A majority of the construction activities possess risks especially to people who work at height, underground, confined places or areas that are in proximity to the falling objects. The other risks include manual handling of loads, handling of hazardous substances, dust, noise, use of equipment and also exposure to electricity and fire (Ismail et al., 2012). The human factor is also a critical element in the construction industry because they are responsible for practically all the risks that occur in the workplace. This is because it has been observed that management, as well as the employees in the industry, can control the occurrence of incidences and accidences within the workplace.
The consequences of the human failure in the workplace are severe, and analysis of most incidences and accidences show that human failure contributes to major accidents and exposure to substances that are hazardous to health. Major accidents such as Chernobyl, Texas City, Piper Alpha among others were all initiated by human error. To avoid incidences that could result in ill-health, companies have the responsibility of managing the human failure robustly as they do to the technical and the engineering measures that are in place.
The manager of the project is often responsible for ensuring workplace safety within the job environment (Xiang et al., 2012). He/she has the fundamental responsibility of answering all the questions that are related to the project throughout all its phases including ensuring safety. Risk management is essential not only in achieving success; but also in ensuring that the project objectives are achieved within a specific time. Considering that humans are the critical factors of success in a particular project, it is essential to develop a management structure that would ensure safety in the workplace and prevention of risks.
Aims and Objectives
The primary aim of this project is to investigate the effects of the human factor in avoiding and controlling risk management in construction projects.
The following ate the objectives of the project:
To establish the major human factors in the construction projects
To examine the effects of the human factor in the construction projects
To investigate how the human factor can be utilized to avoid risks in the construction projects
To find out how the human factor can be used for controlling risks in the construction projects
Regardless of the type of project, a project needs to incorporate effective management for success to be achieved. According to Snyder (2013), effective project management entails five stages, initiation, planning, execution, control and monitoring, and finally, closing. The project team should establish a charter, plans, and scope to ensure that goals and specific criteria are met. Since construction projects are temporary, they need to have a well-defined beginning and an end, and thus, they should be time bound. Also, as Snyder (2013) points out, the project should be completed within the budget. However, as the project management institute (PMI) (2013) posits, the primary challenge of successful project management is to achieve the project's goals within the primary project constraints, which are budget, scope, quality, and time. Also, a secondary challenge would be optimizing the allocation of the inputs, and consequently, integrating them to meet the project's objectives. In construction projects, these aspects should still be upheld, and any compromise leads to a predisposition to risk factors that affect the completion of public sector housing projects in both developing and developed nations.
Human Factor in Construction Management
Several studies have been conducted on the topic to establish the human factor in risk management in the workplace. According to studies by Ismail, Doostdar, and Harun, (2012) that aimed to establish the factors that influence implementation of safety management in the construction sites, every job has several of the safety and risk factors, which require quality as well as safety management systems. Their findings indicated personal awareness was the most influential safety factor in the workplace, followed by communication (Ismail et al., 2012). The study suggested that equipment design, improved work practices, and procedures improved the efficiency as well as the productivity of the construction workers, and that management has the responsibility of ensuring that employees are aware on safety measures that are inexistent through training and development. Also, the study introduces the risk assessor, a knowledge management program that quantifies risk using the common risk formula shown below:
Activity Risk Score = (Severity) x (Exposure) x (Probability)
Studies carried out by Xiang, Zhou, Zhou, and Ye (2012) recognize that asymmetric information which is a human factor in the workplace give rise to opportunistic behaviors which include moral hazards that arise in construction which causes loss of faith and increased risks in the construction markets. The phenomenon of asymmetric information is a common phenomenon, and that there is a need to resolve the problems that arise with this phenomenon hence reducing the construction project risks (Xiang et al., 2012). According to the study, appropriate countermeasures such as strengthening the existing project regulations, creating mechanisms of incentives and strengthening sincerity in the workplace can be useful in managing such risks.
A study by Hallowell and Gambatese (2007) introduces a safety risk management model that incorporates risk management techniques based upon the concept of equilibrium as per Newton's third law. In structural engineering, this concept is used when designing systems to support various loading schemes. Structurally effective systems must be designed in a way that the capacity of the system is greater or equal to the maximum predicted load. In essence, the loading capacity must meet or surpass the loading demand. The following design association for flexure in a structural member illustrates this load relationship:
Mu Mn where,
Mu : Ultimate Moment
Mn : Design Moment
: Factor of Safety
When this concept is applied to construction safety, it is recognizable that the safety risk demand equals the sum of the safety risk on a construction site. Hallowell and Gambatese (2007) assert that to reach equilibrium and make the safety system stable, the capacity of the safety program must meet or exceed the safety demand. The equation below expresses this relationship:
Su Sn where,
Su : Safety Risk Demand
Sn : Safety Capacity
: Factor of Safety
According to Hallowell and Gambatese (2009), the suggested technique for quantifying risk demand for any construction process involves five steps: (1) the identification of applicable safety risks; (2) the identifi...
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