Occupational health and safety on the construction site

Brandenburg’s Minister of Labour Günter Baaske presents the annual report on occupational health and safety on the BBI construction site / Using information and preventative measures to avoid accidents and dangerous situations
Health and safety are a top priority on the construction site of the new Capital Airport BBI, which is one of the reasons why Brandenburg’s Minister of Labour Günter Baaske chose the construction site to present the latest annual report on occupational health and safety – alongside COO of Berlin Airports Dr. Manfred A. Körtgen, who explained the measures taken to prevent as many accidents as possible on site, and Health and Safety Coordinator Dr. Regina Töpfer, who showed the precautionary occupational health and safety measures taken when installing the jetways.

Günter Baaske, Brandenburg’s Minister of Labour, Social Affairs, Women and Family: “‘Good jobs for all’ is the leitmotif of Brandenburg’s labour policy. Only people that are qualified, healthy and working in a safe environment are motivated, efficient and productive. The construction of BBI Airport in Schoenefeld is a concrete example of the intensified collaboration between the Brandenburg Health and Safety Executive and statutory accident insurance institutions. The ‘Joint German Occupational Health and Safety Strategy’ will be successfully implemented by setting up the joint prevention centre on site and implementing a joint consulting and surveillance strategy.”

Dr. Manfred A. Körtgen, COO of Berlin Airports: “‘Safety first’ is the motto on the BBI construction site. Employee safety is one of our top priorities. That’s why we work in close cooperation with all those involved and explore new avenues with projects such as the prevention centre, which gives companies and employees information on all matters relating to occupational health and safety and enables employees to be examined on the spot.”

Dr. Regina Töpfer, Health and Safety Coordinator, whose responsibilities include the BBI Terminal, explained by way of example the role of a health and safety coordinator according to construction site regulations: “We started planning the building work for the jetways very early on. For example, facilities for subsequent maintenance work were agreed on 18 months before construction work commenced. Assembly concepts were also agreed on with contractors well before the beginning of construction. The prevention centre has also proved to be very useful on a daily basis for reaching agreements on site. Occupational safety otherwise hinges on the understanding, the will, the assertiveness, the perseverance and the social skills of on-site supervisors and on implementation by workers.”

Number of accidents comparatively low

The main aim of occupational health and safety on the BBI construction site is to avoid accidents and dangerous situations through the use of information and preventative measures. According to an evaluation of the latest figures from October 2007 to August 2010, relatively few accidents occurred thanks to the preventative strategy.

“100% safety can never be guaranteed. However, we are doing our utmost to minimise the number of accidents”, Dr. Körtgen added.

The following accidents were reported in the period under review:

- 119 accidents - of which 96 were reportable accidents (according to trade associations, accidents must be reported from the third day of absence) These accidents are divided as follows: - 2 fatal accidents - 37 serious accidents - 57 minor incidents - 23 non-reportable accidents

A comparison of other major construction sites, on which all sectors of the building industry are represented, shows that the number of accidents here can be regarded as below average. There were approximately 21 accidents on the BBI construction site per 1,000 employees, while the average for the trade association is 66 per 1,000 employees. Independent of this, there were two very unfortunate fatal accidents on the BBI construction site. However, these figures are also below average compared to other major construction sites.

Regular construction meetings were held to evaluate the accidents and draw conclusions as to how to avoid such accidents in the future. Correspondingly, special briefings were also held. Extensive activities were organised to remove and make all workers aware of the known dangers, especially on evaluating the two fatal accidents.

Networking and preventative measures increase safety

Occupational health and safety on the BBI construction site is ensured by way of a complex system. 35 employees are exclusively responsible for health and safety at BBI. Health, safety and security services (ARGE Sigeko BBI DEGAS-PST) are responsible for the overall coordination of health and safety on the BBI construction site, while individual building projects such as the BBI Terminal, operational buildings and runways each have their own health and safety coordinator. The respective measures for each building are coordinated by the health and safety coordinator in charge. The focus here is on giving regular advice on health and safety issues, to evaluate accidents and dangerous situations.

Scheduled and non-scheduled inspections of each construction site are carried out at regular intervals. Here, particular attention is paid to the proper use of personal protective equipment, the erection and use of scaffolding, mobile scaffolding and scaffolding that can be lifted by crane, fall protection, safe traffic routes, escape and emergency routes, the safe operation of building machinery and devices as well as the handling of hazardous substances.

Furthermore, the health and safety coordinator in charge is responsible for coordinating with the authorities, such as the regional authorities for occupational health and safety, and trade associations. During monthly inspections, the conclusions drawn for coordinating health and safety are discussed and the number of accidents evaluated. If necessary, logistics and construction site regulations are amended and emergency and escape points updated. In addition, information and training events are organised following the evaluation of the shortcomings ascertained during the inspections with the authorities, and held in the new prevention centres set up in 2009.

Hannes Stefan Hönemann

Hannes Stefan Hönemann Head of Corporate

+49 30 6091-70100 +49 30 6091-70070

Daniel Tolksdorf

Daniel Tolksdorf Spokesman

+49 30 6091-70100 +49 30 6091-70070