Innovative health and safety app will drive change in construction industry

Natalie SieberichsUncategorizedLeave a Comment

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HSEQutive set to rebuild industry’s reputation through increased accountability

Falls from height, unsafe makeshift platforms and the failure to wear the standard minimum protective gear are the most common hazards found on construction sites, according to a leading health and safety consultant.

Patrick Parnis, founder of Parnis & Associates, believes that although the construction industry has come a long way in accepting, implementing and enforcing health and safety regulations on site, the industry is still facing common and repetitive shortcomings, which when left undetected can lead to serious injuries, and even fatalities.

This is what triggered the creation of HSEQutive, an innovative, app-based system that has just been launched as part of a concerted drive to revolutionise health and safety practices on construction sites and help rebuild the industry’s reputation through increased accountability.

Parnis said: “I strongly believe there is an urgent need for a holistic approach to restore the industry’s health and safety reputation through a cloud-based, user-friendly and transparent evaluation mechanism. This is where HSEQutive comes in.”

He explained that this paperless safety management system, which has been endorsed by the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry, focuses on two modules.

The first covers the inspection aspect, which introduces a standard, easy-to-use method to conduct health and safety compliance inspections, issue reports, and corrective action requests. All this can be done from the construction site itself through a laptop, tablet or a smartphone.

This interactive system ensures developers and contractors reply and provide feedback on any actions taken by uploading photos and other records as proof that the situation has been remedied.

HSEQutive leads to greater engagement and a sense of accountability from developers and contractors as the system measures them on the time it takes to respond to corrective action requests.

The second module presents the ‘dashboard’ of data collection and graphical statistics where key performance indicators are set, including compliance levels on site, the number and severity of corrective action requests, the relative response time, and the top five areas of concern. It records what incidents have taken place, the time lost because of these incidents, and more.

Having worked in compliance management for 25 years, Parnis knows first-hand how easy it is for accidents to happen, especially when the project reaches its finishing stages.

This is the time when numerous contractors — such as plumbers, electricians, plasterers, and tilers, among others — start coming on site to deliver the material needed, and in the process, remove the railings for easier handling.

“Unfortunately, they often forget to reinstall the railing, creating drop edges that pose a hazard to workers and incoming contractors. This shortcoming is more prevalent when internal plastering takes place and the railings in staircases, balconies and lift shafts are removed and often not reinstated.”

Asked how HSEQutive would change the situation, Parnis said this application would increase the engagement of developers and contractors making them more accountable to take timely corrective actions.

Having worked for 12 years in quality, safety and environmental management systems with a multinational company in the oil and gas industry in Libya, Parnis is using his expertise to digitise the compliance management and evaluation process of the developers and contractors’ health and safety performance at construction sites.

Since 2014 to date, the construction industry has experienced a number of fatal accidents. Following each and every tragedy, the government, industry representatives, NGOs and the public highlighted the urgent need for greater enforcement and an evaluation system that recognises developers’ and contractors’ efforts in complying with, and maintaining site safety requirements.

“Unfortunately, this situation has earned the industry a bad reputation, but not all developers and contractors are on the same level of compliance. There are those who genuinely hold safety standards to heart and their efforts often go unrecognised.

“From a national level, HSEQutive is the long overdue fair and transparent measurement mechanism for developers and contractors’ safety compliance level, giving stakeholders a true picture of the projects’ safety performance.”

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