Ramya Prakash

Ramya Prakash

Graduate Student,
Department of Construction Science,
email: ramya250785@gmail.com  Research topic: Framework for understanding the relationship between lean and safety in construction 

Chair- Dr. José Fernández Solís.

Lean construction borrows concepts from lean manufacturing and Toyota Production System in order to eliminate waste and add value to the construction process. Manufacturing processes utilizing lean principles have matured and developed a clear understanding of the relation between lean and safety. Because lean in construction is a relatively new phenomenon, there is not a completely developed understanding of how lean practices affect safety in construction. The Lean Construction Institute and the Academic Forum for Lean Construction has recently targeted this area for focused research. Since all safety incidents imply waste in time and resources, lean and safety have a common ground in the minimization of waste.

This thesis researches the common ground of lean and safety in waste minimization and proposes a framework for understanding their relationship. This thesis also critically analyzes lean and safety principles to form an insight to the relationship between lean theories as well as practices and safety issues reported in construction literature. Further, literature also revealed the safety strategies and checklists that companies typically incorporate in their program. A comparative analysis of lean and safety is employed to understand their relations in a better way. This framework establishes that lean and safety have a strong relationship in the context of construction. Future work is needed to show that lean practices indeed strongly affect safety by reducing the number of incidents. 

My Comments about Dr. Solis:
Dr. José L. Fernández-Solís has been a strong guiding force in my research from the start. His unwavered support towards my research provided confidence and constructive inputs. He pushed me to deliver the best and worked with me to help me achieve my set goals. Dr. Solis has been the core of inspiration and I was fortunate to have him as my mentor.