Safety does not happen by accident. This axiom holds true at home, on the road, and on the job. Safety on job sites under construction is extremely important; quite literally, lives are at stake.
Did you know projects using modular construction techniques may improve job site safety? The safety benefits of prefabricated materials are not well known, and you may be surprised by some reasons why this is true.
Material Component Safety
There are significant structural benefits to using modular or prefabricated materials on a job site. Modular components typically are stronger than conventional units as they are built to independently withstand the torques and stresses incurred by transportation: both to the job site (e.g., trains, trucks, etc.) and on the job site (e.g., cranes, on- and off- loading).
These components tend to fit together better and strengthen integrated wall, floor, and roof assemblies.
Also, offsite manufacturing plants maintain strict quality assurance programs with independent inspection and testing, ensuring high quality of construction and therefore virtually no onsite integrity issues.
Construction materials tend to be safer to use because they are stored in the manufacturer’s secure warehouse and are not subject to damage from vandals. Lastly, less onsite construction equates to less time exposed to inclement weather conditions, which may degrade the integrity of the material and the construction.
While modular construction presents both material and component advantages, the worker safety benefits are even more important. When modules of a project are built offsite in a factory environment, there is a reduced need for onsite workers to use scaffolding or ladders.
Close work in tight spaces is reduced because modules are assembled as complete units. Less time for completion means fewer injuries during construction. Offsite construction reduces onsite traffic—vehicular and personnel—as well as project disruptions. Fewer people and fewer vehicles equates to fewer accidents.
Even more important is the increased safety culture on job sites using modular construction. Onsite workers are more willing and likely to report safety incidents. Firms using modularization are more likely to have a fully inclusive, widely observed safety program. A study by McGraw Hill Construction shows that 73% of firms using modular or prefabricated materials have a comprehensive safety program in place as opposed to only 43% of firms that do not. In addition, the study measured adoption of 15 different safety practices; a higher percentage of companies that use modular employed all 15 of them than those that do not use modular.
The results shown in the McGraw Hill study are consistent with an earlier report. The earlier data shows that 58% of firms that use modular construction also confirm that safety was an important factor in their decision, and 49% of firms that do not use modular indicate safety considerations as a key consideration in using modular in the future.
Modular construction is particularly suited for healthcare projects; it saves time and money on all projects, and enables designers to deliver more accurate plans with additional information. Now, you can add safety as one more benefit to going modular.
If you’re ready to discover the benefits of modular construction, let us help your team.
Vertex BD, is a flexible, building design tool especially suited to modular construction applications. The software automates the creation of architectural drawing sets, panel fabrication drawings, material reports, manufacturing data, and architectural visualizations—all from one building model.