Safe Design

A safe design process is important in building and construction to prevent risk of injury at the construction, use and demolition stages of a structure.

Safe design is a process defined as the integration of hazard identification and risk assessment methods early in the design process to eliminate or minimise the risks of injury throughout the life of a structure being designed. It encompasses all design including facilities, hardware, systems, equipment, products, layout and configuration.

Safe design is everybody’s business - from clients to designers to constructors.

The Federal Safety Commissioner and safe design

The Federal Safety Commissioner encourages the building and construction industry to strive for a higher level of safety. Guidance on this is provided in the Federal Safety Commissioner’s Safety Principles and Guidance, which includes safe design as a principle.

Safe design is part of the Australian Government Building and Construction OHS Accreditation Scheme (the Scheme) for contractors seeking to work on Australian Government building and construction projects. The Fact Sheet – An Introduction to Safe Design provides examples of how contractors applying to the Scheme, or independently of the Scheme, can demonstrate planning for safe design. The examples indicate the importance of communication and documentation in safe design.

The Federal Safety Commissioner Resources for Australian Government Agencies is a guide which aims to develop expertise in construction procurement and management of OHS through identification of processes and strategies to improve and integrate safety into construction projects. The guide is about driving safety using a model client approach and provides information on how model clients can incorporate safe design into their projects.

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