Excellence By Design: A Holistic Life-Cycle Approach to Safety Improvement
- Peter G. Furst (_)
- Document ID
- American Society of Safety Engineers
- Professional Safety
- Publication Date
- April 2013
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 50 - 57
- 2013. American Society of Safety Engineers
- 0 in the last 30 days
- 40 since 2007
- Show more detail
Safety by design (SBD) is a comprehensive approach to the entire project delivery process and addresses the safety of all people who work in, use and build buildings. Generally, four groups of people may be exposed to harm when working in/on, or using a facility: 1) the public who accesses structures; 2) employees who work in them; 3) employees who maintain these facilities; and 4) those who construct them. Various codes and standards are designed to address the risks of potential harm to these groups. For example, building and life safety codes ensure that people can exit structures safely during emergencies. Design professionals are required through licensing mandates and codes of ethics to ensure that these standards are utilized in the design of structures. To ensure this outcome, various jurisdictions have code checking and enforcement control of projects slated to be built. City fire marshals routinely inspect buildings to ensure that various safety requirements are maintained during operations.
The safety of those working in these facilities is governed by OSHA 1910 standards. These general industry standards govern safety in relation-ship to work hazards, and they create the duty for employers to ensure that the work environment and work practices are in line with these standards. The expectation is that compliance will keep workers from harm while they perform their work.
Construction worker safety is covered by OSHA 1926 standards. These standards aim to protect workers as they build a facility. Although these standards have been around for more than 40 years, construction workers continue to be injured and killed on work sites. These outcomes have initiated a search for a more effective way to address construction worker safety.
Prevention through design (PTD), initiated by the International Labor Office (ILO, 1985), proposes that hazards should be "designed out" such that they are eliminated or reduced before workers are exposed to them. This will affect construction and maintenance workers. In the U.S., PTD was first initiated via a study sponsored by the Construction Industry Institute in the 1990s (Hinze & Gambatese, 1996). In 1995, the U.K. mandated PTD, which required designers to perform risk assessment of their design as it affected construction workers. Several other European nations and Australia have since mandated or strongly encouraged PTD.
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