Data Flow and ‘Constant Comparison’ Analysis of Plant and Equipment H&S Management Processes.

Riaz, Z., Edwards, D. and Holt, Gary David (2010) Data Flow and ‘Constant Comparison’ Analysis of Plant and Equipment H&S Management Processes. The International Journal of Project Planning and Finance, 1 (1). pp. 142-168. ISSN 2026-5190

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Statistics on plant and equipment related accidents in construction suggest that re-evaluation of existing health and safety (H&S) processes would be beneficial. Accordingly, processes adopted for plant and equipment H&S management on UK construction sites are documented and process analysed, with a view to employing Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as a mechanism to achieving improvement. Case studies derived from five construction projects involving members of the former Major Contractors Group (MCG) were used to yield H&S process data, that were analysed using data flow diagram (DFD)techniques. Processes are evaluated and improvements to these proffered; as a result of both DFD and 'constant comparison' analyses. The likely causes of unsafe practices on construction sites regarding management of plant and equipment are found to include: aspects of the plant itself; issues of the management process; and operator training and competence. A new 'process paradigm' is suggested, that determines the potential use of ICT for process improvement. The architecture of a technology-based application that incorporates: mobile computing; Automatic Identification and Data Collection AIDC); and a Management Information System (MIS), is presented. The findings will impact upon construction management research generally; and plant and equipment / health and safety management, in particular. The suggested ICT architecture could form the basis of commercial interest in developing such an all-embracing, hybrid H&S control mechanism for plant and equipment operations. The originality of the paper in this setting is embedded in the application of DFD and constant comparison analysis.

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