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FBLT092 Risk Management In Practice

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FBLT092 Risk Management In Practice

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Course Code: FBLT092
University: Coventry University

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Country: United Kingdom

On 15th March 2018, a pedestrian bridge collapsed onto an eight lane highway at Florida International University (FIU), crushing eight cars and killing six people under 950 tons of concrete. The bridge was constructed using accelerated bridge construction (ABC) which is intended to minimise traffic disruption and maximise safety. Cracking was found in the structure two days before the collapse. Vehicles were allowed to drive under the bridge while its internal cables were still being tightened and construction was unfinished.
On 19th March 2018 the first civil lawsuit was filed against one of the construction companies and the project’s consulting engineer. At the time of writing, the National Transport Safety Board (NTSB) is still carrying out its inquiry. There have been safety violations in previous bridge building projects involving contractors involved in the FIU project incidentally.
Compose an article to be published in an international health and safety management journal critically examining the inherent risks and benefits associated with the concept of ABC.


Accelerated bridge construction (ABC)
The accelerated bridge construction is the shift of paradigm in the planning of the project and approach of procurement where the requirement to reduce the mobility impacts, which emerges due to onsite construction activities, is implemented (Asfahl & Rieske, 2010).The ABC is aiming in elevating the onsite activities to high priority which will result in increased health and human safety in the construction projects. The ABC implements innovative planning and construction methods which have improved site constructability, work zone safety and whole project delivery time. Also, the ABC has led to the reduction of traffic impacts, the onsite construction time and climate-related time delays.
The achievement process of construction goals by the ABC have sometimes shown some contradictions. For example, the 15th March incident which left six people dead and destruction of vehicles question entirely the ABC safety goals (Chartier, 2014). ). The bridge collapsing may be as a result of many factors but it was the ABC’s role to check and prevent all factors that would have led to the accident. For instances, the bridge may have collapsed due to lack of skills of the deployed engineers which made them follow the instruction that is developed by the ABC organization (Culmo,2011). Also, the bridge may have collapsed due to the use of low-quality construction material.
Despite the cause of the accident the supreme blame rest with ABC organization as they must check and curb any factor that facilitates the emergence of such an accident.
Inherent benefits associated with Accelerated bridge construction
The ABC has primarily initiated a lot of benefits to the people. Some occurrences in the bridges construction process have negatively affected the ABC. Some of the inherent benefits that are associated with the ABC included.
Safety. This is the supreme goal and benefit that ABC is determined in achieving. The construction of bridges is a process that is accompanied by a lot of risks if poorly handled (Fernández-Muñiz, Montes-Peón, & Vázquez-Ordás 2012).).  For example, the collapsing of the bridge blamed the mechanical problems in the construction operations. The ABC should completely innovate on its construction operation so as to avoid such a contradiction in future.
Quality. This is also one of the significant benefits of the accelerated bridge construction organization. Provision of quality bridges assures safety to the people. Generally, high-quality properties are expected to be safe in usage.
Durability. This tests the duration the bridge will serve the people without any destruction noticed. The accelerated bridge construction is aimed at providing durable bridges hence assuring safety to the people. The March incident thoroughly questioned this benefits as the bridge was not used for a long duration (Grote, 2012). The ABC should look at the March and other incidents in a positive and educative manner so as it can to formulated strategies that may curb such dangerous incident from happening.
 Social costs. This can be described as the expense to the entire society. The bridge construction process by ABC can be said to be of fair cost. Being a cheaper process have made it possible for the government to connect many parts of the country with the bridges.
Environmental impacts. The bridge construction process by the ABC consider the direct and indirect impacts on the environment (Hopkins, 2011). Every project should positively influence the environment condition as destroying the environment affects the way of life of the people. Some of the arising tragedy such march incident questioned the ABC under environmental perspective. It showed how the ABC initiates some project that makes the environment hazardous to the public.
Benefits comparison
Comparing the level of benefits impact of the Accelerate bridge construction with other global construction companies, the ABC can be ranked among the top companies that have achieved safety projects despite some failure in some projects (Khaleghi et al, 2012). The March tragedy should not define the ABC complete failure. This is because it has constructed a lot of bridges and only a few incidences that have failed. The March tragedy of the ABC proves some safety comparing the number of people who died to the other global tragedy such as in Genoa-Italy where 26 were diseased.
 In general, the ABC can be said to have achieved a more substantial portion in the safety of population when compared with other global bridge designing and construction companies. The ABC should positively reflect on the causes of tragedies which may help ABC initiate practices that will curb such tragedy in future.
The use of post-tensioning approach or combining bridge decks and girders together can contribute highly in order to prolong the shelf life of a bridge construction. However, these practices affect both time and cost incurred. As another key alternative, the team that identified the research on the collapsed bridge found out that applying deck panels with the reinforced gear led in an improved structural performance level. These future research will immensely bring about change and ensure continuous development of the construction and activities aimed at the long-term longevity of the bridge structures (Lerman et al, 2012).  Investment in higher grade concrete materials is important since it is more resistant to the available stressors in spite of adverse weather conditions, increased weight stress on the bridge and also a high level of layer separations.
Accelerated Bridge construction has been deemed by various research agencies or bodies to be quite advantageous based on decreased construction time frame, reduced traffic interruptions and in various instances saves on high costs incurred for installation and maintenance (Marsh,2011) Even if there exists no particular bridge structure that lasts forever, Accelerated bridge constructing offers a means to install the available deficient structures in a quick manner, safely and considering the nature of the conducive environment. Various researchers argue that ABC is the anticipated ley future of bridge construction on various parts or regions of the world.
Adverse safety conditions
Evidently, the existence of extremely high daily traffic in the road results to increased safety concerns for the travelers and construction members in the given work areas. Traffic costs and user delay cost incurred are much higher if there are much traffic situations (Palermo & Mashal, 2012).
In general global construction industries, accident fatality rate doubles that of the accident fatality rates of all other sectors in the globe. Various minor risk of accidents is more likely to occur presumably at any given time.it is clear that bridge construction sites are a health and safety crisis. Various conceivable risks situations and health hazards are available with this rapidly changing environment.
Hazards associated with the ridge construction activities are well identified. Every worker in the sites should be aware of the expected risks thus take care of others and make the operations effective. They should manage the site efficiently and implement necessary risk prevention measures. Risk assessment is constantly taken by construction management in order to know the anticipated health and safety risks.
Working at height. The construction of bridges requires construction workers to operate at height. Immense fatalities and employee injuries associated with this kind of situation lead to many accidents. The risk associated is increased by adding access and mobility restrictions on the workers.
Moving objects
A construction site in construction industries in the globe is a rapidly changing adverse environment; hazards, therefore, are quite inherent to this particular industry. These construction sites become critical as a result of continuous moving vehicles and trade individuals in the area (Rejda, 2011). Some of the risks involve overhead equipment and shifting heavy vehicle loads, trucks and tankers that goes around the topological terrain. Health hazards resulting from these include hitting of the employees by the moving vehicles and increased interruption that lower the worker’s concentration.
There exist a lot of noise in the bridge construction industry brought about by many types of equipment’s being used. Constant or high exposure to a wide range of noise levels can result in tinnitus conditions and hearing loss to the workers. Workers have a role to regularly protect the employees from much noise. This health risk should, therefore, be assessed evaluated and controlled with immediate effect.
Hand-arm vibration
These construction tools that are usually sued by the workers are very powerful thus leading to hand-arm vibration syndrome. This health risk affects the fingers and entire arm of the employee thus leading to much damage. The employers in various industries should adopt low power hand tools in order to manage the risk and health hazards associated
Health issues
Diseases such as Muscoletal disorders and dermatitis. Constant lifting, carrying or increased handling of heavy construction equipment’s can results to such disorders. Workers are also highly exposed to chemicals and hazardous substances like cements and chemical solvents which cause allergic reactions and inflammatory skin on the workers body (Salvendy, 2012). These health hazards should be managed by use of effective gloves and overalls that protect the worker from exposure to these hazardous materials. Use of manual handling can also be used to reduces the risks and manage the health hazards. Some other risks might occur as a result of asbestos and the risks of worker collapsing and getting injured. There exists risks associated with trips, slips and fall.
Therefore the management in various construction industries industry should make efforts to protect the workers from the above risks. Also for a variety of reason indicated above, global companies and industries are accosted effective construction method in order to achieve a successful onsite bridge installation. Therefore the use of Accelerated bridge construction can lower the traffic levels, reduce environmental disruption and maximize on or zone safety
Asfahl, C. R., & Rieske, D. W. (2010). Industrial safety and health management. Prentice Hall….., 19(8), 208-245.
Chartier, Y. (Ed.). (2014). Safe management of wastes from health-care activities. World Health Organization…… 29, 44-68.
Culmo, M. P. (2011). Accelerated bridge construction-experience in design, fabrication and erection of prefabricated bridge elements and systems (No. FHWA-HIF-12-013)…risk management…., 7(6), 2267-2280.
Fernández-Muñiz, B., Montes-Peón, J. M., & Vázquez-Ordás, C. J. (2012). Occupational risk management under the OHSAS 18001 standard: analysis of perceptions and attitudes of certified firms. Journal of Cleaner Production, 24, 36-47.
Grote, G. (2012). Safety management in different high-risk domains–all the same?. Safety Science, 50(10), 1983-1992.
Hopkins, A. (2011). Risk-management and rule-compliance: Decision-making in hazardous industries. Safety science, 49(2), 110-120.
Khaleghi, B., Schultz, E., Seguirant, S., Marsh, L., Haraldsson, O., Eberhard, M., & Stanton, J. (2012). Accelerated bridge construction in Washington State: From research to practice. PCI journal, 57(4).
Lerman, S. E., Eskin, E., Flower, D. J., George, E. C., Gerson, B., Hartenbaum, N., … & Moore-Ede, M. (2012). Fatigue risk management in the workplace. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 54(2), 231-258.
Marsh, M. L. (2011). Application of accelerated bridge construction connections in moderate-to-high seismic regions (Vol. 698). Transportation Research Board……67(2), 160-172.
Palermo, A., & Mashal, M. (2012). Accelerated bridge construction (ABC) and seismic damage resistant technology: a New Zealand challenge. Bulletin of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering, 45(3), 123-134.
Rejda, G. E. (2011). Principles of risk management and insurance. Pearson Education India….6(3), 44-67
Salvendy, G. (2012). Handbook of human factors and ergonomics. John Wiley & Sons…9(3), 20

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