XXII ISPRS Congress, 25 August to 01 September 2012, Melbourne, Australia
Hasan Atay and Gonul Toz
“Construction industry is one of the most hazardous industries. Fatalities in construction industry are accounted for 20% of all fatal work injuries in 2008 in the USA. Besides causing fatalities, construction accidents also increase costs, cause delays, and reputation loss for the contractors. For example, accidents in construction industry in Britain, is accounted for 3 – 6% of total project costs.
“Taking health and safety precautions to prevent accidents is harder for linear projects (i.e., highway, pipeline construction projects etc.) due their spatially dispersed nature. Linear projects are characterized by a large number of repetitive sections or units (e.g., a level in a highway construction, a section in a pipeline, etc.). In linear projects the project site is not at a fixed location because as construction progresses, the project site moves forward. Multiple crews and sub-contractors perform their jobs at spatially dispersed area along the construction route which might be hundreds kilometres. Since it is not possible to assign an engineer to each construction area in such large projects, it is a challenging task for site engineers and superintendents to follow up production closely and to identify health and safety risks taking required measures. There is a need for automatically identifying health and safety risks at the job sites of these projects for proactive health and safety management.”Geographic Information System (GIS) technology holds a potential for identifying and highlighting health and safety risks at linear construction projects. GIS is capable of linking and integrating textual and numeric data with geographic data. The relational database, that is crucial part of GIS technology, consists of various factors that are related to the factors that are used for identifying health and safety risks at linear projects, such as topographic land forms, regional geology, and geographical conditions. By using GIS technology, different data sets from maps, lists, or images can be extracted. These advantages provide great flexibility for rapidly creating maps with necessary information for users who works at site in linear projects. It can play an important role on effective decision making, operating, supervising and marketing of a long distance oil gas pipeline. Recently GIS is being used for route selection, progress monitoring, etc. in linear projects as an effective tool. However, there have not been any research studies that used GIS for identifying health and safety risks.
“The study described in this paper focuses on development of a GIS based decision support approach to assist construction engineers in identifying related health and safety risks for linear projects. In this approach, pipeline projects were investigated. The reasoning mechanisms that were developed based on spatial analysis. Geography-related hazardous work activities, risks, risk scores and mitigation measures were extracted from health and safety instructions and formalized. This formalized health and safety data was entered to a database in GIS and represented in several data layers. On the other hand, spatial data was retrieved from construction layout plans and topographic maps. The database was queried for potential hazards and the work areas that had hazard potential and safety risks were identified by means of spatial analysis tools. Moreover information about mitigation measures was retrieved to take necessary actions to prevent construction accidents.
“According to results of spatial analysis and database queries, the working areas that have hazard potential and safety risk are identified. Moreover it gives information about activities mitigation measures in order to take appropriate actions to prevent construction accidents. At the same time, results of activity based risk assessments, which consist of hazards, associated risks, risk score and mitigation measures, integrated with a relational database.
“GIS based decision support approach for health and safety provides integration of spatial and thematic information in single environment. Database queries, drawing the data query results can be used successfully to increase effectiveness of health and safety risk management. Using this system assisting a user to identify health and safety hazards inherited with in the visualization and assigning accident precautions to prevent accidents. It is possible for user choosing suitable safety precautions, and adds any additional ones easily. So it is not take too much time from people involved in activity planning because of the being easy to understand and applying of this system.
“This approach allows the user access the data efficiently for effective decision making. Moreover, it is not only pinpoints potential hazard places but also offers mitigation measures. Thus, in application the decision support system will enhance the users who are supervisors or managers efficiency on health and safety awareness.”