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  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

A commitment to improve Safety by Design from the Supply Chain Safety Leadership Group

A commitment to improve Safety by Design through leveraging maturing digital capability and construction techniques in the industry, has been brought together in a Common Intent document produced by The Supply Chain Safety Leadership Group (SCSLG).

John Dixon, Highways Market Director at Jacobs and Chair of the Safety by Design Working Group noted: “SCSLG wants to establish a lasting ‘Safety by Design’ culture from the concept stage of a project, including all practitioners adopting a default mindset of designing for offsite manufacturing and assembly as well as making the best use of digital tools and data to effectively manage life-cycle safety throughout all the stages of the project.” He added: “Many incidents, if not all, have causal factors rooted in early design decisions”.

It is well-known that the safety of workers in the construction, operation, maintenance and dismantling of highways is most significantly influenced during the design stages of infrastructure developments. Some of the greatest opportunities to either eliminate hazards completely, or to mitigate residual risks associated with unavoidable hazards, arise in the conceptual and preliminary phases of highways projects.

The fast-growing BIM maturity of suppliers and advances in digital engineering capability are providing opportunities for step change improvements in Safety by Design. These are being enabled through enhanced, collaborative sharing using single source data and structured whole-life Health and Safety information in Common Data Environments.

The Supply Chain is committed to five key principles to achieve its goals through the design process:

1. Sustaining an evidence-based, Safety by Design mindset from the outset, demonstrated through pro-active safety leadership and teamwork within an inclusive working environment.

2. Capturing and sharing information throughout the project life-cycle using BIM, and working with Highways Safety Hub to provide an accessible repository of case studies and best practice construction, operations and maintenance examples, including videos and virtual rehearsals, to educate design teams.

3. Promoting offsite manufacture and assembly as the default construction assumption to eliminate several risks common to construction sites, whilst ensuring associated on-site assembly risks are managed effectively. Offsite and standardised solutions should also achieve better quality of product and reduce the duration of site activities on the network.

4. Focusing on the elimination of risk in the design phase wherever possible whilst actively engaging with constructors, operators and maintainers, including clients, to manage residual risk and positively influence our decisions to eliminate, reduce or isolate.

5. Fostering virtual rehearsal of construction sequences as ‘business as usual’, with the ensuing insights informing our design development. We will work collaboratively across designers, constructors, maintainers, operators and customers in order to better inform our design models for both permanent and temporary works solutions.

The Common Intent document can be found on the Highways Safety Hub.

The Supply Chain Safety Leadership Group (SCSLG) that supports Highways England in the delivery of its works programmes is absolutely committed to eliminating any associated fatalities and injuries.

The Supply Chain wants no harm to come to either workers or customers as a result of their designs. SCSLG has published its Common Intent document for Safety by Design, which defines an agreed commitment to achieve that goal.

Click Here to view the common intent document

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