The Sustainable Construction Safety and Health (SCSH) rating system is a tool designed to help improve construction worker safety and health. SCSH is used to plan and assess the extent to which construction safety and health are given priority and addressed in the planning, design, and construction of a project. By doing so, it is anticipated that construction site hazards will be eliminated or reduced, and ultimately construction projects free of worker injuries and fatalities.
- The rating system is designed for all types of construction projects regardless of size, type, location, or scope.
- SCSH draws on the participation of all of the key project team members — the owner/client, designer (architect/engineer), and constructors (prime contractor and subcontractors).
- See case studies of SCSH rating system application.
Where does sustainability come in?
Safety and health are part of the social aspect of sustainability. Like the protection and conservation of environmental resources, sustainability incorporates the stewardship of human resources.
It is also well-known that when worker injuries and fatalities occur there are also financial implications. The financial impacts can significantly influence the economic vitality of a firm and a community, and thus sustainability over the long term. Lastly, the construction stage of a project experiences a significant proportion of injuries and fatalities, and must not be ignored within the assessment lifecycle.
Protecting worker safety and health is sustainability. The safety and health of those who construct a project must be addressed when considering sustainability along with the safety and health of those who maintain and use the facility after it is built. Read more about safety and sustainability.
How does the rating system work?
SCSH contains 50 safety and health elements (Required and Elective) organized into 13 categories. Each element carries credits based on its effectiveness in preventing construction worker injuries and illnesses. The credits from all of the elements add up to a total of 100 credits.
Projects are rated using stars. To receive 1 star, a project must fulfill all of the 25 Required elements to some degree. A project that additionally incorporates Elective elements receives more credits and potentially a higher rating (2, 3, 4, or 5 stars). The SCSH ratings are as follows:
1 star = All Required elements fulfilled
2 stars = All Required elements fulfilled and 55 – 60 total credits
3 stars = All Required elements fulfilled and 61 – 75 total credits
4 stars = All Required elements fulfilled and 76 – 90 total credits
5 stars = All Required elements fulfilled and 91 – 100 total credits
The premise is that a higher number of total credits received by a project indicates greater attention to safety and health, and therefore a lower potential for incidents that lead to construction worker injuries, illnesses, and fatalities.
Read more about the SCSH rating system and the topic of safety and sustainability.