BIM for Health and Safety: Virtually Sorted #bsl2015

Stage 4: BIM for Health and Safety: Virtually Sorted

 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM

Too many people are killed and injured in our industry each year, despite the best efforts of all parties concerned. While many are utilizing BIM for efficiency gains and improved profit margins, perhaps fewer are considering health and safety.

This class highlights the wealth of opportunities that BIM provides to improve health and safety standards and effective coordination: the means to exploit the potential of BIM. Contemporary examples of innovative practice on a variety of projects will aid understanding and provide inspiration for the audience.

Even in times of economic downturn, construction is still one of the largest industry sectors in the UK. It is also one of the most dangerous and hazardous. Publications such as the Eagan report have pushed for a 20 per cent reduction in reportable accidents, but despite the rate of injuries over the last 20 years being significantly reduced, construction remains a high-risk industry in which to work.

The incorporation of health and safety into BIM, is, as modern parlance would have it, a ‘no brainer’

Although it is not new, BIM has seen a huge uptake in interest in recent years. This is partly as a result of Government support, but mainly due to great leaps in technology. Tiny differences in input can result in overwhelming differences in outcome; this is especially true of health and safety. As we stand at the verge of a new digital era we must aspire to make better and safer decisions through innovative and collaborative working enabled by Building Information Modelling. However, the basic principle is simple. BIM is about gathering, using, interpreting and transmitting information.

Is it such a departure, therefore, to consider how health and safety information might be included in a BIM? Is this not a massive opportunity for those of us working in construction to embrace this technology and its development, together with the increased efficiency and discipline that it brings? The model environment essentially becomes a backdrop for a zero harm culture.
The commercial advantages are fairly obvious, but the potential benefits in improved health by reducing accidents and deaths are so great as to be almost unquantifiable.

As the industry begins to see how these two topics can and should intersect, this class provides context and practical advice by exploring how it will shape the health and safety professional’s role, and what tools and processes will need to be embedded in future. The health and safety role is evolving towards collaboration, structured data and sharing of information as BIM – the incarnation of these sensibilities – increasingly underpins construction practice.

The incorporation of health and safety into BIM, is neither something which is the exclusive preserve of the ‘technology’ generation, nor something which is beyond us as health and safety professionals. It is, as modern parlance would have it, a ‘no brainer’.

Learning Objectives

  1. A new approach to safety innovation is needed. As the potential to influence and prevent construction injuries decreases exponentially as a project progresses, an effective form of safety-programme elements occurs at planning and preconstruction phases. How can BIM help this?
  2. What practical applications can be developed at each stage of the construction process to improve it health and safety, and how do the users of this information become part of the process and interact with the rest of the design team?
  3. In order to get the best from BIM for health and safety coordination, some important general questions need to be answered. What information can be gathered? How can it be translated into something useful, which adds value to the health and safety arena?


  • Stefan Mordue
    Architect & NBS Business Solutions Consultant – NBS

Member of the bim2050 group
Building information for dummies is out in summer.
Publishes approached UK authors.
Story telling is important for health and safety
Health and safety can be traced back to Babylonian law.
In 1930 1 death per $1m dollars spent.
Ons/UK contractors group statistics.
Government construction strategy , health and safety does not get a mention.
To get new talent it has to be a safe industry.
2015-04-08 16.46.23
Hazard vs risk. Not the same thing.
Opportunities :
Mobile tech has to be thought through. Rugged and available to physical workers.
Tracking and sensing – My zone worker alert system.
Training and communication. Getting essential information to site. Programme on a large tv. As basic as that.
Death arising from the language barrier. Could visual have been better.
Balfour Beatty smart box. Computer station in a steel box left on site.
Coventry simulation centre for cave virtual reality. Blended learning and simulation.
Rehearse and plan before getting to site.
On site verification but also update in the field.
Be aware that current policies band devices on site.
Integrating BIM and safety : an automated rule based checking system for safety planning and simulation.
Detect apertures of a certain size.
There will always be human intervention.
MGF out visual understanding videos on you tube.
On site clash detection by factoring in time to analyse periods of high risk.
Turner construction – BIM safety submission in New York department of buildings
Zones of no go areas, in a crane sweep for instance.
BUT…this is all too late in the process.
The mcleamy curve also applies to health and safety.
Most effective safety programme starts at planning and pre con
Think about hazards
2015-04-08 17.04.42
CDM 2015 and BIM go hand in hand. Association of project safety
CDM coordinator replaced by the principle designer.
Proposal for pas1192:6 risk and hazard information for H&S. Aec3 bim4h&s group
How to embed H&S information and data management.
2015-04-08 17.09.42 2015-04-08 17.10.24
H&S information has an incremental growth through the process.
Cobie data drop input from mordue and finch
2015-04-08 17.12.47
Think of an object as a placeholder for data and geometry.
How to record and present hazards. Simple exclamation on the model to schedule and display for hazardous materials.
4d model with she markers.
Ifc has a property set called risk.
Cobie has an issues tab
Option to put data on a website is about the same cost as the lever arch files.
Let’s start thinkng about a digital health and safety file.
Human behaviour is the biggest impediment.

About Shaun Farrell

I have been involved in the construction sector since 1986 and over the years I have seen things change dramatically. Much of the change has been directly as a result of technology. This blog will be about the key combinations of People, Process and Technology. Any views expressed here are strictly my own.
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