THE ONLY WAY IS UP?

RMD KWIKFORM HAS LAUNCHED A NEW WHITE PAPER DETAILING HOW HIGH-RISE PROJECTS CAN DRIVE PRODUCTIVITY AND IMPROVE ON-SITE HEALTH AND SAFETY

Should Ireland be building up instead of out? High-rise construction is a topic that has been dividing opinion in Ireland for decades and it doesn’t look like the debate will end any time soon. RMD Kwikform has made its voice heard in the ongoing conversation with the results of its new survey which reveal how high-rise projects are about more than just making the most of the space we have.

Over 138 contractors and engineering specialists were asked about the type of work they’re doing, the techniques they’re using and what their views are on new developments in temporary works technology. The study has identified areas where temporary works can have a significant impact on productivity and safety and highlights where there is a need for education and best practice to be shared more effectively.

PRODUCTIVITY
On the issue of productivity, the survey found that labour productivity is seen as the greatest opportunity to improve on-site efficiencies, freeing up workers for other key tasks or reducing time spent on tasks such as formwork management.
Formwork and falsework are a major element of expenditure for contractors, particularly specialist contractors, typically representing around 5% to 7% of total annual turnover.
Temporary works can play a key role in productivity, in terms of ease of erection and movement as well as cycle times. There is no ‘one solution fits all’ formula when it comes to formwork and falsework. For example, although slip form methods for core construction can be fast, they bring their own problems, including issues with concrete finish as well as health and safety. The white paper goes on to discuss the importance of projects adopting effective building methods and formwork systems, with contractors identifying systems that are easy to erect and dismantle as being the number one consideration to help increase productivity levels.

HEALTH & SAFETY
There is a clear demand for safer methods of construction and the survey shows that most respondents felt that both individuals and contractors needed to do more. In fact, it is perhaps surprising and dispiriting to see that the need for individual workers to take personal responsibility was the highest rated factor in improving health and safety. That was rated more important than for contractors to improve site conditions. Personal responsibility is important, of course, but an employer’s role in providing a safe working environment and all that entails in training, equipment etc is surely paramount.

Read more in the July/August issue email catherine@mcdmedia.ie

Denise Maguire        
Editor of Irish Construction Industry Magazine

Email: denise@mcdmedia.ie