A lean and agile construction system as a set of countermeasures to improve health, safety and productivity in mechanical and electrical construction

This paper presents certain aspects of the findings of a research project to develop and implement a Lean and agile mechanical and electrical (M&E) Construction System on a case study project. The objective of the research project for the sponsor company is to improve its projects site operations making them safer for the worker and improving efficiency and productivity by overcoming the problems and issues that it faces in the M&E industry within the UK construction sector. The research finds that using the System on the case study project, and when compared to a traditional method, a 37% reduction in onsite labour was achieved; no time slippage occurred during onsite assembly to delay or disrupt other trades; less workers onsite were exposed to lower health and safety risks from site operations leading to zero reportable accidents; good ergonomics was achieved by focussing on workplace design thus improving workers wellbeing; an improved quality of work was achieved for those required on site carrying out simpler assembly tasks; productivity gains were achieved by eliminating process waste; a 7% direct labour reduction was achieved leading to no labour cost escalation that otherwise could have occurred further reducing the risk of labour cost escalation. Significantly, an overall productivity of 116% was achieved using the Construction System which compares favourably to the Building Services Research and Information Association (BSRIA) findings of an average overall productivity of only 37% when compared to observed best practice for the projects in that case study research. Also, no compression of the commissioning period occurred with the built facility being handed over to the customer on time.