Civil Engineering

CIVIL ENGINEERING 4

CivilEngineering

InstitutionalAffiliations

FireSafety in Construction Site

Theconstructionindustryhas greatlyadvancedover thepastdecades, injury,deathrates,andillhealthof constructionworkershasdeclined.Whentheseconstructionactivitiesare not wellsupervisedandcontrolled,theyputworkers,children,membersof thepublicandtheadjacentpropertyat risk.Theriskis veryhighin an eventof a massivefireenoughto spreadoff-site. Firesdocauseserioushumansuffering,injure,killandcausesfinancialloss.Fireis a potentialdangerin mostconstructionsites.Itis mostlikelyto occurin high-risk activitiessuchas hotworkwherefirecan occurandspreadquicklyandescapemay be difficult.

However,firesafetymeasuresat constructionsites,should be managedandappliedat theearlieststagesof designandprocuringprocess.Thestandardsshould addressthesafetyof theworkersandtheneighborsto thesite.Someproposalsandmethodsmay be rejectedbased on theconsequencesof a fireincident.Someof themeasuresmay not be effective,forinstance,minorwelding at an oilrefinerysitemay causecatastrophic consequencesifcareisnot taken.Thecontractorsandpropertymanagersshould ensurethefirepreventionmeasuresare adoptedto ensurea verylowriskof a fireincident.

Toavoidanyfireoccurrence,there are certainnecessarystepsthat need to betaken.First,identifythehazards,proximityto otherbuildings,constructionmaterials,andmethods.Three thingsare requiredforfireto startsourceof ignition,fuel,andoxygen. Ifone thesethingsare missing,thechancesof a fireare minimalorzero. Thesourcesof ignitioninclude cigarettes,nakedflames,electrical fault,arsonists,friction,orstaticelectricity.On the other hand, fuelis anything that can burnif oxygen is freelyavailablein theair.Second,identifythepeopleat risk,thatis, thesiteworkers,peoplewhoare not familiarwith thesiteandmembersof thepublicnearby. Youshould payattentionto all thosepeopleinvolvedin your site,andifthebuildingis undergoingrenovation,one should considertheoccupantsof thebuilding.

Inthecaseof a firebreakout thelocalfirerescuewill attendto your site.Thecontractorsand managersshould assessandpreparean emergencyplanandthechallengesthefirefighters might gothroughin your site.Third,identify,reduceandprotectthe riskof fire.Removehazardsandiftheycannot bemoved,takereasonablestepsto reducethem. In addition,forthesafetyof theworkersthereshould be emergencyroute to escapeandmethodsof firemitigationsuchas firedetectionsandsuppressors.

Inan occurrenceof a fire,theincidentshould be recorded,therisk,thecauseandtheactionstaken.Ensurethere is a clearsafetyplanandmakesurethatthepersonsinvolvedknowwhatto doin an eventof a firebreakout. There should alsobe regularcheckin caseof changeson thesite.Theescapeplanshould alsobe in place,theescaperoutesshould be availableandunobstructed. After a fireincident,peopleshould assembleat a commonplaceto be accountedforandidentifyanyone whomay be missing(FireSafety in Construction, 2010).One of themostimportantaspectsof a fireescapeis provisionof signs,which makespeoplefamiliarwith theescaperoutes.Lightingis alsoessentialin thedarkplacesof a constructionsite.There should alsobe a wayof alertingpeoplesuchas theuseof firealarms,whistleorhorn.Thewarningsoundshould be recognizable andaudibleto everyone. Thefireextinguishers should be locatedinspecifiedareasto helpaverta possiblefireeventbefore itspreads.

References

Firesafety in construction. (2010). Guidance for clients, designers andthose managing and carrying out construction work involvingsignificant fire risks.Health and Safety Executive,5-90.