La nouvelle application d'Alison est maintenant disponible sur iOS et Android ! Télécharger

    Study Reminders

    Safety in Construction
    Prof. Uma Maheswari
    Department of Civil Engineering
    Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi
    Cost of Injury Vs Investment in Safety
    Yes, good morning, so this is the second lecture on safety in construction. So, today's lecture will
    be primarily on cost of injuries and so, one is that is complete set of costs related to injury. Other
    side you have all costs related to safety, we will discuss these 2 in today's class and how a safety
    budget is planned, so that will be the end of this today's class.
    (Refer Slide Time: 00:48)
    So, accident cost, accidents always cost a construction organization a great deal that everyone
    knows. Because there is lot of other issues are disturbed in terms of productivity in terms of
    helping the injured worker get his medical facilities and so on. And in a way a lot of chaos
    happens as a result there is lot of slow progress in construction sites. So, lot of things happen an
    accidents always have a great amount of cost to any construction organization.
    So, according to Hinze, a researcher in safety, he said if the true cost of injuries are well defined,
    the management can very clearly plan for an informed decision on safety. In a way, if I know
    that I have to sell out this much portion on cost on safety, then I can think of any safety measure
    or something to curtail this cost on injury, so that is what is a background meaning behind. So,
    keeping workers safe in any construction sites always come with an expense, several people have
    commented on.
    If you want to have safe workers, you have may have to give them proper PPE or you may have
    to give them a safety net and so on. If they are working at heights, you may have to safeguard
    them in so many ways then accordingly you have to pay or you may have to spend on something.
    So, safety always comes with some expense and worker safety cost has some amount of an
    Now when you look at the worker safety, compared to the human suffering and the pain, loss of
    a worker or something, so should we really think of profit of project or should we think of
    spending money on safety for the worker? So, that is the biggest question to any employer, but
    many of the contractors have told even though there is some amount of expenses goes in terms of
    safety, still there is a positive impact on this spending on safety budget.
    Because if there is no accident workers keep on working, they also have a contented feeling that
    sites are very safe. So, there is no injury, then there is no money spent on injury cost or
    something. So, some contractors at least 70% of the contractors have said safety practices have a
    positive impact in the stand on safety.
    (Refer Slide Time: 03:12)
    So, now let us discuss about the true cost of injuries. So, true cost as you have seen in other cost
    issues it has 2 components predominantly, one is direct cost and the other one is indirect cost.
    Indirect cost sometimes you can include claims, sometimes you can exclude claims, there are
    different groups of working out on the indirect cost. So, what do you mean by direct and what do
    you mean by indirect?
    So, direct cost is nothing but any visible cost, which is often referred as an insurable cost, some
    workers say, so this workers compensation is primarily taken up as a direct cost. And some
    researchers have said whatever cost you can quantify with the reasonable amount of accuracy, it
    will not be too deviating from the actual expenses. But if you can calculate to some extent an
    accurate value, then those costs are all can be calculated as an direct cost.
    For example, ambulance services, medical and ancillary treatment, medication, hospitalization,
    disability benefits and lost wages of injured workers, these all comes under direct cost. Let us see
    that indirect cost, so all the other costs that are not recovered through insurance coverage, they
    can all be classified as an indirect cost or those costs which cannot be quantified that easily with
    reasonable accuracy.
    Or it is very difficult for you to go and take out each and every item and then calculate the cost,
    then it is primarily called as an indirect cost, we will see in detail with examples. Most of the
    indirect costs can be categorized as being related to the cost of lost productivity, damage
    materials, equipment, added administrative efforts and so on. So, now what about the health and
    safety program implementations?
    That also has some amount of costs towards safety, will that be calculated as one of the cost
    parameter? That is still a question mark I have put, because the spending on safety is never
    treated as a cost these days, it is treated as an investment on safety that we will come back at the
    end of this class. Then there is something called hidden cost of injury, what do you mean by
    hidden cost is where there is no historical record kept, which implies the pain and suffering of
    the worker.
    The loss of a career up to the worker because he lost an arm or a leg and he is no longer able to
    continue his earlier work, his career is totally shattered. So, these all can come under hidden cost
    of injury and you would not be able to calculate or quantify this hidden cost.
    (Refer Slide Time: 06:00)
    And there is an other group of people who have classified as financial cost and social cost. So,
    financial cost is your direct and indirect cost what we have seen, to some extent all those can
    come under financial cost. Social cost is any cost that can result in utilization of national
    resources. So, what do you mean by national resources? For example, if you involve any
    government sector people for calculating or for any associated costs, then it is primarily comes
    under social cost.
    For example, productive years of the injured worker, government support towards medical
    expenses and hospitalizations, some government also extends support for all these injured
    workers in terms of medical expenses, maybe the employer may pay 50%, the 50% of these
    expenses will be taken care of by the government, this happens in many countries. So, the
    government is also has some component on the cost of injuries.
    The government regulatory authority, for example a major accident happened and there is so
    much of chaos because of some incident that happened in a particular locality, then the
    government may also extend the support in terms of administrative personnel or authority for
    inspection, investigation and other scenario, so that cost will be part of your social cost. The next
    one is court, maybe it can come in terms of the reason behind the accident or claims behind the
    accident, something related to that. So, the people involved in the court and the proceedings, they
    all can become part of the social cost.
    (Refer Slide Time: 07:49)
    Now in the same note, you can also classify the true cost of injuries in terms of fixed cost,
    variable cost and disturbance cost. Fixed cost, so which cannot vary with the absence of the
    workers, if the workers had a minor injury, they may be absent for a few weeks of time, if they
    had a major or a permanent disablement, they maybe absent for a few months of time. So, that
    will not affect the cost then it is primarily called fixed costs.
    For example, administrative costs, communication cost and so on, they all can come under fixed
    cost. The next is variable cost, so this variable cost varies with the absence of workers. So, the
    period of absence of the workers will be dependent on the cost then those all will come under the
    variable cost. For example, if you want to keep a replacement worker or a substitute worker in
    the absence of an injured worker.
    Then the salary to that worker will be dependent on how much time he is replacing the injured
    worker or overtime extra work to compensate the productivity loss. So, when the injured worker
    has recovered and joins the work these extra expenses will start coming down, so those expenses
    can be categorized as variable cost. The next one is disturbance cost, so disturbance cost depends
    on the nature of the accident maybe there is a lot of major accidents happened because of one
    Then that can create loss of reputation maybe failed project progress in the same project or lot of
    fines you may have to go through or maybe trials in the court, you may have to spent so much on
    that, mental disturbances as you may lose reputation and no projects in future, so it can all
    shatter. So, these are all primarily can come under the disturbance cost.
    (Refer Slide Time: 09:46)
    Then let us look at from the claims lawsuits. So, there are so many lawsuits which primarily
    favor the workers, because workers are the one who gets injured and they are the one who does
    not want to get injured. But unfortunately or fortunately even though the standards or procedures
    are made by the top management still the low level management on workers they are the one
    who gets injured
    So, construction accidents, it can result in totally a life shattering death or it can be from life
    altering ways of your routine life in terms of spinal cord injury, paralysis, brain damage or loss
    of limb, disfigurement, burns and which are even worse than the death. So, if you look at the
    lawsuits in one report, it was reported a 26 year man who fell from a ladder and suffered a head
    brain injury and because the employer had failed to provide him a scaffold and the other PPE
    So, he was compensated almost like 7360000 dollars, which is like a highest compensation
    recorded in the state of New York, this is the behind. So, your cost of injuries as a result of
    accident may collapse you in terms of you cannot even think of project profit margins.
    (Refer Slide Time: 11:05)
    Now let us look at the cost related injuries in terms of different sectors in terms of different
    major accidents, minor accidents and so on. So, work related injuries mean losses not only to
    workers, but also to their families, employees and society that we have seen earlier. And
    calculating an accurate estimate is always very difficult, because of several reasons. A few
    reasons are hidden costs, which we have seen few slides earlier which is very difficult to
    quantify and estimate.
    The other one is musculoskeletal disorders, as I told which is these health issues cannot happen
    immediately on spot, some health issues may happen after prolonged exposures, 2 years, 3 years
    or 5 years and so on. So, to which particular contractor under whom they were working, under
    what circumstances it is very difficult to estimate and then take the claims off. So, that is where it
    is very difficult to have a reasonable estimate on injuries.
    If you look at these fatal and non fatal, if you see fatal claims on injuries even less compared to
    the non fatal because compared to one fatality, you may have at least like 100 or something like
    that on major injuries. Because last class we have seen on the number of ratio between your
    fatality to major accidents to minor accidents to near misses. So, it varies in 100s times or it can
    multiply in 10s time. So, with maybe one fatality has happened, you may have at least 20 or 30
    major injuries, so as a result the claims are really high.
    (Refer Slide Time: 12:49
    Now based on the different levels of skilled and unskilled workers, if you see the unskilled
    workers are the one who has a larger amount of fatality and the non fatal injuries compared to
    other sectors. Because the skilled workers they know how to behave safely in the construction
    site. Unskilled workers as we have seen, why construction industry is risky? Most of the points
    that we have discussed on subcontracting, migrant, seasonal workers and so on.
    All these attributes go very well jelling with the unskilled part of your most of the labors, that is
    where the fatality and the non fatal injuries compensation is very, very high. So, now if you look
    at the medical facilities, and how much was spent? So, this was also a data taken from all types
    of employment in the construction chart book. So, if you see here, so this shows, inpatient
    expenses, office visits, then outpatient expenses, emergency rooms and one the medicine and
    prescribe medicines and they leave the hospital if you see. So, the inpatient claims are too high
    and people have spent so much on inpatient claims.
    (Refer Slide Time: 14:07)
    Now how is the different injuries are classified and how are they compensated? Some hint is
    given, various references are there to show the hints. And one reference I have picked as a IS
    code IS 3786, which talks about method for computation of frequency and severity indexes in
    construction projects. So, now this is based on a physical injury or I would say major injury,
    suppose if and you are losing an organ in your body.
    Suppose if it is an ill health or something like that, like a minor injury, then there is also an
    equivalent calculating proportions. And approximately it all comes nearly to the same as given in
    the IS code. So, the nature of injury is here given as contusion, wounds, fracture, sprain and these
    values are given in terms of man hours. For example head contusion 134.4 man hours or 42.7
    man hours if it is a wound, upper extremities, upper part of the body and lower part of the body,
    so accordingly you have values here.
    So, major injury, this is how the mandates loss or given as a guideline. For minor injury you get
    a different set of a guidelines, but every injury is actually compensated.
    (Refer Slide Time: 15:35)
    So, now let us look at different other sources South African Department of Labour. They have
    actually had an statement on the different classifications and the compensation paid. First aid
    treatment is South African Rand 1000, and the medical consultation or treatment 3500 South
    African rand and lost time accidents or major injuries 30,000, cost per fatality is 1.5 lakhs. So,
    this is what is the compensation paid.
    So, overall if you see fatality is paid little high, is actually paid little high, then comes a major,
    then comes minor on the first aid treatment. But the final total cost on claims on fatality or lost
    time or minor injuries and first aid, total it comes approximately to the same value. Because the
    number of first table will be too many in compared to the medical consultation, that will be too
    high in compared to last name.
    So, based on the frequency numbers obviously you will have all the components equal to the
    same total values. If you see the percentage of material handling sorry slips, trips and falls being
    struck by or colliding with an object, accidents involving tools, fall from heights. So, material
    handling ranks number one of total claims because there are so many claims and you pay so
    much on the material handling.
    Slips, trips and falls, fall second, next in the number of claims, so like that you have the other
    one. Fall from heights it ranks high in the frequency, but if you see in the percentage of total
    claims it is not that high and compared to the material handling, maybe because of the
    musculoskeletal disorders which comes along with the material handling. So, material handling
    is little ranking high in the percentage of total claims. Then sprains and strains, again it is the
    musculoskeletal portion which I am talking about, that is actually taking up more claims. Then
    cuts or punctures 19%, fracture 11%, contusions 9%, eye injuries is ranking as 5%.
    (Refer Slide Time: 17:52)
    Then here let us see the different cost, so far we have seen in terms of fatality, major, minor and
    so on. So, this is an index on what is the accident prevention cost and what is the accident rates.
    So, the first pie chart is on accident rates by project phrases and the second pie chart is primarily
    on accident prevention cost. So, structures, so more lot of money has spent on the prevention
    cost for any structure collapse or something. And if you see the accident rates, structures is ranking high. So, there is a logical reason also for
    the connection, so because structures accidents are too high. So, there is also a large amount of
    money spent on serious investigation on safety precautions in controlling the number of
    accidents related to structures. The next is earthmoving here also you will see lot of safety
    policies and procedures are all taken up.
    And earthmoving is actually having so much of cost compared to the other cost (()) (18:57)
    again, so accordingly you have the distribution. So, every company can have a pattern on
    accident rates and they can shell out on the prevention cost. And so, these are the other costs, so
    accident prevention, it can come under safety or some people also bring it under cost, so we have
    discussed that also.
    Now the next major portion on cost related to injury in a construction site comes under penalty,.
    So, in 2019 the maximum penalty amount per willful or a repeat violation was remarked as
    132,598 dollars per violation on the construction sites. And if you see in construction sites many
    of these fines or penalty are paid because of multiple citations or an which comes under willful
    or repeat violations. So, this is also an other cost which the company spends in terms of an
    accident prevention.
    (Refer Slide Time: 20:01)
    So, if you look at the categories of different the claims. So, fatality, full incapacity in the sense
    completely who are disabled, you will not be able to work even though you are alive, you will
    not be able to have a job opportunity after the accident. Partial incapacity maybe you will have
    restrictions in your job earning capacity, you may not be able to do the work which you are
    doing it earlier.
    Long absence, maybe you are away from the work for 5 months or 3 to 4 months or 5 months
    and then you can come back to work, but you will not have an incapacity. And the next is
    classified as short absence, maybe for a few weeks you maybe away from your job site, and then
    you will come back to the work and you will continue with your same work. So, these are the
    different classifications when it comes to calculating your injuries or claims and so on.
    If you see the pattern of accident over the project progress, so when the project is peaking up to
    50% to 70% you will see there is lot of accidents happening in a construction site and after then
    the accidents are reducing. So, initially when the project is picking up it is gear, again you do not
    see so many accidents. So, obviously there is a wave pattern of accidents which is seen in many
    of the construction projects.
    So, this can be related to a schedule pressure on most of the project, because the completion
    pressure starts coming in after maybe close to 40, 50% that progress has to happen. And we have
    to finish the remaining part of your construction project. And this pressure starts triggering out
    speedily work and obviously the workers are the one who are getting injured.
    (Refer Slide Time: 21:50)
    Now after an employee is injured, so what are the precautions and how he should be taken care
    of? So, the first thing is without any investigation or anything on who did and what and so on,
    the injured worker should be given a proper treatment from a appropriate medical provider. So, it
    can be a nearest hospital maybe a first aid treatment, it can be an in-house hospital facility,
    wherever you it is a complete best treatment, the injured worker should get the first treatment.
    Then next is report the incident or the accident to the site supervisors, the site supervisors who
    are available there should be aware of what has happened? Who got injured? What happened?
    And he should be immediately informed. And before any investigation or something has
    happened, do not discard, do not alter the position, do not change the equipment because of
    which the accident happened or material, property whatever which is related to the accident, do
    not try to even discard or alter or change the position or do something.
    And which led to the employee’s injury unless it is investigated and the case is closed. And
    provide time for other employees who witness the injury to speak as to what happened, who was
    at fault and so on. So, do not try to consolidate the injury to the crew who were there and so on.
    And keep the lines of communication open with the injured employee. First of all, the injured
    employee should be able to speak frankly on what happened on the day of injury, and what was
    the real incident and how it can be improved and so on.
    So, that has to be there and also the workers recovery also should be monitored at each and every
    point of time. Show concern on the injured employee and his or her well being, so that is an
    other issue, so a little positive note on recover and come back to work will make an employee
    become better rather than saying what did you do on that day and why this happened and so on.
    Rather than interrogating and investigating, it is better to have a concern on humanitarian means
    of concern to the injured employee. Modify the injured employee’s current position to
    accommodate all restrictions. So, based on the nature of injury and the medical advice given by
    the doctors, so accordingly the injured worker has to be given a different job position rather than
    taking away from the job site.
    And never accuse anyone of the incident then that is a real first point of what as a after an
    incident has happened. So, obviously when you start investigating on the accident or the
    incident, it will obviously be pointing out to some men. It can be a group of employers
    employees or it can be an equipment which was at fault, whatever. But equipment will not create
    an accident on it is own, when the equipment is at fault the employee who is working close by
    should have reported it or he should not be operating a defective equipment.
    So, whatever it is, it obviously corners down to one particular or a group of workers. So, instead
    of that, we should always be in a positive note on seeing to that the same accident does not
    happen again. Keep in constant contact with the insurance carrier to help the worker recovery
    with peace of mind on the cost of injury, hospital fees and so on. So, now we have talked about
    the worker who is injured has to come back to work, and he has to be given the job. Now we
    have to discuss about what are the different types of job facilities and what happens once the
    worker is back to the job.
    (Refer Slide Time: 25:53)
    So, the goal of any employer is to bring back the employee to work as early as possible, because
    keeping the worker away from the job site. Actually you may have to it is like too much of a
    cost, you have to bring a new replacement worker, he has to be trained, the next day itself he
    cannot start his productive work, he has to be given a proper training and space for him to get
    adjusted with the crew and so on.
    So, this takes some point of time and when he picks up the productivity, most of the time the
    injured worker itself may be ready to come back to work. Goal of a employer is not to just send
    away the worker who got injured, because there is a fault on the injured worker, because he
    created a loss of reputation to the company. So, that should not be the real goal of an employer
    then that will not work out.
    So, return to work is not punitive. So, because the worker has done something and he has got
    injured. So, it should not be treated in a punishment mode on so putting the worker back on the
    same job and making him do whatever the work he has done earlier. So, an alternate duty should
    be given in to respect the work he has done in the last 5, 10 years or something or the sincerity he
    has shown into the job in the last few years or his education level.
    So, everything has to be taken into account in maintaining the dignity of the worker. And
    positions designed should not be in terms of punishment in mind, what will happen is it will only
    increase the friction between the employer employee, and it will also increase the claim
    management problems. So, until then, at least the employer should be in a positive mode towards
    the workers.
    In the end, so if the punishment mode happens, then the negative energy starts creating and you
    will not be able to get a productive job, your best job and a peaceful job in future. So, the
    employer should always think in mind the job should be productive, useful and meaningful at
    any point of time in the end of the day. So, types of alternate duty, so number 1, transfer to other
    job suppose based on the permanent disablement or temporary disablement, you can shift the
    worker to another job.
    But the temporary placement of the injured employee in an existing position and also complying
    with the medical advisors limitations. And accordingly you can keep them temporarily and get
    all the work transferred to an other replacement worker and then this worker can be shifted, so
    that sort of an arrangement is also possible. The same job as earlier you can also keep the worker
    in the same job, but you can also remove some segments of the job which the worker cannot do.
    Or we can also put some restrictions on to the worker that he need not do some segments of the
    job, so that he still able to finish his job properly. So, placement of the injured employee in the
    earlier position, but with some elements of the job removed or with restrictions. Then gradual
    acclimation, so once the worker is injured and he is in the stage of recovery, you cannot give him
    an 100% productive job to happen.
    So, you may take him for 30% productivity, and after 2 weeks, you may expect him for 50%
    productivity, so slow gradual acclimation of the worker absorbed into the site that you may have
    to think of. So, this is an other pattern of putting the employee back to work and you should also
    keep in mind the employee is not exerted on the full day workload until he is recovered.
    (Refer Slide Time: 29:40)
    So, far we have talked about cost of injury, different patterns wherein how the compensations
    are, how the claims are done and so on. And we have also saw the workers medical facilities and
    how they are back to the job, what sort of jobs the workers should be posted and so on. So, most
    of the insures, claims and so on always target about compensation. So, what do you mean by
    And this workers compensation when we discussed about direct cost, there are some researchers
    who said this workers compensation directly contribute to the direct cost. So, now what do you
    mean by this workers compensation and why it is required? Even today in many of the
    construction sites, the wages for any construction worker in the construction industry is always
    kept as low as possible, because there is a pressure from other fraternity.
    So, to keep the wage as low as possible, that happens even now. And this is also possible and this
    is achieved in many construction sites by hiring immigrant workers at low wages for most of the
    unskilled workers. So, primarily they can be seasonal workers, they can be immigrants, so who
    will be very ready to do for whatever low wage the employer is willing to give and hence the
    workers compensation came in.
    So, this workers compensation is to protect the employees who are hurt when they are on the job
    site. Now what do you mean by workers compensation? So, it is an amount which is given to
    compensate any individual who have suffered occupational injury or an illness. So, it can be an
    injury on accident or it can be even a health issue also. But there are a lot of flaws in the system,
    because some compensation measures are very difficult to calculate.
    For example, this applies to occupational diseases like hearing loss, hearing loss will not happen
    immediately. So, it takes a lot of time when you are on site and when you are hearing lot of noise
    in the construction site, which is above the permissible limit, which your excavator or your
    drilling machines or drilling hammers can pile hammers can easily give cross beyond that normal
    permissible limit or injuries, the famous example is a musculoskeletal injuries.
    So, which cannot be actually assigned or specific date of injury you cannot assign to, and hence
    compensation claims are very difficult to be given to these workers. Because for to pay a
    compensation the specific date and time of injury should be given and when that cannot be given
    for certain aspects of your compensation of the injuries. With the workers changing contractors
    regularly especially for all these issues I said on hearing loss or musculoskeletal disorders and so
    on, who will be responsible for these chronic injuries and illnesses?
    For the slow injuries to be visible, who will be responsible? And normally what happens, the
    trend is it will be the current employer. Because the injury who has shown visible impact our
    effect only with the current employer, and most often the current employer will be responsible
    for all these compensation and for all the injury related compensation. So, in theory all
    employers are equally affected as a result of shifting jobs of these workers and subcontracting
    way of culture in the construction industry.
    So, now what the employers should take a precaution is, do not hire workers who are more
    susceptible to injuries, who are like absent minded every time, who runs here and there and do
    their work without taking care of safety precautions, and keep in mind not to take recruit
    migrants or even an old workers. So, these are all the different, different precautions one can
    keep in mind in order to avoid all these compensations and claims.
    So, now this migrants should be avoided for in order to have a zero accident site, but which is
    actually the ironical statement that in many of the construction sites, you see migrant workers ly available for low wages and as an unskilled worker.