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Problems concerning occupational safety and health are commonly found in the construction industry, including falling materials, tools or people from a height, stepping on objects, and injuries caused by hand tools. An important factor in occupational safety in the construction industry is the use of scaffolds. All scaffolds used in construction, renovation, repair (including isolating, painting and decorating) and demolition, should be erected, maintained and dismantledin accordance with safety procedures. Therefore, it is crucial to deal with the safety of scaffolds and risk assessment in the construction industry; thus, the way of undertaking the assessment and the liability of assessment seems to be essential for professionals. However, it has been found that those professionals are prone to rely heavily on their own experience and knowledge in decision-making regarding risk assessment.
Material and methods:
The Scaffold Use Risk Assessment Model (SURAM) has been developed for assessing risk levels at various stages of the construction process in various work trades. The SURAM is the result of a research project carried out at 60 construction sites in Poland and Portugal where 504 observations have been completed including both harmful physical and chemical factors, stress level, workers’ habits, as well as a hundreds ex-post reconstruction of construction accidents scenarios.
It was found that the workers’ Health Behaviour Index (HBI) seems to be a more direct predictor for development of the unsafe chain of events leading to an accident than the workload, and concentration of harmful factors at the workplace.
The developed HBI module of SURAM seems to be beneficial for predicting high-risk construction activities, and thus preventing the occurrence of accidents, based on a set of historical accident data.