Construction Safety – Assignment Example

Construction Safety Theories The Behavior Theory The behavior theory is an a approach that is aimed at preventing accidents or increase the safety ofthe parties involved through positively influencing the behavior of all involved parties. This is achieved through, observation, communication and the coaching process. The Quebec bridge construction did not properly utilize this theory leading to the death of seventy five workers when it collapsed in 1907 (Kranakis, 2004). The analysis of the accident according to Kranakis revealed faulty design, underestimation of the bridge’s weight and allowing too much stress to develop on the bridge.
The decision of the architectures and engineers not to address the above issues led to this collapse which claimed a lot of lives. Had the behavior theory model observed by all the concerned parties, the above problems could have been solve at the design stage thereby preventing the accident form occurring.
The company involved in the construction according to (Kranakis, 2004), was cash starved before the tender was offered. The government on the other hand refused to grant the company the colossal sum of money requested citing extravagant provisions in the tender. The company directors however committed to this mega project with clear knowledge that the budget could not hold a stable and viable project of such magnitude. This resulted into negligence of the safety concerns that led to the collapse of the bridge.
Combination Theory
The combination theory explains that in some cases, accidents are not defined by a single theory and one has to go through several theories in explaining the occurrence of a specific accident. Raouf (nd) explains some theories involved in accidents such as the domino theory, multiple causation and the pure chance theories. In the case of the Quebec bridge collapse, other factors such as the environmental factors, poor quality of materials, errors by the construction workers could have resulted. In fact, Raouf (nd) attributes one of such factors as pure chance or the act of God meaning that the accident might not be preventable. Kranakis(2005), defends the engineers as the sole responsible authority in such occurrences due to such and other unforeseen circumstances.
Raouf (nd) explains that the domino theory includes the ancestral and social environment, worker fault, accident, unsafe act supplemented by a physical or mechanical hazard, and injury. If the unsafe act which comes together with mechanical and physical hazard is eliminated, the accident could be prevented. The bridge collapsed since the project was a mechanical hazard after overlooking much of the safety provisions due to a constrained budget. Had the responsible directors considered each aspect at a time, they would have solved most of the elements that contributed to the accident. The accident was therefore due to combination of many interrelated factors rather than due to design alone.
References
Kranakis, E. (2004) Fixing the Blame Organizational Culture and the Quebec Bridge Collapse. Technology and Culture 45.3. 487-518
Raouf, A. (n,d). Theory of Accident Causes Retrieved on 22nd Sept. 2010 from http://www.ilo.org/safework_bookshelf/english?content&nd=857170642