Construction projects face a number of challenges which affect their progress and success. Many of these challenges araise from the organisation and flow of the things within the project. It is therefore important that Project managers and contractors consider “site organisation” during project planning. Site organisation can turn a project from being a disaster to a success.
What is site organisation
Construction site organisation as process involving maxmizing the output in terms of work while also ensuring health and safety of workers and visitors. Therefore, process results into a boots in site safety and productivity. In order to achieve the planned site organisation, a construction site layout is prepared to guide works on site.
Advantages of site organisation
Proper site organisation has a number of benefits for a project which are key to progress of works on site. Some of the benefits of the site organisation include:
- It creates safety for workers and visitors on site through the provision of well demarcated pathways as well as ensuring that dangerous components on site are kept out of reach when not in use.
- Good site organisation saves costs in terms of labour required to move materials within site since materials are stored and located on site in such a manner to optimize the labour required.
- Site organisation can also help to improve on waste management on site.
- Ultimately, site organisation helps to maximises on the productivity on site through the creation of efficient flow of equipment and materials on site.
Key principles in site organisation
Before, you can prepare a good construction site layout, there are a number of aspects to consider for your project as discussed below:
1. Site rules and site induction
In principle, every one on site should be taken through the acceptable code of conduct on site as well as the relative location of key infrastructure on site. Site rules should also be implemented to cover issues such as restricted areas, personal protective equipment, use of mobile phones and relations with fellow workers. It is advisable that a site induction is given to any visitor before they can access the site for their own protection as well as security on site.
2. Material storage and waste management
Materials and waste are always part of any construction project. How these two items are handled can determined the progress and success of a project. When it comes to material storage and waste management, the following should be considered:
- Materials delivery: Material deliveries on site should follow a pre-set plan to avoid crowding the site with materials that are not required at a particular stage. This can also help to limit the number of people accessing the site.
- Storage: When storing materials on site, you need to consider their durability, vulnerability to theft and damage. Materials such as cement, should not be left exposed to weather. It is also important to consider the ease of access and tools required when storing materials on site.
- Store security: It is advisable to keep valuable items on site under lock and key. Store access should also be restricted. Records also need to be maintained to track what equipment and materials under storage on daily basis. This can help to limit on cases of theft of tools and equipment on site.
- Toxic materials: Access to toxic construction materials on site should be restricted to only trained personnel. It is also advisable to keep flammable materials far away from any source of heat or fire. Flammable materials on site should also be cleared away on a daily basis.
- Waste disposal: It is important to keep the construction site free of waste to increase productiviy and avoid accidents. Waste materials should be stored properly on site before removal from site for final disposal.
3. Traffic Management on site
Traffic management on site is essential for project progress because failure to control traffic site can lead to a number of challenges including putting the entire project on a standstill. Here are some important to things to consider when it comes to traffic management on site:
- Exits and entrances: Entrances and exits on site for both vehicles and people need to be separated to avoid right of way conflicts.
- Demarcated routes: Road signs should be placed on site to guide drivers and pedestrains around site. This can help to restrict access to some parts of the site where needed. Where project site crosses a roadway, traffic control personnel should be stationed to guide the various road users.
- Limit on vehicles and people on site: It is important to limit vehicles and people so as to avoid crowding on site. Site visits for non-essential personnel such as students, need to be properly scheduled and stricted in numbers.
- Site hoarding and site security: Site hoarding involves erecting of close boarded fences or barriers around a site to prevent unauthorized people from gaining access. It also helps to protect the public from noise and dust coming from the construction site.
- Security lights and cameras: Security cameras and lights can also be helpful when it comes to recording any illegal break in as well as scaring away potential trespassers.
- Security personnel: Depending the nature and size of the construction site, security personel may be needed to ensure access control on site.
4. Welfare on site
Productivity on site is to an extent influenced by the welfare of workers. Facilities to ensure a comfort and safe working space for workers and visitors are therefore essential. The following are some facilities that can improve welfare on site.
- Facilities for meals and refreshments:
- Bathrooms, toilets and changing rooms
- First aid facilities
- Lactation rooms for the breast-feeding mothers.
5. Site safety
Site safety is an essential factor to consider for the success of a project. Unsafe construction sites can lead to projects being stopped by authorities. It is important to develop a detailed site safety plan to ensure that the construction project site is safe. Here are some examples of what can be done improve on site safety:
- For deep excavations, installation of signs and fencing off areas where deep excavations are taking place is essential.
- For sites where is there danger of falling objects, nets can be used to prevent the objects from falling outside the site boundaries and injuring the public. Fan hoardings can used to prevent falling objects from reaching traffic lanes, and these are usually placed above the normal traffic height level.
- It is also important to ensure that all people on site have the essential personal protective equipment and training. This can be achieved through tool box meetings on site to address issues regarding health and safety.
6. Accessibility of plant on site
It is important that the position of the plant on site is well thought out to ensure accessibility. Plant operators on site need to have their machines positioned in the most advantageous position. As example, some plant like cranes whose mobility is limited need to be setup in the middle ofo the site to access all working points on site. Proper positioning of materials, tools and equipment on site can really cut costs and labour during construction. It is also important that materials and equipment are stored as close as possible to the area of construction works.
In summary, site organisation is essential to the success of any construction project. As a project manager, it is important to ensure that project components on site are well organized to avoid delays and accidents as well as to improve on project progress. It is good to have a well designed construction site layout to reflect the organisation of project site. There are also a number of tools that can help with development of a construction site layout such as smartdraw.
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