Research Project

Review of Contractural Provisions, Establishment of Work Zone Safety Audit Procedure: Conducting Work Zone Safety Audit (LMNHP)

K.N.Jha, Geetam Tiwari, Kalaga Ramchandra Rao, Dinesh Mohan and Sudipto Mukherjee

Project Details

Background

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has undertaken the works of four-laning and strengthening of NH-28 between Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh and Muzaffarpur in Bihar. The Lucknow-Muzaffarpur National Highway Project (LMNHP) has a total length of 483 km and is funded by the World Bank (Bank). 
The LMNHP section has been divided into 12 construction contracts. There are four Construction Supervision Consultants (CSCs) for these 12 contracts. NHAI and Bank are determined to ensure a safe working environment for all the 12 contracts by removing the various deficiencies/lapses noticed during project implementation. 
IIT Delhi has been appointed as an independent consultant to carry out a detailed systematic safety audit of work sites across all contract packages in LMNHP. Between 24th July and 25th  July 2009, the safety audit of Package 10 of Lucknow-Muzaffarpur National Highway Project (LMNHP) was conducted. The contractor for this package is M/s PCL – MVR JV and the consultant for the package is M/s Consulting Engineering Services (India) Pvt. Ltd. The package extends from chainage 402.000 to 440.000 totalling to 38 km length. 

Work on Major Bridge at Gandak and wing wall for culverts were in progress. Embankment, GSB, WMM and sub grade works were also in progress at various locations. About 28% work progress had been achieved at the time of audit. The consultant had expressed concern over the continued slow progress of work. 

The package consists of 38 km road length consisting of 1 major bridge, 12 minor bridges, 3 under passes, 17 hume pipe culverts, 28 slab culverts, 22 box culverts, and service road of 11.50 km.  

OBJECTIVES
a.    To study and review of various provisions regarding worksite safety management in the project’s contract documents such as various acts, rules and regulations of Government of India (GoI), MoSRTH / Indian Roads Congress (IRC) specifications/instructions and safety related provisions in the Environmental Management Plans (EMPs) prepared for the project. 
b.    To review the nature and extent of compliance of various safety aspects at work sites of all contracts under LMNHP. 
c.    To identify the strengths and deficiencies in the existing systems with regard to planning, implementation, enforcement, monitoring and reporting on worksite safety issues.  
d.    To recommend modifications/improvements in the existing systems and processes to improve safety management during road construction works for the project. 
e.    To transfer the safety audit knowledge to the key staff members of Construction Supervision Consultants (CSCs) and NHAI staff (both at the headquarters and in the Project Implementation Units - PIUs).
 

Main Observations

The package has 1 major bridge, 3 underpasses, 12 minor bridges, 17 Hume pipe culverts, 28 slab culverts, 22 box culverts, and service road of 11.50 km length. At the time of audit about 28% of progress had been achieved. Embankment work was in progress at a number of locations. 

The CSC had expressed concern over the continued slow progress of work. Work on Major Bridge at Gandak and wing wall for culverts was in progress. Embankment, GSB, WMM and sub grade works were also in progress at various locations.


The main observations include the following: 
1.2    Approved diversion plans were not available. Other documents required as per contract were available. 
1.3    The main findings under different audit heads are given briefly below.
a) Traffic Management and Safety (TS): Lights and pavement markings were not available. The safety arrangements for local residents and pedestrians were absent at all locations. Diversion signage and median marking were absent. Poor quality of pavement, shoulder and debris was found on the road. Speed reduction devices were missing. 
(b) Temporary Structures Safety (SS): There was poor access provision and ladders were not appropriate and these are the main causes of concern. The formwork and scaffolding were poorly erected and were unsafe at almost all the locations.
c) Construction Safety (CS): Very few construction activities were under execution at the time of audit. Wherever work was in progress, they were mostly following unsafe practices. 
d) Worker and work zone safety (WO): The requirements as stipulated by the letter of law are inadequate and are not compiled and it can be observed in the operational system too. Better management system is required for worker and work zone safety. 
e) Mechanical, Electrical, Fire, and Plant and Machinery Safety (ME): There is no practice of third party inspection which is a violation of legal requirements. Construction and earth moving equipments are not properly maintained. Electrical safety is not as per specifications and is generally compromised.

The recommendations for improvement are given below:

1.4    The traffic diversion plan should be implemented in full according to the document approved by the consultants. It is strongly recommended to improve the quality (in terms of visibility e.g. use of retro-reflective paint/tape) of barricading. Road markings should necessarily be part of traffic diversion plan and the use of central verge and edge demarcation should be made mandatory in case of two way traffic. Temporary rumble strips should be used in case of inhabited areas and at the beginning of traffic diversion in order to restrict the speed. (Refer 10.1)

1.5    The access to worksite and ladder arrangement must be made with standard components (using built up frame) or else any make shift arrangement should also be designed by the contractor and got vetted from reputed agencies. The design of formwork and scaffolding must be vetted by CSC and in case of Major Bridges and ROBs they should be vetted from a third party such as reputed engineering institutions.


1.6    Records for Accident, Medical check up, tool box training, mock drills should be maintained. Schedule of regular training, checking of water quality and sewage treatment plant should be maintained.

1.7    The permit system should be in place for HMP and Batching Plant. 

1.8    The third party inspection of major equipments as per legal requirement must be performed.

1.9    Safety organization as per Building and other construction workers: Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service Act (BOCW R E & CS ACT) 1996 must be constituted and a safety officer as per rule 209 of the same must be identified. Housekeeping needs improvement and use of flash back arrestors during gas cutting operations is recommended. 

1.10    NHAI should instruct every police station along the LMNHP Corridor to cooperate all accident records with the concerned contractor on a monthly basis. The contractor should maintain record in the attached format.


Specific Recommendation

The specific recommendations under different audit heads are given in the following sections.

1.11    In traffic management and safety (TS) the specific recommendations are as below: 
a.    Contractor: The contractor shall prepare the site specific TMP’s with all details pertaining to lighting, signages, specific measures for pedestrian safety. 
b.    CSC: The CSC shall approve the TMP only when it is site specific. The CSC shall also check its compliance in the field. The CSC shall maintain proper records of compliance. 
c.    NHAI: The NHAI shall on a random basis check the site specific documentation and field compliance.
d.    WB: The World Bank being a funding agency shall monitor and ensure the contractual compliance at regular intervals on a random basis by taking appropriate action if necessary.
1.12    For temporary structures safety (TS), the specific recommendations are as below:

a)    Contractor: The contractor shall prepare the formwork schemes for all works (major bridge, ROB, minor bridge, etc.) showing access arrangement, and life line. 
b)    CSC: The CSC shall approve the TMP if found appropriate. For major structures, third party proof checking of designs and drawings should be undertaken. The CSC shall ensure that the Formwork arrangement at site is exactly as per approved drawing. No work shall be allowed at site if CSC finds that the access and life line arrangement are improper. 
c)    NHAI: The NHAI shall on a random basis check the site specific documentation and field compliance.
d)    WB: The World Bank shall monitor the contractual compliance at regular intervals on a random basis

1.13    The contractor shall prepare project specific Health, Safety, and Environment (HSE) plan which shall contain formats for monitoring. The contractor shall maintain the records of all format included in the HSE Plan. 
b)    The CSC shall monitor the implementation and will give go ahead only when the HSE Plan is found appropriate. The CSC shall inform NHAI of the implementation in the quarterly report. 
c)    NHAI shall monitor the implementation by contractor and CSC. 
d)    The World Bank shall check the HSE implementation process at least once in six months and record the compliance.
1.14    For worker and work zone safety (WO), the specific recommendations are as below:
a)    The contractor shall maintain an operational system to manage occupational safety and health in the spirit of the law. 
b)    The CSC shall monitor the above and point out the deficiency if any. The CSC shall ensure that the deficiencies are rectified in a timely manner. 
c)    NHAI shall monitor the implementation by contractor and CSC. 
d)    The World Bank shall check the implementation process at least once in six months and record the compliance.
1.15    For mechanical, electrical, fire, and plant and machinery safety (ME), the specific recommendations are as below:
a)    The contractor shall ensure that third party inspection is carried out as defined in BOCW Rules.  The contractor shall ensure that all plants, equipments, and machinery are in good conditions. 
b)    The CSC shall ensure that the periodic maintenance is carried out by the contractors. 
c)    NHAI shall monitor the implementation by contractor and CSC. 
d)    The World Bank shall check the implementation process at least once in six months and record the compliance. 

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