Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Incorporating health and safety concepts in building plans reduces accident rates and costs

16.04.2008
Incorporating health and safety concepts into building plans reduces accident rates and safety costs, according to the PhD defended by engineer Juan Pedro Reyes at the University of the Basque Country

Workplace accidents are currently a great human, social and economic problem. Within the industrial sector, the construction industry has one of the highest accident rates 27.34 % of the total of accidents in the workplace. Moreover, Spain tops the list in Europe for accident rates in this sector.

The 1995 Law on Workplace Risk Prevention introduced regulations which aimed to reduce this rate to the average European level. Nevertheless, the legislation did not achieve the expected result.: according to the latest figures from the National Institute of Statistics, between October 2006 and September 2007 the number of accidents in the building sector rose by 1.4 % with respect to the same period the previous year.

In this context, industrial engineer, Juan Pedro Reyes, from the Higher Technical School of Engineers at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) defended his PhD, New methodology for evaluation of sustainability regarding health and safety requirements for building plans. The PhD was directed by J. Tomás San José Lombera within the remit of the nationwide MIVES research project, in which the following took part: the Department of Construction Engineering at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, the Department of Metal Mining Engineering and Materials Sciences at the Bilbao Higher Technical School of Engineers and the Construction and Territorial Development Unit of the LABEIN-Tecnalia Foundation.

This work will be presented by Dr. Juan Pedro Reyes Pérez at a talk to be given at the III International Congress on Safety and Health at Work, organised by OSALAN-the Basque Institute for Workplace Safety and Health, to take place in Bilbao this June. Dr. Juan Pedro Reyes will put forward a mathematical tool that will enable the quantitative calculation of the overall value rate of sustainability for a building, in terms of its safety and health.

Juan Pedro Reyes Pérez is an engineer in Industrial Organisation, a safety engineer and a qualified expert in Workplace Risk Prevention in the specialities of safety, hygiene and applied ergonomics and psychosociology. He is currently working as an auditor for CE branded construction products and coordinator of trials for construction solutions with new materials at the Construction and Territorial Development Unit of the LABEIN-Tecnalia Foundation.

Applying safety from the design stage

Dr Juan Pedro Reyes PhD thesis underlines the need to incorporate the concept of safety into the whole life cycle of a building (conception, construction, useful life and reintegration), with special emphasis on its first phase: design. For Dr Reyes the prime main players in the application of safety and health in a building project are, in order of importance, the promoter, the designers (architects and engineers) and the construction company.

Starting with this as a basis, Dr Reyes drew up a mathematical model structured in accordance with the four life cycle phases of a building (conception, construction, useful life and reintegration), divided, in turn, into eleven sub-criteria, from which 27 indicators were finally obtained. These indicators define those aspects directly related to the causes that give rise to accidents, taking in the location of the building, the building materials or the level of subcontracting and the environmental impact of its demolition. All these are aspects to define for the building project itself.

Safety and health index

The methodology put forward by Dr. Reyes is eminently practical; it enables the analysis of the compliance or otherwise of each of the 27 indicators and evaluates this compliance on a scale from 0 to 100. By means of a computer application, a mathematical model is applied to the values obtained, associating a function of determined value to each indicator and enabling the homogenising of the values obtained for the various indicators in just one safety and health index (S&SM index). This index will determine the sustainability of a building as regards its safety, on a scale from 0 to 1.

This tool, drawn up by Dr. Juan Pedro Reyes, enables the evaluation of the viability of a building as regards its safety, highly useful to private and/or public property developers when adjudicating a building project that is open to tender. In fact, it is not just a matter of checking to see if legislation is being complied with, but to evaluate good practices in preventing foreseeable risks in a building project or plan.

Costs vs safety

When approving building projects it is financial criteria that currently predominates in the majority of cases. In this PhD, presented at the UPV/EHU, a comparative analysis for the building of two industrial premises was undertaken; in one the cost factor was prime and, in the other, safety. In accord with the model put forward by Dr Juan Pedro Reyes, the S&SM index resulting from the first came to 0.17 and, in the second – much more sustainable -, it was 0.80 and produced far fewer accidents during its life cycle.

As regards total costs of safety, including the installation of collective measures for safety during the construction work, maintenance of safety once the premises were completed and accidents, etc., Dr. Reyes has shown that these costs can multiply as much as four times in the case of the less sustainable project, i.e. in the building plan that did not take into account safety and health from the design stage.

Alaitz Ochoa de Eribe | alfa
Further information:
http://www.basqueresearch.com/berria_irakurri.asp?Berri_Kod=1703&hizk=I

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Finding new clues to brain cancer treatment
21.02.2020 | Case Western Reserve University

nachricht UIC researchers find unique organ-specific signature profiles for blood vessel cells
18.02.2020 | University of Illinois at Chicago

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A step towards controlling spin-dependent petahertz electronics by material defects

The operational speed of semiconductors in various electronic and optoelectronic devices is limited to several gigahertz (a billion oscillations per second). This constrains the upper limit of the operational speed of computing. Now researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg, Germany, and the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay have explained how these processes can be sped up through the use of light waves and defected solid materials.

Light waves perform several hundred trillion oscillations per second. Hence, it is natural to envision employing light oscillations to drive the electronic...

Im Focus: Freiburg researcher investigate the origins of surface texture

Most natural and artificial surfaces are rough: metals and even glasses that appear smooth to the naked eye can look like jagged mountain ranges under the microscope. There is currently no uniform theory about the origin of this roughness despite it being observed on all scales, from the atomic to the tectonic. Scientists suspect that the rough surface is formed by irreversible plastic deformation that occurs in many processes of mechanical machining of components such as milling.

Prof. Dr. Lars Pastewka from the Simulation group at the Department of Microsystems Engineering at the University of Freiburg and his team have simulated such...

Im Focus: Skyrmions like it hot: Spin structures are controllable even at high temperatures

Investigation of the temperature dependence of the skyrmion Hall effect reveals further insights into possible new data storage devices

The joint research project of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that had previously demonstrated...

Im Focus: Making the internet more energy efficient through systemic optimization

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, recently completed a 5-year research project looking at how to make fibre optic communications systems more energy efficient. Among their proposals are smart, error-correcting data chip circuits, which they refined to be 10 times less energy consumptive. The project has yielded several scientific articles, in publications including Nature Communications.

Streaming films and music, scrolling through social media, and using cloud-based storage services are everyday activities now.

Im Focus: New synthesis methods enhance 3D chemical space for drug discovery

After helping develop a new approach for organic synthesis -- carbon-hydrogen functionalization -- scientists at Emory University are now showing how this approach may apply to drug discovery. Nature Catalysis published their most recent work -- a streamlined process for making a three-dimensional scaffold of keen interest to the pharmaceutical industry.

"Our tools open up whole new chemical space for potential drug targets," says Huw Davies, Emory professor of organic chemistry and senior author of the paper.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

70th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting: Around 70 Laureates set to meet with young scientists from approx. 100 countries

12.02.2020 | Event News

11th Advanced Battery Power Conference, March 24-25, 2020 in Münster/Germany

16.01.2020 | Event News

Laser Colloquium Hydrogen LKH2: fast and reliable fuel cell manufacturing

15.01.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Active droplets

21.02.2020 | Medical Engineering

Finding new clues to brain cancer treatment

21.02.2020 | Health and Medicine

Beyond the brim, Sombrero Galaxy's halo suggests turbulent past

21.02.2020 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>