair work, the management of risks of entanglement or crushing must be addressed at all stages of the work. Control of dangerous energy sources and protection of moving parts is essential to ensure the safety of all workers in a workplace. The regulations require that all employers and project managers plan all work near or on equipment by applying different regulations controlling these risks.

In order to ensure the safety of your workers and to comply with the regulations, here are a few points that you must observe before carrying out work on a machine or equipment with moving parts likely to entangle or crush a worker:

  • Develop a program to control dangerous energy sources.
  • Train workers and those responsible for padlocking.
  • Develop procedures and identification and control sheets for energy sources.
  • Ensure compliance of equipment and machines with CSA Z432 standard.
  • Several other points must be checked during work in the presence of the risk of entanglement and crushing. If you are not proficient in the principles of managing these risks, do not authorize the work.

Unexpected Detonation of Explosives

Given the high potential for seriousness injuries in case of an incident, the management of the risks associated with the unexpected detonation of explosives during the handling and use of these on construction sites should not be overlooked in order to ensure worker safety. In recent years, the technology and the types of primers and explosives have greatly evolved, reducing the level of risk. Blasting operations are still a high-risk activity on construction sites. Improper storage or misuse of explosive devices can have very serious consequences for the safety of workers and the public.

In order to ensure the safety of your workers and the public as well as complying with regulations, here are a few points that you must respect before performing blasting works:

  • Make sure that the contractor who will handle and use the explosives holds legal certifications from the proper authorities.
  • Make sure that the storage sites comply with both the organization of the site and the quantities of explosives that will be stored.
  • Make sure that personnel who control an explosive substance has the certifications in accordance with the regulations.
  • Verify that the transport and storage records of explosive material are kept up to date.
  • Make sure the workers performing the blasting hold the blaster's skill card.
  • Make sure that the security perimeters comply with the type of blasting.
  • Several other points are to be checked during blasting work, if you are not proficient in this type of risk management, do not authorize the work.

Fall from a Height

Accidents related to working above ground are serious and numerous on construction sites. The critical risk of falling from a height must be managed as a priority in order to minimize the risk level. There are a multitude of fall protection equipment and several reduce the risk of injuries related to working above ground. Depending on the situation, exposure to this risk may be reduced considerably. Several serious accidents occur each week due to poor management of this risk and the consequences of a fall are too frequently fatal.

In order to ensure the safety of your workers who work above ground and in respecting your obligations as an employer and contractor, here are some points that you must comply with before carrying out work exposing your workers to the risk of a fall:

  • Verify if the work can be done from the ground.
  • See if the use of equipment fitted with approved safety guards is possible.
  • Make sure that the worker has the knowledge required to safely use fall protection.
  • Make sure that the anchor points comply with regulations.
  • Several other points are to be checked when a worker must perform a task more than 3 metres (10 ft.) above ground (or less in certain situations), if you are not proficient in the principles of working from a height, do not authorize this type of work.

Vehicle and Pedestrian Collision

A collision between a vehicle and a pedestrian almost always results in a serious, if not fatal, injury. The critical risk management of vehicle and pedestrian collisions starts with the organization and planning of work on construction sites. Each year, several workers die or are seriously injured due to poor management of co-activity on construction sites.

To ensure the safety of all workers on a construction site, the contractor and all employers must ensure that the co-activity between pedestrians and moving vehicles or operating equipment is organized. To ensure the safety of pedestrians working on your sites and in compliance with your obligations as an employer and contractor, here are some points that must be taken into consideration before starting work:

  • Analyze how we can eliminate co-activity by organizing traffic and/or pedestrian crossings.
  • Under certain circumstances, establish a traffic plan and inform the workers.
  • Organize the work of site signal men by training them and protecting them from co-activity.
  • Ensure the good mechanical condition of the equipment and vehicles moving on the site.
  • Establish work procedures that ensure visual contact between pedestrians and operators.
  • Make sure that workers on the site wear high-visibility safety clothing that complies with the various regulations and codes.
  • Several other points are to be checked when there is a risk of collision between a vehicle and pedestrian on a site. If you are not proficient in the safety rules concerning the management of vehicles and pedestrian co-activity, do not authorize this type of work on your site.

Embankment Failure

Excavation work involves a high-risk level. The presence of workers in a non conforming rock excavation or in more malleable ground represents a critical risk. Embankment failure is often the cause of serious accidents. The control of excavation parameters and the application of certain good practices ensure the safety of workers during this type of work.

To ensure the safety of your workers on the construction site where excavation work is carried out and to meet your obligations as an employer and contractor, here are a few points that you must comply with before and during excavation work:

  • Plan the excavation method while ensuring a compliant management of co-activity.
  • Always ensure the respect of authorized excavation slopes.
  • Identify the excavation edges.
  • Install accesses in accordance with the excavation.
  • Ensure continuous monitoring of the stability and integrity of the slopes.
  • Clear and consolidate rock walls as per the instructions of qualified personnel.
  • Several other points are to be checked during excavation work. If you are not proficient in the health and safety management rules concerning excavation work, do not allow this type of work on your site.

Collisions and Overturning of Vehicles

The use of vehicles and equipment on a construction site involves a high level of risk. The co-activity and use of equipment and vehicles on uneven terrain exposes workers to critical risks. The overturning of equipment or the collision of vehicles or equipment each year causes serious and often fatal injuries to several workers on construction sites.

In order to ensure the safety of operators and drivers on your sites, and to meet your obligations as an employer and contractor, here are a few points that you must respect when vehicles or equipment circulate on your site:

  • Organize traffic on the site by producing and maintaining a traffic plan.
  • Put up sign posts in accordance with your traffic plan.
  • Add in places where there is a risk overturning because of a drop-off of more than 3 metres (10 ft), a dike or rock blocks at least 1/2 the height of the wheel of the largest vehicle travelling there.
  • Stop the movement of equipment within 3 metres (10 ft) of the excavations.
  • Establish a communication plan between vehicles and in risk areas on the site.
  • Several other points must be checked when vehicles and equipment are travelling on a site. If you are not proficient in the rules relating to the risk management of collision and overturning of vehicles, do not allow this type of work on your site.

Electrical Hazards

Working in the presence of electrical energy involves a high level of risk. Work being performed near electricity-driven equipment without an energy control procedure may result in electric shock, electrocution or exposure to an electric arc. All incidents in these circumstances can result in serious injury or the death of workers.

To ensure the safety of workers working in an environment where there are electrical sources and to meet your obligations as an employer and contractor, here are a few points that you must comply with before undertaking work under these conditions:

  • Apply an energy control procedure by padlocking at the source.
  • Use equipment fitted with movement limitation systems.
  • Always keep safe distances from electricity-driven equipment according to the appropriate voltages and standards.
  • Ensure effective grounding on equipment according to the energy level present.
  • When work on energized equipment is required and impossible to do otherwise, workers must wear protective equipment that meets the standards depending on the level of energy present.
  • Ensure that the personnel carrying out the work is trained on the electrical risks present.
  • Several other points must be checked during work in the presence of electrical energy on a site. If you are not proficient in the rules relating to the risk management of electrical hazards, do not allow this type of work on your site.

Lifting Operations

Lifting operations on a site carries a high level of risk. Poor assessment of the loads to be lifted, poor delimitation of lifting zones, working near high-voltage lines, using a crane on unstable ground or lack of maintenance of the lifting equipment are common causes of serious accidents that can even result in death.

In order to ensure the safety of workers and the public when a lifting operation is carried out and to meet your obligations as an employer and general contractor, here are a few points that you must observe before and during the lifting a load:

  • Make sure that a lifting plan is produced when required by code before proceeding with the lift.
  • Ensure that crane and boom trucks comply with standards CSA Z150.
  • The roles and responsibilities of the lifting team are known to all team members.
  • Make sure the lifting capacities are visible on the lifting equipment used.
  • That the loads to be lifted are always under control.
  • That the manual lifting equipment is in good condition.
  • Several other points must be checked during lifting operations on a site. If you are not proficient in the rules relating to the risk management of lifting operations, do not allow this type of work on your site.

Exposure to Dangerous Substances

On construction sites, the presence of dangerous substances such as crystalline silica, asbestos, carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), paints and glues, is very common. The exposure of workers to these dangerous substances can cause occupational injuries which in the short, medium or long term can lead to disability or even the death of exposed workers.

In order to ensure the safety of workers and the public when dangerous substances are present on a site and also to meet your obligations as an employer and contractor, here are a few points that you must respect when this critical risk is present:

  • Identify the substance and analyze the risk.
  • Control the contaminant at its source.
  • Delineate the work area at risk and identify the contaminant present inside the area.
  • Provide the required protective equipment according to the contaminant present.
  • For certain airborne contaminants, plan and apply a respiratory protection program.
  • Make sure that workers in contact with these substances have GHS/WHMIS2015 training.
  • Several other points must be checked when dangerous substances are present on a site. If you are not proficient in the rules relating to the risk management of exposure to dangerous substances, do not allow this type of work on your site.

Drowning

Work performed near or on water is common and increases considerably the level of risk. When an incident occurs on a construction site on the water, the potential for seriousness is always high. Over the years, several workers have died due to poor risk management when they were working in a watery environment.

In order to ensure the safety of workers when work is carried out near or on water and to meet your obligations as an employer and contractor, here are a few points that you must comply with:

  • Wait until a work procedure with a description of the waterway and its characteristics are written by a person having the training prescribed in the SCCI.
  • As far as possible, eliminate the risk of falling into the water, otherwise exposed workers must wear a flotation device conforming to the SCCI.
  • Write a rescue plan, post it and share it with the site workers.
  • The rescue equipment required by the SCCI must always be available.
  • Several other points must be checked when work is carried out near or on the water on a site. If you are not proficient the rules relating to the risk management of drowning, do not allow this type of work on your site.

Falling Objects

Co-activity on construction sites involves a high risk. Falling objects cause serious injuries to workers every year. A high velocity object hitting a worker, even when wearing a hard hat, can cause death.

In order to ensure the safety of workers and the public, when work above ground is carried out and to meet your obligations as an employer and contractor, here are a few points that you must respect:

  • Make sure that the risk areas are clearly identified and effectively delineated.
  • Use work methods that eliminate the risk of falling objects at the source.
  • Inspect and clean rock faces to identify and remove any loose pieces.
  • Thaw vertical wallsas ice builds up.
  • Make sure that the guardrails have a kick that meets established standards.
  • Make sure that physical partitions effectively separate the work teams during overlapping work.
  • Several other points must be checked when overlapping work is carried out or when the working environment exposes workers to falling objects. If you are not proficient in these rules relating to this risk management, do not allow this type of work on your site.

Uncontrolled Energy Discharge

On construction sites, several pieces of equipment can suddenly release their energy thereby injuring or killing workers. Every year there are serious accidents that could have been prevented by using good practices.

To ensure the safety of workers, exposed to different sources of energy on a site and to meet your obligations as an employer and contractor, here are a few points that you must respect:

  • Make sure that workers are informed of the potential energy sources to which they are exposed and the means of control in place.
  • Establish maintenance procedures on the tires of on-site equipment.
  • Make sure that the operating pressures of the different hoses and conduits are respected.
  • Establish criteria for the various quality tests carried out on the site.
  • Ensure the use of various safety accessories such as the cable retainers between pneumatic hoses.
  • Make sure that the angle grinder discs are compatible with the maximum speeds of their rotation.
  • Several other points must be checked when work is carried out on a site in order to effectively control the risk of undue energy discharge. If you are unable to identify the sources of danger for this critical risk, seek the help of health and safety management experts and do not authorize this type of work on your site.

Fire and Underground Dangerous Air Conditions

Underground construction work is undoubtedly one type of work with the highest level of risk in the construction industry. In the event of a fire or a problem related to the air control in a tunnel, the consequences would be catastrophic. Poor management of these risks could lead to the death of several workers

To ensure the safety of workers in an underground environment and to meet your obligations as an employer and contractor, here are a few points that you must respect:

  • Establish an effective emergency measures plan including the use of mine rescuers fitted with the most up-to-date specialized equipment and ready to respond quickly.
  • Install a fire protection system in accordance with the regulations relating to the type of site and work you are performing.
  • Eliminate potential causes of underground fire at the source.
  • Monitor air quality at established frequencies.
  • Make sure you set up shelters and self-rescue equipment when required.
  • Position the combustion equipment outside the tunnels to avoid any risk of air contamination.
  • Several other points must be checked when underground work is carried out. If you are unable to manage all the parameters relating to the control of this critical risk, do not allow this type of work on your site.