Quality Assurance in Construction
What quality assurance practices are part of your company policy? Quality assurance practices help to ensure that the end result of a project is consistent with design and implementation designs that were made in the planning phase. Excellent quality assurance practices will not only help avoid expensive delays when things don’t go according to plan, but they also ensure that the methods followed to complete projects are safe and sound and that workers on the job site are protected from any failures or accidents as a result of poor workmanship. This article talks a little bit about the difference between QA and quality control, how QA contributes to safety on job sites and OSHA’s role in the above.
Quality Assurance vs. Quality Control in Construction
Before we go any deeper, let’s look at the difference between quality control and quality assurance. On the surface, they might appear to be the same, but they actually can’t be used interchangeably. The best way to understand the difference is that quality control has to do with the end product, whereas quality assurance is all about ensuring that the processes are being done correctly. The two are closely linked – if you have high-quality assurance throughout the construction process, chances are your final result will pass a quality control test. Quality control looks at a final product and asks whether it was built correctly. Quality assurance monitors a process and ensures that it is being implemented to produce the desired results.
OSHA and Safety
What does quality assurance in construction have to do with safety? QA is a process-oriented practice, and ensuring worker safety is as much a part of any construction project as pouring concrete. OSHA stands for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. This organization works to maintain and enforce standards for workplace safety in construction and other industries. OSHA doesn’t just make sure you’ve got your hard hat on, though – the organization looks at the big picture when it inspects a project. Is the design of this building safe? Are the methods being used to construct the building safe? OSHA compliance is an important aspect of any project design, and project managers must remain familiar with guidelines as well as the most common OSHA violations to stay ahead of the game.
Most Common OSHA Violations
Ever wondered what the most common OSHA violations are? OSHA safety compliance officers reported OSHA violations numbering in the thousands in 2015 alone. By far the most common type of violation is fall protection, with just over 7,500 violations reported. This includes things like steep roofs, lack of protection for workers from falling through holes and unprotected sides and edges of structures with workers present.
Ensuring OSHA Compliance and Quality Assurance
What can a foreman, project manager or contractor do to ensure compliance and quality assurance on a job site for which they are in charge? The most important way is by making the tools available to do so and being up to date on the most current regulations. Workers should receive regular training and education on best practices for safety, and it is critical to creating a professional culture that encourages workers to be safe and not to cut corners to save time. Quality management in construction projects is a full-time job but is entirely necessary to keep everyone safe and to get the job done on time and on budget.
Quality assurance is most than just one thing – it’s a set of initiatives that work together to ensure that everyone on the job site is following best practices. This includes not only the proper methodologies for accomplishing the task at hand but also for staying safe while doing so. An effective construction firm takes both sides of QA very seriously and saves plenty of time and money as an end result.