PAS1192-6 - The Increasing use of BIM for OH&S
Maintaining Health & Safety on many major & fast-tracked construction sites is one of the biggest challenges faced by the construction project team. Rules and regulations are ever-changing and the full depth of Safety in Design issues are often hard to communicate via conventional 2D plans to those professionals who are generally buried in regulatory paperwork.
It’s no surprise that project teams are increasingly adopting the 3D & 4D BIM approach as a way of better understanding safety issues before the first shovels even break ground.
The current draft of PAS1192-6 (Publicly Available Specification); Specification for Collaborative Sharing and the Use of Structured Hazard and Risk Information for Health and Safety, has been developed with this approach in mind. The PAS provides guidance on how H&S information is generated, flows and can be used throughout the project and asset lifecycle. Whilst all H&S risk information can be included within an information model, this PAS requires the contextualization and filtering of hazards and risks to prioritize the significant risks. But what does this mean in relation to day-to-day implementation?
The standard provides guidance on the representation of hazards & risks to establish consistency throughout the industry, in a discipline built on regulation. But rather than encourage the current ‘blanket’ standards that can be obstructive and incongruous, the inherently interactive modelling approach fosters a collaborative approach that is particular to each project. The inclusion of standardised hazard identification markers (and hazard identification in general) is something that we at BIM Evolution have found to be a very organic procedure.
It allows for communication between the project team and the company safety representative on an even level; talking to each other visually rather than being swamped by SWMS’s and unfamiliar JSA’s. The incorporation of volumetric exclusion zones or work spaces also further assists with the planning of adjacent, high risk tasks without compromising either safety or efficiency. This is further amplified with the use of VR, where individuals can ‘walk’ the site and add, remove or relocate plant and safety equipment. Modelling also allows for very accurate scenario testing which contributes greatly to the development of any Safety in Design issues for future management of the asset.
Our industry is one of the most dangerous in the world accounting for approximately 19% of work related fatalities and 10% of Lost Time Injuries in Australia alone. These are quite shocking statistics considering the Construction industry employs only 9% of Australians. With a construction management background, we recognise that safety can be somewhat minimised in importance by those outside of the OH&S discipline in efforts to speed up mobilisation and dismiss any safety road blocks. The beauty of the BIM approach is that it brings to the fore any major safety issues likely to arise before commencement and promotes a cultural shift in the way the whole team approaches health & safety.
As the industry is increasingly becoming aware, a picture paints a thousand words. The highly visual BIM Approach is not only positively affecting the way we design, plan, & build, but also the way we manage Safety as well.