The construction industry inIndia is the second largest industrial sector after the agriculture industry.The construction industry makes a remarkable contribution to the Indian economyand provides employment to large number of people of India. Fire is a chemicalreaction of a combustible substance with oxygen, which involves heat andusually accompanied by visual flame or incandescence. Ensuring fire safety hasalways been a challenge to the stakeholders, i.e., building owners,construction companies, contractors and sub contractors, Government, employeesdue to multiplicity of the factors involved and their complexity. The firehazards related to construction are: Heavy fire loading; Combustible finishesand furnishings; Wood shake shingles; Wooden floors/ceilings and coverings;Large open spaces; Lightweight construction/truss; Heavy content loading;Combustibles stored in high piles next to each other; Combustiblefurnishings/finishes; Wood shake shingles; Wooden floors and ceilings; and,Large open spaces, which will contributes to spread.
Fire reaction depends ontype and quantity of wood used, Size. Moisture content, application of water,Masonry, mortar between masonry, cast iron, bolt and other fastening devices,steels, reinforced concrete, gypsum, glass, plaster & Lath, exposed woodframing, Lack of barriers- doors, windows, etc., Open stairwells. There are various legal andstandards requirements for ensuring fire safety in construction sites.
The buildings are normally provided withfirewalls during construction and these firewalls separate two structures ordivide a structure into smaller portions to prevent spread of fire. Thelightweight construction and trusses are designed to support only their ownweight and If one fails, a domino effect happens and they all fail under Rapidfailure under fire conditions Usually 5 to 10 minutes. The prolonged exposureto fire may result in structural collapse and injuring or killing the occupantsof the building under construction.
The fire safety in construction sites isstill in primitive stages in India. There is a great necessity to improve firesafety in construction sites to protect construction workers and otheroccupants of the building. The study aims at designing and implementing firesafety systems for construction sites thereby enhancing the standards to meetthe system requirements at par with global standards.Theconstruction industry in India is the second largest industrial sector afterthe agriculture industry. The construction industry makes a remarkablecontribution to the Indian economy and provides employment to large number ofpeople of India. Fire is a chemical reaction of a combustible substance withoxygen, which involves heat and usually accompanied by visual flame orincandescence.
Construction activity involves construction, alteration,modification, and demolition of the buildings. Ensuring fire safety has alwaysbeen a challenge to the stakeholders, i.e., building owners, constructioncompanies, contractors and sub contractors, Government, employees due tomultiplicity of the factors involved and their complexity. The fire hazardsrelated to construction are: Heavy fire loading; Combustible finishes andfurnishings; Wood shake shingles; Wooden floors/ceilings and coverings; Largeopen spaces; Lightweight construction/truss; Heavy content loading;Combustibles stored in high piles next to each other; Combustiblefurnishings/finishes; Wood shake shingles; Wooden floors and ceilings; and,Large open spaces, which will contributes to spread.Fire reaction depends ontype and quantity of wood used, Size. Moisture content, application of water,Masonry, mortar between masonry, cast iron, bolt and other fastening devices,steels, reinforced concrete, gypsum, glass, plaster & Lath, exposed woodframing, Lack of barriers- doors, windows, etc.
, Open stairwells. The National Building Code2016 provides standards and guidelines for construction and fire safety inconstruction sites. The Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation ofEmployment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996 and The Building and OtherConstruction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service)Central Rules, 1998 and various other state Rules provides legal framework forensuring fire safety in Construction sites. The buildings are normally providedwith firewalls during construction and these firewalls separate two structuresor divide a structure into smaller portions to prevent spread of fire. Thelightweight construction and trusses are designed to support only their ownweight and If one fails, a domino effect happens and they all fail under Rapidfailure under fire conditions Usually 5 to 10 minutes. The prolonged exposureto fire may result in structural collapse and injuring or killing the occupantsof the building under construction.
The emergencies inconstruction sites due to fire are capable causing devastating consequences onthe buildings and workers employed in the construction sites. Emergency planprovide for various actions such as evacuation of building and assemble atassembly points by moving through escape routes. The fire safety inconstruction sites is still in primitive stages in India.
There is a greatnecessity to improve fire safety in construction sites to protect constructionworkers and other occupants of the building. The study aims at designing andimplementing fire safety systems for construction sites thereby enhancing thestandards to meet the system requirements at par with global standards. · To ascertain the perception ofthe fire safety in residential and commercial buildings characteristics.· To provide a systematic andobjective approach to assess hazards and their associated risks to fire safety.· Toensure fire safety and enable effective fire emergency planning.· Toalert the employers and employees on potential fire hazards in constructionsites.· To drawa status report on fire safety in construction sites; and to design acomprehensive fire safety system for a construction industry.
· To suggest measures andstrategies to enhance fire safety in residential and commercial buildings.· Enable industries, regulatorybodies, workers, management and planners to use the empirical findings of thestudy.According toMouley (1964) the survey of theliterature is a crucial aspect of the planning of the study and the time spentin such a survey invariably is a wise investment. Review of the relatedliterature, besides allowing the researcher to acquaint himself with currentknowledge in the field or area in which he is conducting his research. David D. Woodset al.
(2010) observed that human error is the cause of incidents andaccidents. The authors strongly opine that the label “human error” isprejudicial and unspecific, and leads to system failure and in turn leads toaccident. Feyer Williamson (1991) studied on the role of workpractices in occupational accidents and arrived that the relationships betweenhuman and other factors provide insights about the causes of occupationalaccidents and their prevention.
Kaila (2011) conducted a study covering multi-national organizationssuch as petroleum, engineering, automobile, cement, power, chemical,pharmaceutical companies etc.The authorobserves that the managements have started believing that engineeringand administrative controls alone do not provide adequate safe workplace unlessBehavioral Based Safety (BBS) is practiced and unsafe behavior of the workersis controlled in order to ensure total safety at workplaces. Muscio (1922) tried to find out the pattern ofoccurrence of accidents with reference to time of the day and found that therewas a constant increase in accidents as hours passed, both in the morning andevening spells but they were higher in the morning than in the end hours. Hefurther found that the maximum number of accidents occurred at 11 a.m. andagain between 5 and 6 p.m.
Sandy Smith (2010)conducted safety assessment surveys at the worksites, and made fourrecommendations for the management to prevent accidents at worksite. These are,organization commitment towards safety, training on proactive management skillsfor senior and mid-level managers, motivation of supervisors, and activeparticipation of employees in safety, will definitely prevent accidents.Fire may be defined as a process of combustion characterised by the emission of heat accompaniedby smoke or flame or both.
The possibility of fire on a construction site needs to be given carefulconsideration since the potential exists due to hot work, flammable andcombustible materials, and the presence of ignition and fuel sources which areomnipresent. Efforts must be undertaken to prevent the occurrence of fires.The employer must provide a fire protectionprogram, as well as fire fighting equipment, and it must be followed throughoutall phases of the construction and demolition work. Access to all availablefire fighting equipment is to be maintained at all times.
All fire fightingequipment, provided by the employer, is to be conspicuously located. All firefighting equipment must be periodically inspected, and maintained in operatingcondition. Defective equipment is to be immediately replaced.A temporary orpermanent water supply, of sufficient volume, duration, and pressure which willproperly operate the fire fightingequipment, must be made available. It is a designRequirement that where separation by distance is provided (fire influence approach), separation distances should be keptfree from combustible and ignition sources.
Design requirements to minimise thepotential for fire shall be specified in the early stage of design. The concept of defence-in-depth against fireand its consequences as it applies to fire prevention requires: Adequatenumber of fire extinguishers shall be provided in various plant areas andparticularly in areas that contain or could present a fire exposure hazard tosafety related equipment in accordance with guidelines as per IS – 940,2171,2878 and 10204.The researchprocess includes five stages namely, problem identification, research design,data collection, data analysis and interpretation of results. It helps theresearcher to frame the objective of the research, to decide the data neededfor the study and the method of collecting data, and the tools used forcollection, and the number of sample. The research was conducted by the designand implementation of fire safety system for construction sites.
Based on the frame work of the studyand review of literature in the field of fire safety in construction sites. Theinvestigator has formulated the following study assessment in the study.· To find out the mean andS.D of factors of fire safety in construction sites perceived by respondents.· To know the mean and S.
D offactors of fire safety perceived by a group of respondents in the residential andcommercial construction sites.· To find out the percentageof response given by the respondents of the of residential and commercial constructionsites on fire safety.· To find out the correlationco-efficient of the factors of fire safety system involved.· To assess the performanceof fire safety by the factors considered.5.3 Strategiesin Collection of Details· Physical observation and collecting data by actual visit to theresidential and commercial construction sites.· To find out the respondent’s perception towards fire safety by astructured questionnaires statement.· The prevalent data collected have to be crosschecked forphysicalverification with support facts gathered from the records.
· Sampling technique for certain inferences about the characteristics ofthe population is drawn using the stratified simple random sampling method fordata collection.5.4 Data Required for the Study Inthis study primary source and secondary source of data’s’ were collected. Theprimary sources of data collection were from the residential and commercialconstruction sites directly, by questionnaires given to the managements ofthese construction sites and to the managers, supervisors involved directly orindirectly. The secondary source of data consists of information gathered fromthe publication of international organization like International LabourOrganization, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of U.S.A,ISO and OHSAS standards, and Directorate General Factory Advice Service andLabour Institutes (DGFASLI) of Government of India.
5.5 SampleSelection and Size Expertvalidated questionnaires have been administered to sixty residential and fiftycommercial construction sites, out of which fifty five residential and fiftythree commercial construction sites have positively responded. After validationof the questionnaires for completion only fifty residential and fiftycommercial construction sites fulfilled the requirements of the research studyand these were taken for consideration. Standard mean deviation, correlationand statistical significance were studied an analyzed by using ANOVA softwarefor the data collected from the administered research tool.5.6 Research Tool To measure the level of fire safety in the constructionsite, an investigation has beendone to develop a questionnaire through vast coverage of the review ofliterature in the field of fire safety systems in the construction sites.The investigation was designed by aquestionnaire, which is developed based on the guidelines given in theFactories Act, 1948, The Building and Other Construction workers (Regulation ofEmployment and conditions of services) Act, 1996 and Central Rules, 1998, BISCode 14489, OHSAS 18001, National and International Standards, conventions andrecommendations and guidelines of International Labor Organization, etc,. Thequestionnaire has been designed with bipolar response of “Yes” and “No”.
The formula for KR-20 for atest with K test items numbered i=1 to K is where piisthe proportion of correct responses to test item i, qi is the proportion of incorrectresponses to test item i (so that pi + qi = 1), and the variance for thedenominator is where n is the total sample size. If it is important to useunbiased operators then the sum of squares should be divided by degrees offreedom (n ? 1) and the probabilities are multiplied by In this study the researcherfollowed KR 20 technique and reliability value was found to be 0.99The respondents were asked to provideYES or No based on their individual site conditions. Each item in the factorrated as follows, For “YES” the value of 1 and “NO” the value of 0. The sums oftotal of each factor explain the perception of the respondents.
The minimumscore is “0” and maximum score is “40” for each major elements and the overalltotal score is “120”.The major and minor elements of theResearch Tool are: Sources of Ignition, Combustible Materials, Sources ofOxygen, Structural Features, Means of Escape and Escape Times, and Signage,Fire Extinguishers and Emergency Planning.6.0 DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS The researcher has also supplement theinformation collected from the records as well from personal observations madeon site. The information elicited from discussion with plant personnel aremanager/site in-charges, floor supervisor and workers regardless of the level. Thecollected data from the respondents were statistically analyzed by using mean,standard deviation, correlation and ‘E’-test (test of significance of meansdifference between two independent variables). Analysis of variance (ANOVA) software is used for the estimation of theamount of total variation in the sample data, expressed as the sum of itsnon-negative components. The frequencies, means and standard deviations werecalculated for the data obtained and hypothesis wereanalyzedusing one-way ANOVAtests for statistical significance for differences in means.
Specific findings of the research study are given as follows:· Residential buildings satisfy overall fire safety conditionscompared to commercial buildings.· Combustible materials are stored and maintained in a bettermanner at commercial buildings than residential buildings.· Commercial buildings satisfy overall structural featuresparameters compared to residential buildings.· Overall escape feature parameters in commercial buildings arebetter than residential buildings.· Fire extinguishers, signage and emergency planning incommercial buildings are better than residential buildings.Overall findings of theresearch study are given as follows:· The fire safety and risk assessment compliances such as provision andmaintenance of fire extinguishers, escape routes, displays, emergency actionplans etc.
, are better in commercial buildings than residential buildings.However, both the commercial and residential buildings need to focus more onreducing the risk and to improve fire safety and fire risk assessment standardsand compliances in protecting the people working in the construction sites.Summary of the Analysis isgiven as follows: Thefire safety compliances are better in commercial buildings than residentialbuildings. However, both the commercial and residential buildings need to focusmore on reducing the risk and to improve the status compliances to meetstatutory requirements as well as protecting the people working in theconstruction sites.The increased compliances in fire safetyensures betterworkplaces, which are free from workplace hazards.
It also reduces legalcomplications at construction sites ensuring better and smooth functioning ofbusiness. Further, it also reduces losses at construction sites thus ensureenhances productive construction sites. 8.0 CONCLUSIONThe construction safety in India is anemerging stage in India and its progress in construction sites is on theincreasing trend after the enactment and implementation of rule and regulationssince 1996. The research study has been carried out tounderstand the status of fire safety in residential and commercial constructionsites. Further, theimplementation of the findings of the study will enhance the knowledge andawareness among workers, management and staff of the construction sites thusmaking the work places to be safer and healthier protecting the second largestworkforce in Indian workplaces by enhancing fire safety standards inconstruction sites.