By John Gambatese, P.E., M.ASCE
Greetings from the CI Construction Safety Committee! I am happy to report that some excellent activities are beginning to take shape in the Safety Committee. A group of both new and veteran committee members recently met at the ASCE headquarters office in Reston, Virginia, to develop plans for upcoming committee events and activities. Here are some highlights from the meeting.
In an effort to spread the word about what's new in construction safety to the ASCE‐CI community, the committee plans to write brief and timely articles ("Safety Spotlights") for inclusion in the monthly CI Field Report. The plan is to have short summaries of new safety research that can be implemented in practice to eliminate jobsite injuries and fatalities; case study descriptions of projects on which there were unique and/or complex safety issues that were successfully addressed; and introductions to new safety technologies, regulations, standards, and practices that affect safety management on construction sites. Look for an article soon in an upcoming CI Field Report. The committee welcomes input and articles from all CI members. If you would like to submit an article, typically 500 - 1,000 words in length, please send it to John Gambatese. John is willing to help write the article with you, if desired.
Matthew Dina at Fluor has been assembling an impressive list of reference material on cranes, rigging, and lifting operations, including alternate lifting methods. The list will provide a central and comprehensive bibliography of information about using cranes on projects. If you would like to contribute to the list, please send any related links and references to documents to Matt. We are especially interested in any older and somewhat limited or obscure books, manuals, guidelines, and other media that you know about and believe should be included.
The committee has also received requests for further education and training on cranes and lifting operations. A suggestion was made to possibly develop a short course on cranes and lifting for training in both industry and academia. If you could benefit from such a training course, please let us know and tell us what content you would like to see included. In addition, we would welcome anyone with a background and experience in construction engineering and working with cranes to contribute to the training. If you are interested in participating in the development and/or presentation of the training, we welcome your involvement.
Safety In Design
In another training effort, the committee is in the early stages of considering developing a guided online course on safety in design for engineers. The practice of addressing jobsite safety in the design of a facility (i.e., "safety constructability" or "prevention through design") has received increased interest amongst ASCE members, and further information and training on the topic is desired. The course would provide practical guidance on how an engineering/construction company can improve safety through the planning and design of projects. Look for an upcoming announcement of an online course from ASCE.
CI Summit Sessions
The committee will be proposing presentation sessions for CI Summit 2019 in Atlanta in March, focused on a variety of safety topics. A slate of topics on crane safety and site safety are being considered, including stiff leg derricks, safety in design, precursor analysis, and more. If you would like to participate, please contact Ed Deegan with EDT Forensic Engineering & Consulting.
ASCE Site Safety Policy
One of the committee's duties is to regularly provide input and guidance on ASCE's Policy Statement 350 on Construction Site Safety. The policy provides guidance to ASCE members on the typical roles and responsibilities of the different project team members with respect to jobsite safety. The current version of the policy was last reviewed and updated in 2012. The committee plans to review it again and update it, if necessary, based on new developments in the industry.
Collaboration On Temporary Structures
Part of the committee meeting was devoted to discussions with the Temporary Structures Committee, which was meeting in Reston at the same time. There is much overlap between the two committees, and both committees see many benefits in our collaboration. One topic discussed was safely lifting rebar cages. The process of lifting rebar cages can be complex, given the size and structural integrity of rebar cages and, as a result of recent safety incidents, has received attention recently within ASCE. Additionally, the committees pledged to work together to support the development of guidance on the use and misuse of cranes and rigging applications.
Lastly, the Construction Safety Committee is in the process of changing committee leadership. The committee has two official subcommittees - Crane Safety and Site Safety. Jim Worrell and Tony Brown will be stepping down as chairs of the Crane Safety Subcommittee and Site Safety Subcommittee, respectively. Thanks, Jim and Tony, for your leadership and contributions to the committee! In their places, Tim Parker will assume the chair position of the Crane Safety Subcommittee and John Gambatese will become chair of the Site Safety Subcommittee. In addition, each subcommittee will have a vice chair. Rick Mikut will be the Vice‐Chair for the Crane Safety Subcommittee, while the same position for the Site Safety Subcommittee will be announced later. For now, one of the subcommittee chairs, to be determined, will act as chair (coordinator) over both subcommittees. Also, the committee will establish terms for each chair position; likely three-year terms.
The committee encourages additional participation and welcomes new members. If you are interested in becoming a member of the committee, please submit your name and contact information online. We are excited about the future possibilities for the committee, and especially for the new and younger members who represent the future of CI and ASCE and our construction safety initiatives.
John Gambatese is a professor at Oregon State University's School of Civil and Construction Engineering.