When the majority of the construction process is moved offsite, as it is with modular building, unique safety components can be implemented that can’t be done on a traditional construction site.
A Smart Market Report on the offsite construction industry, Prefabrication and Modularization: Increasing Productivity in the Construction Industry, shows that industry professionals are quickly realizing the benefit of reduced injuries in off-site construction and they are leaning towards using modular construction for future projects.
Here’s a snapshot of the finding:
- Over one-third of respondents (34%) who are currently using prefabrication/modularization have seen site safety improve as a result.
- For firms already using prefabrication/modularization, the factors driving the continued use include:
- Lower project costs (85%)
- Project schedule improvements (84%)
- Project quality improvements (70%)
- Project safety improvement (58%)
- For firms not using prefabrication/modularization, 49% say safer construction sites are a primary driver for future use.
Firms using prefabricated or modular construction found that it improves site safety. In general, they felt the three main safety benefits of the modular building process were:
- the ability to do a complex assembly at ground level
- the need to have fewer workers on-site, for less time
- a fewer number of tasks completed at great heights
Modular is Safer at the Production Facility
The most obvious safety benefit to off-site, indoor modular construction is that it virtually eliminates the weather element. When construction takes place in a weather-controlled environment, the absence of rain and snow eliminates slippery surfaces and cuts down on slips and falls. It also eliminates the risks of exposing electrical lines to moisture., and even electrocutions.
When your building is constructed from modules, each one constructed individually offsite and assembled at the final site, more work is done at ground level and the need for working at heights is reduced. Whereas, on a traditional worksite, construction workers can spend exponentially more time working stories high.
With offsite construction, permanent scaffolding is used when workers are required to work from heights. This differs from scaffolding used on construction sites, which is constantly being assembled and disassembled, opening up more opportunity for error.
It’s also been found that the repetitive nature of an assembly-line construction method promotes higher safety standards and reduces the risk of accidents and injuries, which can be caused by working in unfamiliar surroundings.