The Government, employees due to multiplicity of the

The construction industry in
India is the second largest industrial sector after the agriculture industry.
The construction industry makes a remarkable contribution to the Indian economy
and provides employment to large number of people of India. Fire is a chemical
reaction of a combustible substance with oxygen, which involves heat and
usually accompanied by visual flame or incandescence. Ensuring fire safety has
always been a challenge to the stakeholders, i.e., building owners,
construction companies, contractors and sub contractors, Government, employees
due to multiplicity of the factors involved and their complexity. The fire
hazards related to construction are: Heavy fire loading; Combustible finishes
and 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; Combustible
furnishings/finishes; Wood shake shingles; Wooden floors and ceilings; and,
Large open spaces, which will contributes to spread. Fire reaction depends on
type 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 wood
framing, Lack of barriers- doors, windows, etc., Open stairwells. There are various legal and
standards requirements for ensuring fire safety in construction sites.  The buildings are normally provided with
firewalls during construction and these firewalls separate two structures or
divide a structure into smaller portions to prevent spread of fire. The
lightweight construction and trusses are designed to support only their own
weight and If one fails, a domino effect happens and they all fail under Rapid
failure under fire conditions Usually 5 to 10 minutes. The prolonged exposure
to fire may result in structural collapse and injuring or killing the occupants
of the building under construction. The fire safety in construction sites is
still in primitive stages in India. There is a great necessity to improve fire
safety in construction sites to protect construction workers and other
occupants of the building. The study aims at designing and implementing fire
safety systems for construction sites thereby enhancing the standards to meet
the system requirements at par with global standards.The
construction industry in India is the second largest industrial sector after
the agriculture industry. The construction industry makes a remarkable
contribution to the Indian economy and provides employment to large number of
people of India. Fire is a chemical reaction of a combustible substance with
oxygen, which involves heat and usually accompanied by visual flame or
incandescence. Construction activity involves construction, alteration,
modification, and demolition of the buildings. Ensuring fire safety has always
been a challenge to the stakeholders, i.e., building owners, construction
companies, contractors and sub contractors, Government, employees due to
multiplicity of the factors involved and their complexity. The fire hazards
related to construction are: Heavy fire loading; Combustible finishes and
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; Combustible
furnishings/finishes; Wood shake shingles; Wooden floors and ceilings; and,
Large open spaces, which will contributes to spread.Fire reaction depends on
type 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 wood
framing, Lack of barriers- doors, windows, etc., Open stairwells.

                  The National Building Code
2016 provides standards and guidelines for construction and fire safety in
construction sites. The Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of
Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996 and The Building and Other
Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service)
Central Rules, 1998 and various other state Rules provides legal framework for
ensuring fire safety in Construction sites. The buildings are normally provided
with firewalls during construction and these firewalls separate two structures
or divide a structure into smaller portions to prevent spread of fire. The
lightweight construction and trusses are designed to support only their own
weight and If one fails, a domino effect happens and they all fail under Rapid
failure under fire conditions Usually 5 to 10 minutes. The prolonged exposure
to fire may result in structural collapse and injuring or killing the occupants
of the building under construction.

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                  The emergencies in
construction sites due to fire are capable causing devastating consequences on
the buildings and workers employed in the construction sites. Emergency plan
provide for various actions such as evacuation of building and assemble at
assembly points by moving through escape routes.

                  The fire safety in
construction sites is still in primitive stages in India. There is a great
necessity to improve fire safety in construction sites to protect construction
workers and other occupants of the building. The study aims at designing and
implementing fire safety systems for construction sites thereby enhancing the
standards to meet the system requirements at par with global standards.

 ·                   
To ascertain the perception of
the fire safety in residential and commercial buildings characteristics.

·                   
To provide a systematic and
objective approach to assess hazards and their associated risks to fire safety.

·                   
To
ensure fire safety and enable effective fire emergency planning.

·                   
To
alert the employers and employees on potential fire hazards in construction
sites.

·                   
To draw
a status report on fire safety in construction sites; and to design a
comprehensive fire safety system for a construction industry.

·                   
To suggest measures and
strategies to enhance fire safety in residential and commercial buildings.

·                   
Enable industries, regulatory
bodies, workers, management and planners to use the empirical findings of the
study.According to
Mouley (1964) the survey of the
literature is a crucial aspect of the planning of the study and the time spent
in such a survey invariably is a wise investment. Review of the related
literature, besides allowing the researcher to acquaint himself with current
knowledge in the field or area in which he is conducting his research.

                  David D. Woods
et al. (2010) observed that human error is the cause of incidents and
accidents. The authors strongly opine that the label “human error” is
prejudicial and unspecific, and leads to system failure and in turn leads to
accident.

                  Feyer Williamson (1991) studied on the role of work
practices in occupational accidents and arrived that the relationships between
human and other factors provide insights about the causes of occupational
accidents and their prevention.                                                          

                  Kaila (2011) conducted a study covering multi-national organizations
such as petroleum, engineering, automobile, cement, power, chemical,
pharmaceutical companies etc.The author
observes that the managements have started believing that engineering
and administrative controls alone do not provide adequate safe workplace unless
Behavioral Based Safety (BBS) is practiced and unsafe behavior of the workers
is controlled in order to ensure total safety at workplaces.

                  Muscio (1922) tried to find out the pattern of
occurrence of accidents with reference to time of the day and found that there
was a constant increase in accidents as hours passed, both in the morning and
evening spells but they were higher in the morning than in the end hours. He
further found that the maximum number of accidents occurred at 11 a.m. and
again between 5 and 6 p.m.

                  Sandy Smith (2010)
conducted safety assessment surveys at the worksites, and made four
recommendations for the management to prevent accidents at worksite. These are,
organization commitment towards safety, training on proactive management skills
for senior and mid-level managers, motivation of supervisors, and active
participation of employees in safety, will definitely prevent accidents.Fire may be defined as a 
process of combustion characterised by the emission of heat accompanied
by smoke or flame or both.The possibility of fire on a construction site needs to be given careful
consideration since the potential exists due to hot work, flammable and
combustible materials, and the presence of ignition and fuel sources which are
omnipresent. Efforts must be undertaken to prevent the occurrence of fires.The employer must provide a fire protection
program, as well as fire fighting equipment, and it must be followed throughout
all phases of the construction and demolition work. Access to all available
fire fighting equipment is to be maintained at all times. All fire fighting
equipment, provided by the employer, is to be conspicuously located. All fire
fighting equipment must be periodically inspected, and maintained in operating
condition. Defective equipment is to be immediately replaced.A temporary or
permanent water supply, of sufficient volume, duration, and pressure which will
properly operate the  fire fighting
equipment, must be made available.

                  It is a design
Requirement that where separation by distance is provided (fire influence approach), separation distances should be kept
free from combustible and ignition sources.Design requirements to minimise the
potential for fire shall be specified in the early stage of design.  The concept of defence-in-depth against fire
and its consequences as it applies to fire prevention requires:

                  Adequate
number of fire extinguishers shall be provided in various plant areas and
particularly in areas that contain or could present a fire exposure hazard to
safety related equipment in accordance with guidelines as per IS – 940,
2171,2878 and 10204.The research
process includes five stages namely, problem identification, research design,
data collection, data analysis and interpretation of results. It helps the
researcher to frame the objective of the research, to decide the data needed
for the study and the method of collecting data, and the tools used for
collection, and the number of sample. The research was conducted by the design
and implementation of fire safety system for construction sites.  Based on the frame work of the study
and review of literature in the field of fire safety in construction sites. The
investigator has formulated the following study assessment in the study.

·       To find out the mean and
S.D of factors of fire safety in construction sites perceived by respondents.

·       To know the mean and S.D of
factors of fire safety perceived by a group of respondents in the residential and
commercial construction sites.

·       To find out the percentage
of response given by the respondents of the of residential and commercial construction
sites on fire safety.

·       To find out the correlation
co-efficient of the factors of fire safety system involved.

·       To assess the performance
of fire safety by the factors considered.

5.3            Strategies
in Collection of Details

·        
Physical observation and collecting data by actual visit to the
residential and commercial construction sites.

·        
To find out the respondent’s perception towards fire safety by a
structured questionnaires statement.

·        
The prevalent data collected have to be crosschecked forphysical
verification with support facts gathered from the records.

·        
Sampling technique for certain inferences about the characteristics of
the population is drawn using the stratified simple random sampling method for
data collection.

5.4            Data Required for the Study

                  In
this study primary source and secondary source of data’s’ were collected. The
primary sources of data collection were from the residential and commercial
construction sites directly, by questionnaires given to the managements of
these construction sites and to the managers, supervisors involved directly or
indirectly. The secondary source of data consists of information gathered from
the publication of international organization like International Labour
Organization, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of U.S.A,
ISO and OHSAS standards, and Directorate General Factory Advice Service and
Labour Institutes (DGFASLI) of Government of India.

5.5            Sample
Selection and Size

                  Expert
validated questionnaires have been administered to sixty residential and fifty
commercial construction sites, out of which fifty five residential and fifty
three commercial construction sites have positively responded. After validation
of the questionnaires for completion only fifty residential and fifty
commercial construction sites fulfilled the requirements of the research study
and these were taken for consideration. Standard mean deviation, correlation
and statistical significance were studied an analyzed by using ANOVA software
for the data collected from the administered research tool.

5.6 Research Tool

                  To measure the level of fire safety in the construction
site, an investigation has been
done to develop a questionnaire through vast coverage of the review of
literature in the field of fire safety systems in the construction sites.The investigation was designed by a
questionnaire, which is developed based on the guidelines given in the
Factories Act, 1948, The Building and Other Construction workers (Regulation of
Employment and conditions of services) Act, 1996 and Central Rules, 1998, BIS
Code 14489, OHSAS 18001, National and International Standards, conventions and
recommendations and guidelines of International Labor Organization, etc,. The
questionnaire has been designed with bipolar response of “Yes” and “No”.

                  The formula for KR-20 for a
test with K test items numbered i=1 to K is

                 

where piis
the proportion of correct responses to test item i, qi is the proportion of incorrect
responses to test item i (so that pi + qi = 1), and the variance for the
denominator is

                 

where n is the total sample size.

                  If it is important to use
unbiased operators then the sum of squares should be divided by degrees of
freedom (n ? 1) and the probabilities are multiplied by

                 

In this study the researcher
followed KR 20 technique and reliability value was found to be 0.99

The respondents were asked to provide
YES or No based on their individual site conditions. Each item in the factor
rated as follows, For “YES” the value of 1 and “NO” the value of 0. The sums of
total of each factor explain the perception of the respondents. The minimum
score is “0” and maximum score is “40” for each major elements and the overall
total score is “120”.

The major and minor elements of the
Research Tool are: Sources of Ignition, Combustible Materials, Sources of
Oxygen,  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 the
information collected from the records as well from personal observations made
on site. The information elicited from discussion with plant personnel are
manager/site in-charges, floor supervisor and workers regardless of the level. The
collected data from the respondents were statistically analyzed by using mean,
standard deviation, correlation and ‘E’-test (test of significance of means
difference between two independent variables). 
Analysis of variance (ANOVA) software is used for the estimation of the
amount of total variation in the sample data, expressed as the sum of its
non-negative components. The frequencies, means and standard deviations were
calculated for the data obtained and hypothesis wereanalyzedusing one-way ANOVA
tests for statistical significance for differences in means.

 Specific findings of the research study are given as follows:

·        
Residential buildings satisfy overall fire safety conditions
compared to commercial buildings.

·        
Combustible materials are stored and maintained in a better
manner at commercial buildings than residential buildings.

·        
Commercial buildings satisfy overall structural features
parameters compared to residential buildings.

·        
Overall escape feature parameters in commercial buildings are
better than residential buildings.

·        
Fire extinguishers, signage and emergency planning in
commercial buildings are better than residential buildings.

Overall findings of the
research study are given as follows:

·        
The fire safety and risk assessment compliances such as provision and
maintenance of fire extinguishers, escape routes, displays, emergency action
plans etc., are better in commercial buildings than residential buildings.
However, both the commercial and residential buildings need to focus more on
reducing the risk and to improve fire safety and fire risk assessment standards
and compliances in protecting the people working in the construction sites.

Summary of the Analysis is
given as follows:                                                          

                  The
fire safety compliances are better in commercial buildings than residential
buildings. However, both the commercial and residential buildings need to focus
more on reducing the risk and to improve the status compliances to meet
statutory requirements as well as protecting the people working in the
construction sites.The increased compliances in fire safetyensures better
workplaces, which are free from workplace hazards. It also reduces legal
complications at construction sites ensuring better and smooth functioning of
business. Further, it also reduces losses at construction sites thus ensure
enhances productive construction sites.

8.0  CONCLUSION

The construction safety in India is an
emerging stage in India and its progress in construction sites is on the
increasing trend after the enactment and implementation of rule and regulations
since 1996. The research study has been carried out to
understand the status of fire safety in residential and commercial construction
sites. Further, the
implementation of the findings of the study will enhance the knowledge and
awareness among workers, management and staff of the construction sites thus
making the work places to be safer and healthier protecting the second largest
workforce in Indian workplaces by enhancing fire safety standards in
construction sites.