Digital tool unlocks new heights of safety performance for the construction sector

The Safetibase Risk Suggestion Tool is set to revolutionise the construction sector by enabling virtual collaboration and providing safety critical information at designer’s fingertips.

The application of a digital tool aligned to industry standards and requirements (CDM 2015; PAS 1192:6) has shown that further health and safety insights and treatments can be obtained through use of data, the ground-breaking BIM application has been integrated into a into a cloud-based platform. The potential of early and fundamental intervention at design stage could prevent accidents and ill health occurring on site by stopping risk at source. Our Community of Practice (CoP) supports the launch of the tool and is intended to extend the knowledge and insight derived in its application.  The benefits of this knowledge will be released to the industry, in an open learning environment.

Over the past decade there has been a trend towards a more flexible working style, which has increasing the number of those working remotely.  This has been significantly accelerated by the global pandemic. Whilst remote working offers many benefits it can be difficult to collaborate effectively.  For example, in the construction sector where projects are often large-scale and involve multi-million-pound investments the ability to work together effectively on design solutions is key. The benefits of the Safetibase tool are universal for designers regardless of their experience, but specifically for less experienced designers, who don’t have the benefit of extensive site experience.  The accumulated knowledge captured by established design teams contained within the Safetibase tool could prove invaluable. The Safetibase tool enables designers to identify risk scenarios at the earliest possible stage of their projects, and to take action to treat the risk, by Elimination, Reduction, Control or onward communication of key risk Information.

The Safetibase tool has been developed through a Discovering Safety project that captures designers’ foresight and enables the design process to be digitised.  Ultimately this will enable automation to enhance human decision making in design. For the first time in any BIM application, it is possible for a designer, or design team, to work together in a cloud-based viewing and analysis platform, allowing a holistic identification and description of  risk scenarios from an early stage in design. The working hypothesis is that designers only have to identify a limited number of basic design risk scenarios, which enables action to  prevent multiple categories of risk, resulting in an almost infinite variety of harms in the construction phase.

The next stage of development is to conduct a pilot programme with industry to test and refine the Safetibase Risk Suggestion Tool. The work extends to design a prototype tool to define Risk scenarios and Design risk treatments, this will allow our application designers to learn from a multiple set of design teams working in different contexts. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Construction experts are also providing input to the development of this tool, which is delivered with the help of Atkins as part of the 3D Repo Safetibase package. 

The Safetibase Risk Suggestion Tool has been developed by the Discovering Safety BIM team, delivered in a three-way partnership between: University of Manchester, HSE and Safetibase, with 3D Repo as the software developers. The collaboration of academia, government regulator and industry partners has been recognised as making a significant contribution to the construction industry being awarded the 2020 International Building Smart Professional Research Award:  

Want to see our digital tool in action? Click the following link to watch a demonstration

University of Manchester: Team led by Dr Bill Collinge, with Dr Carlos Osorio Sandoval (researcher), Dr Patrick Manu, Dr Clara Cheung, Dr Andre Freitas and Dr Mojgan Hadi-Mosleh

HSE: Science Division and Construction Division, Gordon Crick, Nic Rigby and Steve Naylor

Safetibase: represented by Zane Ulhaq of Atkins