By having an emergency response plan,
companies in the heavy construction
industry can be prepared when disaster
By Pat Rediger
When you’re in the heavy construction industry, you often have
to hope for the best but plan for the worst when it comes to
safety. On a heavy construction site, there is large equipment
involved and plenty of moving parts, meaning there is always the potential for an
accident to happen.
Steve Wallace, senior program consultant for the Heavy Construction Safety
Association of Saskatchewan Inc., says the best way to prepare for such an acci-dent
is to create an emergency response plan.
“You may think an accident will never happen or you’re hoping it never hap-pens,
but if you’re prepared for it, then you’re likely to arrive at a better outcome
in the event an accident does happen,” said Wallace. “We tell companies that they
need to have some plan to deal with an emergency – regardless of the project size
or complexity – in order to minimize any human suffering and economic loss.”
Wallace says that collaboration is very important when it comes to first cre-ating
an emergency response plan. Although a company’s management team
should be a guiding force behind the project, input should also be sought from
its safety committee, which has a lot of expertise in that area. And don’t forget the
employees. When an accident does happen, it’s the employees who will be direct-ly
impacted and they’ll have to ensure the plan is carried out.
With the right team in place, the company can begin by assessing and identify-ing
potential hazards that are present in their work environment. There is a high
volume of traffic on a heavy construction site and workers could potentially be hit
by a vehicle or struck by a falling piece of material. Fire is always a risk, as well,
when working with or near flammable objects.
Wallace says that companies must ask themselves, “What can go wrong?” and,
“What are the consequences?” when examining each type of hazard. From there,
24 Think BIG | Quarter 1 2017 | saskheavy.ca