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Management of Safety, Health and Environment Project Risks


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Management of Safety, Health and Environment Project Risks

Blog One

Failure to adequately design, construct and maintain temporary works can lead to collapse or failure of the temporary works. Discuss using one of the types of temporary works and identify a new safety innovation(s); images can be used.

Temporary works are likely to fail or collapse when the civil engineers are unable to design, maintain and construct these projects sufficiently. For instance, structural works such as temporary bridges often occur when such fundamental principles are not adhered to by the constructor. Empirical evidence suggests that temporary bridges frequently fail or collapse because of poor design which does not cater for load effects, fatigues, wind, or earthquake (Palmisano and Vitone 2015, p.10). The use of insufficient design process can also contribute to the failure or collapse of the temporary bridges. Moreover, the construction of such temporary works is conducted using substandard materials. Similarly, the use of unknown material technology is a leading cause of failure or collapse of bridges (Gordon 2017, p.7).

Statistics indicate that in the recent past, more than 50 per cent of temporary bridges failed across the globe especially in the course of their construction. Notably, the primary cause of these collapses was attributed to poor design as opposed to maintenance or construction linked (Cremona 2015, p.3). The plans of temporary structural works tend to be poorer as compared to those of the permanent structural features. Precisely, in bridge construction, temporary structures include a wide range of diverse structures, cofferdams, temporary support and piers, lifting gantries, formwork support, piling platforms, excavations support, and mainly all the gears required to erect and support the bridge aspects in the course of construction are detached after the work completion (Schultz and Gastineau 2015, p.14).

Figure 1 Bridge Collapse Source (Schultz and Gastineau 2015)

The design of a temporary structure such as bridges habitually pays less emphasis on safety issues because of the minimised time experience to risk. The majority of temporary structural work factors are fundamentally reinforcing dead load which is the self-weight of the element or structure (Gordon 2017, p.9). Therefore, the general load factor is not as much as that of permanent works with a design life of 100 years. Similarly, the weighting on building support is of a fairly short span. Primarily, a minimal safety consideration in designing of the temporary bridge structure offers a lesser margin if the unanticipated takes place such as unpredicted concentrations of stress or sudden movement of foundation (Cremona 2015, p.5). Bridge specifications and codes are routinely prepared around design responsibilities for the permanent structures, with minimal focus on risks linked with temporary works design.

The failures in the construction phase in the building of temporary structures such as bridges contribute to their collapse. For instance, inability to pay close attention to a catastrophic failure in the course of constructing the projects can be a source of failures. For example, disasters can lead to the collapse of a temporary structure (Björnsson 2017, p.13). Moreover, the accelerated building of temporary structures can be a significant source of failure. In this regard, the contractors engage in quick approach that involves a wide range of risk when it is not meticulously conducted (Palmisano and Vitone 2015, p.13). The temporary bridges are quickly constructed which means they remain unstable. When the temporary structures are built hastily, even minor errors can complicate and can lead to total or partial collapse (Bagge, Popescu and Elfgren 2018, p.4). When the loads are not analysed adequately in construction to ensure the temporary structures can withstand all weights safely it contribute to the failure of the short-term structure.

Figure 2 Bridge Collapse (Gordon 2017)

Furthermore, failure to provide sufficient maintenance of temporary structure can be a source of collapse. Most of the temporary structures’ destruction can be controlled with more maintenance practices. Similarly, many failures of temporary bridges that take places are aggravated because of poor maintenance (Deng, Wang and Yu 015, p.6). The contractors frequently fail to replace the rusted parts, clear drainage areas, and inability to increase the reinforcements in case of higher traffic.

Safety innovation

For constructors to avoid failure of transitory structural works such as temporary bridges, the authority should ask for a higher level of inspection of short-term work design, construction, and maintenance through contractual and hold point obligations. Moreover, the selection standards for transitory works constructors, designers, and contractors should use a similar technique to that of long-term bridge work with the demands for appropriate experience, track record, and provision of information of core officers (Beale and André eds. 2017, p.3). Besides, the structural works should be critically evaluated before the engagement. Similarly, the safety issues for the maintenance, construction, and design of temporary bridges must be appraised to ascertain if they are suitable (Cremona 2015, p.3). Finally, current specification and codes linked to temporary bridges maintenance, design, and construction must be reviewed. For instance, in each project, the managers must ensure that an allocated officer who has an exclusive duty of temporary bridges has been emphasised.


Bagge, N., Popescu, C. and Elfgren, L., 2018. Failure tests on concrete bridges: Have we learnt the lessons?. Structure and Infrastructure Engineering, 14(3), pp.292-319.

Beale, R. and André, J. eds., 2017. Design Solutions and Innovations in Temporary Structures. IGI Global.

Björnsson, I., 2017. Holistic approach for treatment of accidental hazards during conceptual design of bridges–A case study in Sweden. Safety science, 91, pp.168-180.

Cremona, C.F., 2015. Risk analysis of vulnerable bridges on the national road network in france. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, (2481), pp.18-25.

Deng, L., Wang, W. and Yu, Y., 2015. State-of-the-art review on the causes and mechanisms of bridge collapse. Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities, 30(2), p.04015005.

Gordon, R., 2017. Bridges: Psychic structures, functions, and processes. Routledge.

Palmisano, F. and Vitone, A., 2015. A meaningful case of a collapse caused by hidden structural defects. Structural Engineering International, 25(3), pp.308-318.

Schultz, A.E. and Gastineau, A.J., 2015. Bridge collapse. In Innovative Bridge Design Handbook (pp. 795-815).

Blog 2

Critically evaluate how capturing early signs of stress, fatigue, and mental health of construction workers can improve Occupational Safety and Health (OSH)

Constructions sites are believed to be one of the more possibly risk occupations. Although all jobs are sources of mental health issues, fatigue and stress, the risk of these issues in the construction sector are unique. For instance, stress among the construction workers can aggravate the susceptibility of accidents, injuries, and enduring health outcome (Patel et al. 2018, p.11). In addition, it can also raise the risks on co-workers and influence the whole project concerning increased costs, delays, and shutdowns. The impacts of stress comprise challenges in concentrating, strained social relationships, sleeplessness, low morale, and higher safety hazards. The anxieties on skilled workers usually contribute to psychological and physical issues that can lead to severe dangers and risks in the project. Some of the sources of stress include complicated projects demanding various skills, the pressure to improve performance, long working hours, and strict deadlines (Lingard 2013, p.15). Additionally, lack of response, weak communication, and poor planning are also vital sources of stress. Capturing early signs of stress such as disturbed sleep, depression, and irritability among construction workers can promote occupational safety and health. In this regard, it helps to comprehend and explain the potential mechanism by which stressors exposure is linked with impairment of health. It also assists to prevent stressors and manage work environment by offering support to workers suffering from such problems (Griffith and Howarth 2014, p.1).

Moreover, in the construction sites, pressures to adhere to schedule usually leads to chaotic work plan which is often characterized by long working hours. As a consequence, construction workers suffer from fatigue as they attempt to keep pace with requirement which often dangerous and impossible (Patel et al. 2018, p.11). The menace affects not only the construction workforce but also their loved ones and colleagues. Fatigue refers to life-threatening tiredness which is an outcome of physical or mental exertion especially due to physical labour. Statistics indicate that fatigue is prevalent in 97 per cent of construction sites because of high-risk issues such as sleep loss and stress. A construction worker experiencing from fatigue may suffer from impaired decision making, lowered productivity, and moodiness such as extreme exhaustion, confusion, concentration and memory issues, anxiety and irritability. More importantly, fatigued workers not only find it challenging to timely finish responsibilities, but also become difficult to focus on safety regulations (Sanquist 2014, p.19). Consequently, it causes costly compensation claims from workers, site shutdowns or delays, which affect the economic status of the workers and business. Capturing early signs of fatigue among construction workers can help to improve occupational safety and health. For instance, elimination of fatigues is essential because it assists in the identification of reduced cognitive capacity, increased errors, and slower response time (Zou and Sunindijo 2015, p.2).

The management in the construction sites should pay close attention by introducing the mechanism which detects fatigue and present procedures to deal with it effectively. Mitigation of fatigue among the construction workers can include balancing staffing and workload, shift scheduling, training the workforce on fatigue and ways of dealing with sleep disorders, workplace design, and identification of fatigue (Väyrynen et al. 2015, p.3). Supervisors must offer resources, motivation, and information which are designed to facilitate fatigue management. Moreover, when the construction workforce is trained on fatigue-related hazards, how to identify fatigue and the significance of proper exercise and diet, it can play a vital part in the improvement of occupational health and safety (Griffith and Howarth 2014, p.1). In this regard, it would also increase the performance of the workers which translates to reduced incidents of accidents.

Reports have indicated that in the United Kingdom (Wales and England), one in every six construction workers is suffering from mental health illnesses such as anxiety and depression. Therefore, 2.1 million persons in the UK are in the construction industry representing 6 per cent of the entire workforce.  Therefore, approximately 350,000 construction workers are affected by mental health illnesses (Langdon and Sawang 2017, p.6). Thus, the construction worker is six-fold at risk to perish from suicide as opposed to a workplace accident. Therefore, it is essential for organizations in the construction sector to understand the triggers and dangers of mental health on such sites. They should initiate discussion targeting mental health and comprehend measures to support their workers. Capturing early signs of mental health among construction workers help to promote occupational safety and health because it helps to reduce pressure resulting from work demands and patterns in the construction life which worsens the wellbeing and emotional health of construction workers. Moreover, capturing the signs of mental health can help to eliminate stress and highly stressful task which are associated with suicide and depression (Milner et al. 2017, p.5). Moreover, the construction organization can establish the Employee Assistance Program which is very successful in preventing mental health issues. Finally, it would also facilitate awareness promotion and dealing with the triggers of suicide.


Griffith, A. and Howarth, T., 2014. Construction health and safety management. Routledge.

Langdon, R.R. and Sawang, S., 2017. Construction Workers’ Well-Being: What Leads to Depression, Anxiety, and Stress?. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 144(2), p.04017100.

Lingard, H., 2013. Occupational health and safety in the construction industry. Construction management and economics, 31(6), pp.505-514.

Milner, A., Maheen, H., Currier, D. and LaMontagne, A.D., 2017. Male suicide among construction workers in Australia: a qualitative analysis of the major stressors precipitating death. BMC public health, 17(1), p.584.

Patel, D.D., Sharma, N.D., Yadav, N.B. and Rathod, H., 2018. Recognition of Safety & Health Issues to Improve Safe Working Environment at Construction Projects. Journal of Recent Activities in Infrastructure Science, 3(1).

Sanquist, T.F., 2014. Guide to Identifying and Reducing Workforce Fatigue in Rapid Renewal Projects. Transportation Research Board.

Väyrynen, S., Häkkinen, K. and Niskanen, T., 2015. Integrated Occupational Safety and Heath Management. Springer, Geneva.

Zou, P.X. and Sunindijo, R.Y., 2015. Strategic safety management in construction and engineering. John Wiley & Sons.