Planning and Scheduling:
Focus on Safety
March 23, 2022
Safety has been and will always be a top priority in the construction industry. This prioritization of construction safety has caused an active evolution — even a revolution — in how industry professionals have started to utilize technology and data to further improve safety. Think of the advancement of adding GPS to construction safety equipment that allows the ability to track signals on hardhats so operators can be more aware of their surroundings.
But with such advancements come new questions, like when or where will a piece of equipment, or in other words the hazard, be present on the project? This has created a fresh opportunity for organizations and jobs to plan, schedule and mitigate risk for greater safety. Let’s look at why this is happening and how your business can benefit.
Identifying Risks to Construction Safety with the Critical Path Method
Using planning and scheduling, or critical path method (CPM) software to develop pre-project plans can provide project teams an opportunity to identify hazards, plan for the hazard, and build in contingency through added duration, cost, or both to accommodate mitigation of the hazard.
Using the projects critical path method schedule, iterative risk workshops and short interval plans, project teams can identify risks such as traffic switches during rush hour, which present the project stakeholders with risks.
Your project team will be able to identify when the risk is planned to occur using the critical path method schedule and then, using the short interval plan, identify the crews that would potentially be at the greatest risk, giving the project team the opportunity to plan and implement mitigation steps ahead of time.
Mitigating Risk for Construction Safety in the Field
Another example of planning and scheduling for construction safety could be the avoidance or mitigation of crews working in close proximity on an area of the job, i.e., crew collision.
With the use of the project’s short interval plan and the effort of resource loading the projects plan, the project team can use quick functionality in scheduling software to identify where the crew may have a possible interaction.
Identified ahead of time, this gives the project team the opportunity to realize the hazard and mitigate it by resequencing the work, planning for construction safety through additional checkpoints, or even confirming that the hazard is minimal at best and the work can proceed as planned. Scheduling software allows project teams the opportunity to proactively address construction safety on the project.
Enhancing Construction Safety with Today’s Best Scheduling Methods
Additionally, with the advancement of using scheduling for construction safety on projects, a by-product advancement has revealed itself. When organizations and projects use scheduling technology as a planning tool, these organizations and projects are provided with an endless amount of data that can be used throughout the life cycle of a project to assist in the efforts of scheduling for construction safety.
There has never been a more data rich time in the construction industry than now, and each day organizations and projects are presented with more.
This data-rich period has allowed for an increasing opportunity to gather, organize, analyze, report, and act on this data. This means reports that allow projects to identify the needed amount of space for an operation to work safely and effectively; reports that identify the safest shifts to perform certain operations on a project; and reporting on the optimal number of hours that can be worked in a day, week, month, or year on project to remain productive but keep your project team safe.
These reports are not only developed using data but planning and scheduling data. The ability to identify when an operation was active on a project or when a hazard occurred goes a long way to providing meaningful data for construction safety reporting.
As the industry continues to make advancements not only in planning, scheduling and risk technology itself, but in how organizations and projects use it, the safer the industry as a whole will become.
With a heavy focus on construction safety in the industry, the tools to support this focus will continue to be improved, the data refined, and how both are used will continue to be redefined. And I think the entire industry can agree that the effort required for this is not a wasted one when the number of hazards on any job can continue to decrease, yielding more project wins all around.
Ready to take a deeper dive? InEight can help get your projects where they need to go and help you create a solution that matches your needs while leveraging your teams’ existing strengths. Let us show you how.