Installing relief fans can present serious safety concerns due to the difficulty involved in accessing and installing these units. Often this task requires extensive rigging, equipment, and overhead work, creating a high risk of falls, rigging accidents, and forklift hazards. To streamline this process and avoid potential risks, one of our project team took innovative steps to improve safety practices for future teams in similar situations, allowing for a safer and more productive work environment.
Collaborating with the Steel Contractor - The 'Aha' Moment
Effective risk mitigation lies in the installation process. On a recent project, our team's Prevention through Design (PtD) concept involved close collaboration with the onsite steel erector, enabling us to plan the layout of the steel in the yard beforehand. This allowed us to safely secure and position the fans on the steel while on the ground. The steel erector used a crane to lift both the support steel and fans in place, minimizing potential hazards and ensuring a safe installation process. This innovative approach reduced time spent exposed to fall risks and other potential dangers.
The Bottom Line
This PtD approach produced multiple time saving results in addition to addressing the major hazard risk concerns.
By collaborating with the steel erector, we were able to improve quality by standardizing the layout and performing bolted connections to the structural steel in a controlled environment, while mitigating quality risks by wrapping the relief fans with fire blankets before being flown into the structure amidst ongoing welding activities.
By pulling owner-furnished equipment procurement activities, numerous predecessor, and successor operations, we successfully removed six weeks from the schedule, concurrently eliminating thousands of field hours and replacing elevated work with tasks performed at knee-high levels. Ultimately, we were able to augment safety by reducing the number of lifts, hoisting activity, and exposure at elevation, all of which culminated in a safer, more efficient work environment for all involved.