Positive light on the adoption of height safety working practices…
“Breen estimate they have been able to make productivity gains and cost savings of around 10% – 15% on the working at height building process (in combination with a well-managed site and contractor crews).”
Project Overview - Since inception in 1939, Breen has grown into a well-respected local contractor to a leading construction company, serving clients all across New Zealand. Breen Homes is a dedicated division of Breen Construction catering to residential customers.
Breen Homes have put in place new systems and policies around height safety in response to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) push on the safety of working at heights, and the desire to see all of their workers and contractors return home safely to their families and friends.
Breen have seen positive results in business performance and budget because of their new initiatives, and a change in company culture in regards to health and safety.
Challenges - Breen needed to formulate new working procedures to perform at a best practise level at managing height hazards. Successfully implementing these procedures into the residential industry – Breen employees and contractors presented new challenges.
Solution - Breen Construction’s residential buildings arm ‘Breen Homes’ has adopted a policy of using a working platform/edge protection scaffolding system on all residential house builds.
Breen negotiated a set rate with their scaffolding supplier for the erection and dismantling of this scaffolding for a three week period from the time the frames are stood on the slab.
The project manager must then ensure that all the contractors get in and get their portion of the work at height completed within this three week time frame so as not to incur any further rental costs over and above the set price for that period.
Breen have also adopted the use of safety mesh on top of the rafters of the trusses which goes up as the purlins go on over the top, thus creating a complete fall prevention for all contractors and workers alike.
Results - Breen’s staff and contractors have found that their time frames to complete the work of erecting roof structures and roof cladding systems (including metal facia and spouting systems) on the site sped up due to a number of factors related to having this scaffolding in place, not least of all being the reduced need to be concerned about falling while working at height.
“Breen workers and contractors on the home sites no longer view these height safety practices as a health and safety compliance issue, but one of commitment to the ease of working at height best practice.”
Using the height safety practices of working platform / edge protection scaffolding in combination with the roofing safety mesh fitted to the top of the truss rafters, Breen estimate they have been able to make productivity gains and cost savings of around 10% – 15% on the working at height building process (in combination with a well-managed site and contractor crews).
The roofing safety mesh fitted to the top of the truss rafters practice also has the added spin-off and cost saving of reducing the amount of broken and damaged nail guns and impact driving tools that would otherwise have hit the concrete slab when dropped while working up on the roof structure.
All Breen workers and contractors on the home sites no longer view these height safety practices as a health and safety compliance issue, but one of commitment to the ease of working at height best practice.
Breen hopes this case study sheds some positive light on the adoption of a safe working practice that has come about as a response to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) push on the safety of working at heights, and the desire to see all of their workers and contractors return home to their families and friends.
Conclusion - Adhering to best practice in safety practices also positively effects businesses in productivity gains and cost savings. Following health and safety best practice is another way for construction companies to show their workers that they are valued: by practically demonstrating how they are getting workers and contractors home safely each night after work.
Changes in health and safety policy and practices from this construction firm came as a result to the enforcement on a key hazard area by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
If you have any case studies of your own that you would like to share with Site Safe around health and safety driving positive business performance – please contact Communications Manager Lauren Prestney at firstname.lastname@example.org or 021 356 169.