Article promotes CH2M HILL success with Life Cycle Safety

Cathy Myers

January 24, 2013 - Cathy Myers/PDX has published an article in the Daily Journal of Commerce drawing from CH2M HILL's success with Life Cycle Safety, which is a preventative rather than reactive approach to keeping projects safe.

Cathy is senior vice president of I&AT's semiconductor market. She was asked to write the article in her role as president of the Greater Portland Construction Partnership's board. The GPCP is a nonprofit organization working to achieve incident-free construction projects by transforming workplace cultures.

In her article "Hailing a successful safety philosophy," Cathy describes how Life Cycle Safety is a radical departure from the traditional safety management strategy of mitigating safety hazards in the field. Instead it brings owners, designers and constructors together early on to identify potential safety issues prior to construction. The Life Cycle Safety process then mitigates those issues earlier rather than later by integrating remedial safety responses to each identified issue directly into the design process.

The Life Cycle Safety philosophy's origins trace back to the mid-1990s, when Safety in Design became an important design criteria consideration. The next major step occurred in 2000, when a leading semiconductor company created a task force committed to developing a breakthrough approach to considering safety during all phases of a facility's life. This approach has since continued to gain positive recognition and results.

A spirit of partnership is the most important prerequisite for the success of Life Cycle Safety. Safety in design is most successful when input is encouraged from design, construction, maintenance and operations experts as well as the people who will occupy and operate the building throughout its life cycle.

Field experience is also a vital part of this approach. This experience is gathered through on-site services during construction to help design teams continue to incorporate best construction practices into the ongoing design process.

The Life Cycle Safety process is backed up with solid tools, such as a Safety in Design checklist that guides project teams with questions related to such critical safety factors as fall protection, work in confined spaces, hazardous materials, physical hazards and emergency response procedures. As a project progresses, the checklist reinforces safety vigilance, continuously reminding teams of the importance of addressing the safety concerns associated with construction and operation of the design solutions.

For one of I&AT's large manufacturing building projects, for example, nearly 1,000 safety-related design actions resulted from Life Cycle Safety reviews. Those issues were addressed efficiently through the design process rather than remedial action during the downstream construction phase. That's one of the ways that Life Cycle Safety cannot only improve safety but also lower overall project costs – by reducing the need for rework in the field.

Here's a link to Cathy's GPCP article in the Daily Journal of Commerce

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