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The Causes Of Building Site Accidents

The development industry isn't just known as an industry which is developing rapidly but it is well known because of its highly dangerous activities as well. In Malaysia, harmful works on structure sites that cause incidents are taken as an essential matter. Every single year, construction workers are one of the people who are always to get captured in crashes. This serious problem has induced them to require in fatal injury and some of these also have been killed. Before couple of years, the structure industry has gained a lot of revenue by buildings that have been created using latest advanced solutions, but somehow the safety measures on site still being neglected. Despite of delays of the construction progress and problems in repairing of works and machineries that cost a lot of money to be put in, but of the are incomparable to the increased loss of the human life.

The implementation of a proper and effective health and safety insurance plan on building site is very needed for a constructor. The hazards must be evidently realized by all the staff working on site especially those who keep a high position in a job. Proper dedication and attention by every personnel can help in reducing dangers and damages in the working environment other than knowing their own tasks on site. Every party in the structure industry also should put safety measures as their main concern during the initial stage before completion of a work or building project.

The development industry is often portrayed with negative images such as dirty, dangerous and difficult or often called the 3D. Every time a construction related subject is being mentioned, people will have these thoughts embedded in their heads. This can make people feel uninterested to be engaged or employed in the engineering field and lastly resulting in insufficient labor force in this industry. Thus, the safety precautions on site have to be improved to be able to remove this mindset and also to achieve a safer working environment. Each party also needs to make drastic measures in ensuring a powerful protection and health steps are being utilized on site to protect the good image of the engineering industry in the foreseeable future.

1. 2 Problem Statement

The standard of safety precautions in development industry in Malaysia has lagged behind if in comparison to any other market sectors. This scenario helps it be hard to accomplish zero damages and developing a safety culture among the list of personnel working on building site. In the real engineering practice, it was found that the safeness program implementation by most engineering companies were only at the first stage. This obviously shows that these companies do not have a safety program driven by a security culture (Abd Hamid & Abd Majid, 2006)

Although a great deal of contribution to the national economy comes from construction industry, the amount of accidents, incidents, injuries and fatalities remain reaching a higher rate (Hinze, 1997). For some employers or clients, the execution of safeness management system is often believed to cost more in a job and they make it as a less concentrated matter on structure site. That is why safety details are often being focused because of its unsatisfactory performance due to safe practices being neglected and has not been taken systematically. Basic safety aspects are believed very important especially in a engineering project but regrettably there are still many employers do not believe that it is one of the keys to the success of companies. Additionally it is known that the nature of the building industry requires physical demand and tough works, make it a business with higher threat of injury apart from having less consciousness on the duties of each functions involve in a project to keep up the basic safety performance. Hence, the implementation of safety strategy should not be taken gently as it can be an important aspect in keeping the structure site a better and safer location to work.

In order to decrease the jobsite risk and improve safety precautions, this research will be completed to identify the common causes of injuries that contributing to the higher rate of incidents on construction and point out on the jobs and duties of parties involved in this industry.

Research Aim and Objectives

1. 3. 1 Aim

The aim of this research is to know the importance of training and applying safety measures so that it can create understanding to the people who are employed in the building industry especially the management how safety takes on an important role in lowering mishaps on site.

1. 3. 2 Objectives

The three targets should be achieved in this research are posted as below:

To study the various causes of accidents that took place on engineering site

This goal is to find out the causes of this problem so that it can be solved from the root easier and efficiently.

To assess what exactly are the roles and responsibilities of each parties in building industry on improving the typical of safe practices on site and exactly how they can decrease the amount of accidents

This goal is to learn the relationship between their jobs and tasks with security performance and exactly how it ensures the site safety is put in place.

To find the ways to improve the site basic safety practice mixed up in construction site in Klang Valley.

This objective is generate ideas, ways and methods to improve the safety precautions on site

1. 4 Range and Restriction of Study

This research is only going to concentrate on the structure sites established around Klang Valley. Areas of study are limited to identifying the causes of accidents on development site like unsafe equipment and machineries, job site conditions, individual factor among others. Besides that, a study on the assignments and responsibilities of various parties mixed up in construction industry will also be done. The celebrations to be included in this study are from the paymaster of a project or the employer or more to the professional bodies of the industry such as Structure Industry Development Plank (CIDB).

1. 5 Research Methodology

In order to get data for this research, various methods to extract necessary data regarding safe practices and health measures in the engineering industry will be done. The information gathered is used to aid in the understanding of the causes that lead to the effectuation of damages on structure site and the jobs and responsibilities of varied people in the engineering industry. The techniques which will be used for this research are surveys, literature review and studying the information.

Stage 1: Theme selection

In this level, the first subject that needs to be done is to identify problems taking place in this industry. Problem which is popular and most frequently come up will be chosen as the study topic. Then, books review predicated on the topic selected is carried out by getting information from the prior research done by other folks.

Stage 2: Examine proposal

During the second stage, determining desire to and objectives of this research is important. It allows the research to achieve the target so that the key problem can be resolved and eliminated. Besides that, the scope of the analysis is also given to let the readers know the area of study that'll be covered and not to be protected in this research.

Stage 3: Data gathering and processing

Primary Data

In order to get practical information that can donate to this research, studies will be conducted. Study questionnaires will be sent out to personnel focusing on site such as project manager, safety official, site supervisor as well as others to get valuable information in to the risk and hazards involved on construction site. A practical view from them is very important to acquire information which is not available in books. This is also an possibility to interact with people mixed up in construction field. The info that need to be obtain in the survey are like the sources of accident to occur in the structure site, what mishap cases are often being reported and the role and responsibility of each parties to enhance the site safeness in development.

Secondary Data

Secondary data can be obtained by finding sources and information in a collection. Some of the libraries that will be the place to conduct this technique are the collection in Tunku Abdul Rahman University and the general public library. The sources that will be used in the catalogue are articles, books, journals and newspapers. The author's name, time of publication, title, host to publication and publisher of the booklet will be mentioned in the research for referencing purpose.

Internet is also among the finest sources to get information about safeness on construction site. Relevant materials and information can be easily obtained in the internet because the application is extensive and unlimited. Information such as statistics of accidents took place on site and latest information on the building safety and medical issues also may be obtained from internet searching.

Analyzing the Data

The final objective of the research may be accomplished by analyzing the info gained in Primary Data and Extra Data. From then on, suggestions on possible alternatives will be generated to enhance the safety measures on engineering site predicated on the problem within the books review and surveys.

Identify problemBelow is a movement chart showing the overall process for Research Technique:

Select the study topic

Literature review

Stage 1: Theme Selection


Aim, aims and scope of study

Study methodologyStage 2: Research proposal


Data collection

Secondary Data:






Primary Data:

Questionnaire survey

Analyzing the dataStage 3: Data gathering and




2. 1 Introduction

On the construction site, workers are exposed to unsafe works and coping with such works everyday is something common for the coffee lover. 'Security First' is a very popular phrase that can be found on most construction site but it generally does not being put under first priority as it is explained in signboards and posters. There is no wonder why the crash rates on construction sites are receiving higher every year. Statistics likewise have proven that the amount of deaths induced by damages in development industry has surpassed all other industry. The chart below shows the amount of victims involved with death cases which have been investigated by the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) up until December 2010.

In this section, identifying the various causes of accidents will be the primary goal as it can help in creating ideas in enhancing safety precautions on site.

2. 2 Definitions

2. 2. 1 Accident

'Accident' can be explained as an unplanned, uncontrolled event which includes led to or might well have led to injury to people, harm to plant, machinery or the surroundings and/or some other loss. The handling of work situation by providing safe conditions and insisting on the utilization of safe working method and techniques is just how of accident reduction.

2. 2. 2 Hazard

'Hazard' is a source, situation or occurrence in the workplace that has the potential to harm the health and safety of people or to harm herb and equipment. The situation could involve an activity, substance or equipment used.

2. 2. 3 Safety

'Safety' can be explained as the quality of being safe and the independence from risk or risk where people are guarded against physical, occupational or other styles of harm, problem, failure, injuries or any event which is non-desirable. The controlling of hazards to achieve a suitable level of risk also can be this is of safeness.

2. 3 Unsafe Works and Conditions

2. 3. 1 Unsafe Acts

Usually, accidents at the job occur either anticipated to unsafe functions and unsafe conditions. There is absolutely no general contract on this is of an unsafe work. However, it has been described in similar give attention to unaccepted practices which have the probable of producing future mishaps and accidental injuries. Other description of unsafe work that given by past researcher is unsafe action is an action deviates from generally recognized safe way of doing a job and increases the chance of a major accident (Stranks, 2000).

Unsafe serves can be grouped into two types either as mistakes or violations (Reason, 1990). According to most accident reports, the mistakes should be found as a significant contributor to mishaps. In the meantime, violations are less common. There are two conditions where unsafe acts may occur. Firstly, workers do not know while they are acting unsafely. Secondly, they know while they are simply performing unsafely. For the first situation, the condition can be easily resolved by providing security training to the worker, supervise them directly, providing good work system design, etc. The reasons for the employees to act unsafely for the second case is more complex since it could be credited to various factors like personality of the workers, influence by coworkers, the amount of managerial support and the type of the work being performed. Although workers are totally aware that they are working unsafely, they still want to carry on with such unsafe serves.

There are various acts that are believed unsafe. Those functions are:

Working without specialist face to face can cause mishaps since unauthorized employees may insufficient skills and unfamiliar with the work process.

Failure to secure coworkers or even to warn about the risk can be an unsafe act because many injuries occur while staff are paying less attention to alert and secure coworkers who face accidents incident when working.

Working at incorrect rates of speed, exceeding the approved speed restrictions or unsafe velocity actions could cause accidents.

Not placing and stacking the materials properly in dangerous locations will cause unpredicted accidents to happen.

The consumption of equipment and tools, hand tools, ability tools and machinery which is performed inaccurately may lead to accidents.

Executing work by using faulty equipment and tools.

Refusing to wear personal protecting equipment (PPE) will boost the probability of getting harmed.

Smoking which creates sparks in areas where flammable materials are stored could cause explosions.

Throwing or accidentally dropping items from high levels could expose other employees being struck by the object and cause mind injury.

Improper posture for jobs like personnel making shortcuts by climbing or jumping from high levels rather than using ladders.

Servicing equipment which is under procedure.

2. 3. 2 Unsafe Conditions

An unsafe condition is a condition in which the physical layout of the work area or work location, the status of tools, equipment and materials violate the security standards. A few examples of unsafe conditions include available sided floors, faulty ladders, improperly built scaffolds, protruding ends of reinforcing rods, protruding fingernails or toenails and wire ties, defective equipment, ungrounded electric powered tools and many others.

In most damages occurred on construction site, unsafe conditions are the key cause contributing to an accident. It is distinguished that that unsafe conditions are divided into two types according to when they occurred during the sequence of work and who brought on them to are present and develop (Abdelhamid & Everett, 2000). The unsafe condition may are present in several situations which can be before an activity is started and a different one is develop after a task is started. The occurrence of the two types of unsafe conditions is due to some other triggers like actions and inactions by the Management Team and worker or coworker unsafe works.

2. 3. 2. 1 Actions and Inactions by Management Team

Among the example of Management Team actions and inactions that lead to unsafe condition on site are they fail to provide proper and sufficient personal defensive equipment to the employees, neglect to maintain or secure tools and equipment, violating the office criteria such as disregarding slippery floors that can cause someone to fall, insufficient ventilation giving the staff to choke, poor housekeeping and more. Individuals are also sometimes requested to perform responsibilities that go beyond the human capacities or violate the individuals factors, ergonomics and the concepts of industrial cleanliness. This question which made unintentionally by the Management Team will expose the staff member to unsafe condition of the site and eventually brings about injuries and health problems.

2. 3. 2. 2 Coworker Unsafe Act

Inexperienced staff member or coworker in focusing on the site will tend to react unsafe when managing a task which might lead to unsafe conditions for other personnel. Unsafe condition will exist when these inexperienced employees doing their job recklessly like eliminating machine safeguards, working while intoxicated where they are simply under the influence of drugs or alcohol, working with less concentration anticipated to insufficient sleeping, neglecting the housekeeping rules, performing works where they do not hold the authorization to take action, etc.

2. 3. 2. 3 Site Layout

Poor site structure in structure site is also adding to the unsafe condition factor. It was reported that insufficient working space was a problem in several automobile accident studies (Disguise et al. , 2003). Sometimes, the commencement of the build before the completion of demolition is obstructing the space allocation on site resulting in number of reorganizations of site design to fulfill the changing of the build plan. Other than that, space constraints can restrict the allocation of floor area for workshop location, footpaths, storage, car parking provision and adequacy of space transfer routes. This may cause constriction to the area for vehicle to gain access to the drop-off points and effect on the traffic stream on site and interrupt the ease of acquiring deliveries where it causes a subsequent need for two times handling materials. It also can make the routes to be narrow and may cause incidents where vehicles can overturn and struck the employees in the surrounding area.

2. 3. 2. 4 Surface Conditions

Ground conditions are one of the risk factor for injuries. The common problem that is obviously found is brought up set ups on the walking surface that can create trip dangers. Some examples of trip hazards are electronic cables, ply panel used as a temporary manhole cover and increased setting out factors. It really is hard for the personnel to understand these risks because the majority of the time these were coloured black, greyish or brown instead of being proclaimed or colored.

2. 3. 2. 5 Low-quality Housekeeping

Good housekeeping is upmost the important thing to be looked at to ensure the site is safe. Sadly, many sites found nowadays didn't put housekeeping into their priority. Everyone on the webpage should do their part to ensure that the website is clean and orderly. Although, there are personnel that thought that unscrambling the website is the duty of other people who possessed created the chaos or up to the Contractor to undertake it. This situation can make good housekeeping hard to attain. As we realize, the most frequent types of traumas that appear on site are slips, vacations and falls that happen to be also added by poor housekeeping. Accidents happened due to unorganized materials will bring about workers suffer slashes from materials and materials collapse striking individuals' head resulting in head personal injury.

2. 4 Mishaps by Instruments and Machineries

On engineering site, workers are required to use different kinds of machines and machineries to help ease the work that need to be done. By using these accessories every day, staff have a tendency to put themselves at great risk for damage when they are using construction gadgets. The equipments also can be defective and will cause the person with them or someone else on site to be injured or killed. The defective machines and machineries are required to be immediately tagged to indicate that they are broken and remove from the structure area. However, the tags will sometimes come off and workers will not usually stop to walk away from other working area. Finally, someone may grab and use back again the defective gadgets or machineries that make them involved with accidents.

2. 4. 1 Scaffolding

The use of scaffolding is essential in a engineering project to get staff to an increased degree of the building composition when they are executing a work. Around it is useful to workers, it is also very dangerous and harmful. Statistics reported that 28% of the incidents including scaffold are triggered by engineering deficiencies. One of the deficiencies occurred are because of the use of substandard components, omitting essential components and failure to complete the assemblage of scaffold. (OSHA, 2003). The people who are exposed to the scaffolding risks are the ones who erecting the scaffold themselves, the personnel that will put it to use when doing works and everyone close to the scaffold.

Scaffolding incidents usually will involve either people slipping, incorrect operating methods, environmental conditions, the scaffold collapse and/or people being struck by dropping objects from the scaffold itself (Berry, 2011). There will be objects that fall season to the ground because personnel who work using scaffold will bring along a few of equipment together with them such as paint and other related equipment, tools like hammers, screwdriver and also widow cleaning equipment. When there is a worker on the scaffold, you won't only cause harm to that employee but also to those who find themselves on the ground with serious injury by getting hit by the scaffolding or other slipping objects.

Scaffoldings are usually stored outside which exposed to the environment. This may cause the scaffoldings to deteriorate. Scaffolds tend to be being reported to maintain good condition by inspection and maintenance before they collapsed. It is because it is hard to discover corrosion of the inner surface of tubular scaffolds. Other notable causes of mishaps of scaffoldings are:

Unsecure scaffolding

Poor or careless construction

Use of poor quality of ruined material

Missing or malfunctioning brakes

Missing or malfunctioning street to redemption safety systems

Lack of or badly conducted safety inspections

2. 4. 2 Crane

The consumption of crane is one of the significant reasons of fatalities during creating a building and crashes often happen when lifting operation is carried out. The incident of fatalities during crane operation still continue steadily to increase although ongoing research and suggestions to reduce this problem have been done for the past several decades (Beavers et al. , 2006).

The most frequent types of crane damages entail the crane coming into contact with electrical power lines. Overhead electrical energy lines present a serious electrocution risk to personnel on site. The most frequent means of energy transmission and circulation is the overhead line which normally manufactured from uninsulated conductors backed on tower or poles. Chances are to are exposed to a crane since it is put in a high position. When a crane is getting in touch with with energized overhead line, it becomes enhanced to a high voltage that can harm the crane operator (Sacks et al. , 1998). Severe damage or death from electrocution is the risks that need to be confronted by the operator and anyone ranking close by if this catastrophe happens.

The crane rigger can also contribute to a major accident. Employees or bystanders face rigging crane injuries when the material connected to the load block or headaches ball street to redemption onto them. Besides that, heavy loads that surpass the limits and stability of an crane will result in structural failure, leading to the crane to idea and collapse within the operator and other staff below it.

2. 4. 3 Excavator

The significant size, weight and power of an excavator will place an operator or workers at high risk of serious harm when there is an accident happens induced by excavator.

The most popular accident induced by excavator will involve quick-hitch. A quick-hitch is device used to make interconnection and removal of connection such as buckets and rock and roll breakers of the excavator. The risk come up from the quick-hitch is the disconnection of the attachment ensuing works to be loose and falls from the excavator (Edwards, 2007). This occurrence can cause crucial injury or even worst, fatality, if the attachment such as heavy buckets are detached and show up onto the workers nearby.

Other factors behind quick-hitch mishaps that entail unintentional release of the connection are:

the failure to activate the quick-hitch properly credited to carelessness

failure to work with any supplementary locking device

poor maintenance of locking mechanism

attachment being overloaded.

Even although cause of a major accident can be obvious at first, there's also some root causes of excavator accidents that require to be identify such as:

lack or limited training directed at the operator

inadequate supervision by supervisors during excavation works are executed

poorly trained surface workers

workers encroach the excavator operating area although it is working

2. 5 Poor Management System

It is essential to have a good management system in a building project as it could generate an organizational setting up in which workers will learn and motivated to execute safe and effective construction work. Regrettably, many management systems fail to be dependable in creating outline strategies to identify and eliminate dangers and eventually letting personnel involve in undesired crashes.

2. 5. 1 Low-quality Safety Policy

Nowadays, it's quite common to see Site Management not creating an effective safety policy. Safety insurance plan is important in a development company pressure on the ideas and goals showing the company's dedication to workplace health and safeness (CSAO, 1993). Less recognition on the value of having safeness policy is the reason why there are big numbers of management didn't put into practice it.

When there is no effective safety coverage created by the management, personnel on site have a tendency to perform their work in a dangerous way because they do not have a proper guideline in safe working methods which might lead them to come in contact with risks and hazards in the building site environment. By not having a safety plan, accidents that happened can not only harm the staff, but it'll make the company bare a high financial risk. This situation is likely to happen because the management fails to provide support for basic safety programmes where it is recognized as a need since an accident were proved to be costly. A better safe practices performance is also hard to attain because management system doesn't have the responsibility to give a safe work site for everyone personnel because the key in obtaining that is to obtain viability and contribution by the management (Sawacha et al, 1999).

2. 5. 2 Low-quality Organising

Among all of the functions safety management, the most important is to designate specific with responsibilities so the construction safety programme and plan can be applied successfully.

Without having a planned company, the management will find it hard to execute monitoring on insurance policy implementation, to look for the roles of safeness committees and safe practices representative, and portray health insurance and safety responsibilities in every individual job information. The unsatisfied engagement and dedication by both management and personnel also makes the safe practices coverage to be less effective (Holt, 2001). Starting problem and correcting action being considered can hardly be achieved leading to less improvement to the safety performance because the security representative is also not well-trained anticipated to poor company (Sawacha et al. , 1999). The protection performance is only going to be at the same level without the improvement when companies with poor organisation fail in providing effective protection committees where they play an optimistic role in this matter (Sawacha et al. , 1999).

2. 6 Other Factors

2. 6. 1 Personal Factors

2. 6. 1. 1 Laziness

Taking shortcuts in doing works that being assigned are done by most workers because they would like to avoid extra activities (Hall, 1995). Sometimes, personnel believe that it is frustrating for them to choose the right tool during work so that it is preferable to them to utilize the incorrect tools.

2. 6. 1. 2 Former Experience

For workers which may have been employed in a company for a long time and having to perform a similar job, it is hard for them to change or quit the way they certainly things. This is actually not recommended because the old behavior can boost the possibilities of accidents to occur by preventing them from noticing the dangers (Kittleson, 1995).

2. 6. 1. 3 Doing Works in a Hurry

Sometimes supervisors want the works to be achieved as quickly as possible which gives pressure to some workers and leading them getting the works complete in a rush. For the workers to save lots of time completing the works, she or he may abandon the good safety routines (Stice, 1995).

2. 6. 1. 4 Being Angry

Angry is sometimes uncontrollable and makes someone not to be extreme caution, leading him or her to be engaged in accidents. To recognize when someone is irritated is by noticing see your face is sweating, tremble and grinding one's teeth. Anger that cannot be resolved may cause distraction, proneness to crashes, anxiety, rage and violence (Kittleson, 1995).

2. 6. 1. 5 Overconfidence

Having self-assurance is important for each and every worker which is a very important thing, but overconfidence may bring more injury than good. A person with an attitude of thinking that she or he will never require in an incident will lead to wrong methods or methods and cause personal injury (Hirsch, 1998).

2. 6. 2 Job Factors

2. 6. 2. 1 Work Overload

Workers can develop high stress particularly when they are asked to do works more that what they could cope with alongside the pressure scheduled to deadline. Work overload can be split into two different varieties that happen to be quantitative overload where workers are asked to do more works, and qualitative overload where the workers lack of belief that they don't have the skills to get the task done (Greenberg & Baron, 2000)

2. 6. 2. 2 Work Underload

Stress can also happen when someone is being asked to do inadequate work. A couple of two types of work underload that happen to be quantitative underload where a person feels tired from having little work to do, and qualitative underload where a person is insufficient mental arousal like exercises and repetitive careers (Greenberg & Baron, 2000).

2. 6. 2. 3 Time Pressure

Workers are certain to get overwhelmed and get worried once they believed they are unable to end a work before the deadlines (Stranks, 2000). Additionally, when there is a change in the task process and employees aren't given sufficient a chance to complete it, they'll easily become pressured.

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