Assure 360

In my regular feature, I take a look at the data collected by Assure360 to understand the issues our peers in the safety industry tackle during site audits and tech reviews.

Assure360 is the only community audit and compliance tool available for the asbestos removal and construction industry. With over a hundred safety professionals using the system – so far they’ve completed nearly 3000 audits and competence assessments – we are developing real insight into the challenges and issues our clients and peers face and overcome. As a result, Assure360 has the power to genuinely improve the construction industry.

What sort of data did we look at in August 2017?

The system not only incorporates site audits, but records tech reviews during the planning stage and . This allows managers to learn from common issues picked up by their peers – before the project goes live.

We regularly share the community’s findings with our army of independent auditors through our customer newsletter. Here is a taster of the most recent findings we shared covering audits and site reviews from August 2017.

The 10 most common non conformance issues in August 2017

If we look at the overall top 10 we see predominantly paperwork issues, that either are, or can be identified during peer reviews:

The top 10 list looks like this:

  1. Method Statement (appropriate)
  2. CO Detectors (present in the DCU)
  3. DCU certification
  4. Risk Assessments (are the identified control measures covered in the method itself)
  5. Double hand rails
  6. Drawings
  7. Mobile DCUs in good condition
  8. Waste water filtered and sent directly to a foul drain
  9. Welfare facilities (adequate provision)
  10. Asbestos medical certificates on site

Whist the no. 1 spot is still held by the appropriateness of the method statements – there is a dramatic increase in the frequency (up nearly 40%). This may be an indication that new auditors are focusing more in this area due to these Top10s.

The next two are new to this month’s Top10 and reflect current forum threads. The former was an alarming situation:

A client of mine recently enquired why the hired DCU did not have a CO monitor in the clean end of the DCU. I think I suspected that they would say balanced flue, separate sealed unit, not needed… but they actually came back with ‘we took them out because they don’t work due to the humid conditions and the rapid airflow’.

Heres a summary of what they said:

Following an investigation into a CO poisoning case (2 operatives overcome by CO fumes within the shower system), the conclusion was that the CO alarm did activate using the test button but failed to activate when CO was emitted into the system. This malfunction was caused by the water ingression to the sensor field and simply blocked the sensor.

The BS 50292 ( apparently states that alarms should not be installed next to doors, window, extractor fans or air vents – where significant air movement prevents the alarm from detecting CO.

Obviously a concern – a clear hazard (2 operatives overcome by fumes), but the detectors don’t work due to the configuration of the units. Just taking the alarms out doesn’t seem to be a solution.

The most common issues for supervisors in August 2017

Assure360 allows us to drill down and identify issues faced by supervisors. This allows the teams to address targeted issues within supervisor meetings, rather than allowing company wide concerns to cloud the issue:

The top 10 for supervisors looks like this:

  1. DCU certification
  2. CO Detector
  3. Double hand rails
  4. Mobile DCU in good condition
  5. Medical certification
  6. NPU certification
  7. Scaffold (design)
  8. Vac certification
  9. DCU secure (locked)
  10. Face Fit Test – certificate not on site

Several new areas have been focused on this month with DCUs receiving significant attention. Double hand rails – whilst they have dropped a spot – actually went up in frequency (up 20%).

The most common issues for contracts managers in August 2017

Similarly, contracts managers can focus on their challenges

The top 10 issues for contracts managers are:

  1. Method statement (appropriate)
  2. Drawings
  3. Risk assessments
  4. Welfare facilities
  5. Provision of a canteen
  6. Provision of adequate water
  7. Method Statement – quality control checks
  8. Risk Assessments (Site Specific)
  9. Asbestos survey – present and accurate
  10. Waste stored safely

Obviously the method statement issue dominates here – but if we look in more detail, there are three Welfare questions that are clearly linked. If we take Welfare – general facilities, canteen and provision of water together – they are in a clear second place with 16 instances. I think we are seeing evidence of our construction colleagues teaching us what to look for.

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"At our recent license renewal, the HSE inspectors were amazed by the power of the system and could not believe everyone was not using it."
Ken Johnson, Managing Director, Delta Services