1 This guidance document was created by the Consultants Health & Safety Forum:
2 2 Safe by Design Introduction Designers are in a unique position to reduce the risks that arise during construction work, and have a key role to play. Designs develop from initial concepts through to a detailed specification, often involving different teams and people at various stages. At each stage, designers from all disciplines can make a significant contribution by identifying and eliminating hazards, and reducing likely risks from hazards where elimination is not possible. UK health and safety guidance Design evolves as part of an iterative process and intuitively designers should consider the life cycle of a project: from concept/feasibility to detailed design, buildability and then go onto consider the future use, maintenance and refurbishment/demolition of their project. This thought process should not stifle innovative design in fact it is an opportunity for designers to stretch the boundaries of the industry to create practical pragmatic design solution. Legislation in many jurisdictions places a legal responsibility upon designers to consider as part of the design process the life cycle of a project and to eliminate via good design potential project specific hazards and risks. This booklet is aimed at introducing or reminding designers to the concept of safe by design by addressing some of the most commonly asked questions.
3 Frequently Asked Questions 3 Q1: What is Safe by Design? Safe by Design is about incorporating safe design principles in the design, construction and maintenance of workplaces. A number of countries that we work in include Safe by Design requirements in their health and safety legislation. This is to ensure that hazards and risks that may exist in the design of a workplace are eliminated or controlled at the design stage as far as reasonably practicable. Regardless of the legal environment, we aim to produce designs that are safe and without risks as far as reasonably practicable. Safe by Design is the integration of hazard identification and risk assessment methods early in the design process to eliminate or minimise the risks of injury throughout the life of the building or structure being designed, including construction, use, maintenance and demolition. It encompasses all design including facilities, hardware, systems, equipment, products, tooling, materials, energy, controls, layout and configuration. A safe design approach begins in the conceptual and planning phases with an emphasis on making choices about design, materials used and methods of manufacture or construction to enhance the safety of the finished product. The designer needs to consider how safety can best be achieved in each of the lifecycle phases. Q2: What are the benefits of Safe by Design? The benefits of Safe by Design extend beyond the design phase of a project and apply throughout construction, maintenance and ongoing use. Using this approach results in many benefits including: Prevention of injury and disease to those constructing, using or maintaining the structure Improved usability of products, systems and facilities Improved productivity Reduced costs Better prediction and management of production and operational costs over the lifecycle of a product and compliance with legislation
4 4 Safe by Design Q3: What qualifies as a workplace? The definition of a workplace, where this is used in legislation, is very broad and includes buildings and structures used as permanent, occasional and temporary workplaces. Q4: What is our approach to Safe by Design? Our approach is for designers to think about health and safety in terms of buildability, maintainability and usability at all stages of the design process, so it becomes a natural part of the design. Q5: What types of buildings or structures are covered by Safe by Design requirements? In some countries we work in, the legislation specifies that Safe by Design should be applied to structures used as workplaces, i.e.: Buildings or structures used as occasional workplaces Parts of the building or structure including fixtures integral to its use as a workplace Temporary structures Design on construction and demolition phases of a building or structures lifecycles However we seek to apply the principles of Safe by Design and eliminating hazards at source where possible in all designs and projects carried out within the Group.
5 Frequently Asked Questions 5 Q6: How will Safe by Design impact on the overall project cost? Q7: Who does Safe by Design apply to? Implementing Safe by Design is much more cost effective than making changes to an existing building or structure which is found to be unsafe as a workplace. The most effective risk control measure eliminating the hazard is often cheaper and more practical to achieve at the design or planning stage rather than making changes later when the hazards become real risks to clients, users, employees and businesses. The direct costs associated with unsafe design can be significant such as retrofitting, workers compensation and insurance levies, environmental clean ups and negligence claims. Designers can include someone who undertakes the design on behalf of a client, including: Architects Quantity surveyors Building designers Drafts persons The client (e.g. if they specify a certain design) A designer can also include someone who designs any part of the building/structure or services integral to its use as a workplace, including: Engineers Interior designers Industrial designers and contractors Anyone who makes changes to the design of the building/ structure during the construction phase also has a Safe by Design duty, this includes the client.
6 6 Safe by Design Q8: What are the designer s responsibilities when preparing a design? The designer needs to clearly understand: The range of work activities associated with the intended use of the building/structure as a workplace Any maintenance, repair, service and cleaning activities for the building/structure when it is in use and during demolition in some countries The designer must also identify and control foreseeable hazards and risks associated with the above activities, inform the client of any high risks in the clients design requirements and recommend design alternatives that will eliminate or reduce risks arising from the original design. Q9: Do I have to eliminate all risks in my design? No, you should design to avoid hazards where possible, but there will be many situations where it is not possible to design out all hazards. Where hazards cannot be avoided, you should reduce the risks associated with the hazard. Arrangements are required to avoid foreseeable risk in preparing a design by: Eliminating hazards giving rise to the risk; and Reducing risk from any remaining hazards. The amount of effort put in to avoiding hazards and reducing risks should be proportionate to the degree of risk posed by that particular hazard.
7 Frequently Asked Questions 7 Q10: What are Red Amber Green (RAG) lists and how will they help me as a designer? Q11: Who else has responsibilities in relation to Safe by Design? Q12: I only carry out concept and outline design do I still need to follow the Safe by Design principles? RAG lists (as they are commonly referred to) are practical aides for designers on what to eliminate/avoid and what to encourage. Red lists include hazardous procedures, products and processes that should be eliminated from the project where possible. If not, then we need to reduce hazards and clearly communicate to the contractor Amber lists are products, processes and procedures that should be eliminated or reduced as far as possible and only specified/allowed if unavoidable. Including amber items would always lead to provision of information to the contractor Green lists are those products, processes and procedures that are to be positively encouraged An example of a RAG list can be found at Anyone who has input into the design, construction and use of the building/structure as a workplace has Safe by Design responsibilities. For example: Clients Construction contractors building the workplace Designers, manufacturers and suppliers of plant to be used in the workplace Controller of the workplace (e.g. owner of the workplace, employer of persons in the workplace) Persons installing, erecting, commissioning and maintaining plant at the workplace. Yes, whilst the design is not fully developed at this stage, your design may constrain safety of construction, operation etc, so Safe by Design principles should be applied. The decisions made at the early stages of design influence later design choices and it may be very difficult to reverse earlier decisions. Your design rationale and justification for design choices made will be of use to those developing the design, so that they can avoid reversing the safety considerations made at the concept/outline stage.
8 8 Safe by Design Q13: How do Safe by Design principles work in practice? Q14: Does Safe by Design mean it will take longer to design and/or build projects? Q15: What is the client s role in Safe by Design? Safe design integrates risk management principles into the design by involving designers, clients, construction contractors, end users and other relevant parties in considering the most appropriate design and each stage in the process. Involved parties can systematically identify hazards and reduce or eliminate associated risks. These parties can also communicate to the client, users and other relevant parties, any residual risks associated with the design. Safe by Design should not make it more difficult or time consuming to design and build projects. Incorporation of Safe by Design principles from the outset may actually help reduce costs by e.g. improved buildability. As far as reasonably practicable, clients need to provide us with information relating to: The range of work activities associated with the intended use of the building/structure Any maintenance, repair, service and cleaning activities that will take place in the building/structure Known hazards or risks relating to the site where construction is to occur (e.g. contaminated soil, overhead power lines, underground services etc.)
9 Frequently Asked Questions 9 Q16: What happens if we ignore Safe by Design, are there any penalties? Q17: Where can I find practical examples of how Safe by Design has been applied? Q18: What do I need to do about any hazards of construction or maintenance I have not been able to design out? A number of countries have specific legislative requirements for Safe by Design. However most countries will require relevant parties to provide a workplace that is safe and without risk as far as is reasonably practicable. There may be significant penalties imposed for both organisations and individuals found to be in breach of local requirements. The following websites provide practical examples which may be useful. In the UK: Safe by Design (SID) Designers Initiative on health and safety (DIOHAS) Design best practice (dbp) UK Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) In Singapore: https://www.wshc.sg/wps/portal/resources?action=detail edinfostop&finfostopid=is In Australia: safedesign/pages/safedesign.aspx publications/pages/wc00976_chairsafetyindesigntool.aspx Any information on significant hazards, that is anything unusual or likely to be difficult to manage on site, should be communicated to the contractor responsible for the construction, so that they are aware and can plan effectively. Any information that will affect future maintenance and/or use should be passed to the client or the future owner of the project.
10 10 Safe by Design Notes
11 Frequently Asked Questions 11
12 12 Safe by Design Any other questions? If you have any other questions about Safe by Design, there are a number of people you can contact, all of whom will be pleased to help you: Project Manager Safety Advisor or Manager ENGAGE INFLUENCE COMMUNICATE Issue 1: June 2012
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