Safety on site is critical – but it’s also essential to secure the long-term safety of your buildings.
Reducing risk is not a one-time practice. It’s an ongoing responsibility, throughout the project process as well as over the entire life of a building. We’ve rounded up some of the key considerations to make sure this practice succeeds.
Make smart use of MMC
First and foremost, applying modern methods of construction is vital for minimising on-site risks. There’s a reason why building regulations and health and safety standards continue to evolve every day: because we’re constantly finding smarter ways to do things. And at the top of the priority list here, as ever, is reducing risk.
We delve deeper into MMC elsewhere in the Knowledge Hub but we cannot stress enough how making ever-better use of its principles is crucial to safety, both in the immediate and long terms.
Bring in data up-front…
The design and specification process is inherently data-driven. As the construction world gains a greater grasp of building information modelling (BIM), there’s a wealth of rich data to help you design safety into the fabric of your buildings. But beyond this, bringing in data at the outset – and understanding it – can help you design construction sequences in a way that reduces risk. So, before you hit go, use data to make better-informed decisions about risk.
…and use intelligence throughout
Linked to this, as the Internet of Things (IoT) increasingly integrates data and physical equipment, you can make risk reduction a continuously improving process. Just build in intelligence. Continuous monitoring and communication systems should be part of your process, and the building itself, with instant communications flagging up measures that need to be taken, whether repair, replacement or recertification.
As this technology develops, expect to see greater implementation of VR and AR, as well as more accurate AI routines aiding predictive and preventative maintenance – but, even now, intelligence is key to securing safety throughout a building’s life, end to end.
Take a long-term view of fall protection
We know fall protection systems. And we know that getting the best out of them requires a top-down view, and a long-term approach. Treat your system like you would your building: thinking about the whole life of the system. Your choice should be robust and reliable, protecting people and the fabric of your building.
Similar to preventative maintenance always being preferable to on-the-fly repairs, your system should meet your future maintenance needs throughout both its lifespan and the life expectancy of your building, as designed.