By Clarence Wynter and Kevin Noakes
Actively participate in Project/Site Safety Programs.
As a Field Piping Technical Specialist you must actively engage in current project/site safety programs. The most pervasive of these are Tool Box meetings. These are team safety meetings held daily, usually before work starts in the morning, that update the construction and field engineering team on the current progress status of safety on the project as it reflects on safety incidents, how many near misses, and how accomplishing project schedule milestones creates safety pinch points and strains to watch out for. This is where you will hear emphasis placed on site safety initiatives like the requirement of buddy systems for jobs to be done in a work permit environment. It is the accredited milestones achieved safety, with out injuries that is the number one value for today's project clients, owners and all the workers on the construction site.
One cannot be complacent on the job on a construction site. Safety incidents have an impact on the project status and are recorded as Lost Time Incidents (LTI's). My motto is “Nobody gets hurt, nobody will cry”.
Best practices in site safety programs are evolving. For example there is a new emphasis on site safety that promotes the value of fresh start safety programs that take place after there has been a long statutory holiday. Folks typically come back to the job site complacent assuming that where they left off is 'ok', and that when they return activities will carry on as usual. That assumption can carry a high risk value especially for safety. The fresh start approach realigns the safety values for all, requiring participation in the project's scheduled and unscheduled safety site walk downs and the overall assessment of the deficiencies, what areas need improvement and their real and imagined impacts on the project. These walk downs have environmental, constructability and human factor safety value consequences.
Daily or scheduled weekly meetings are also necessary for Engineering reviews of construction issues with the co-ordination of field input. In the construction site environment there are always requirements for multidiscipline interface procedures. These procedures are managed so as not to impact timeline deliverables for the project mechanical completion and scheduled turn-over of the process equipment/system for commissioning (operations testing). At these multi-discipline review meetings there are opportunities for 'value creation'. Parties of value creation include the General Contractor (GC), the Client Site representation, Site Project Engineer of Record (EOR) Leads and the Field Site Technical Specialists. For example, a Contractor may submit an alternative proposal for a revision due to constructability and or schedule time line that could create a safety risk for its execution. The Field Site Technical Specialist's input will be part of this collaborative assessment to either accept the proposal or not, defining clearly why or why not proposals are fit for purpose in the most efficient way to ensure that industry standards and project specifications are adhered to; unless a Specification Deviation Request (SDR) is submitted for a fit for purpose status application review and approval. A SDR can be submitted by the GC or a sub-contractor, with a client approved alternate specification or detail and proposed manufacturer (if an issued for construction [IFC] approved specification is not available).
The Field Technical Specialist's input is needed to ensure change orders involve this safety perspective in the engineering review and assessment, monitoring contractors input to ensure incorporation and application of Operational Health, Safety, Environment and Quality (HSEQ) and Value at Risk (VAR) procedures into the design. This has to be reviewed by the EOR and the consequences on safety of this final review and approval for a revised specification, and maybe a novel way of doing something, reapproved by the client/owner before the work is executed.