It is a disappointing reality that many accidents could be prevented if appropriate information was available at the right time and in the right place. In addition, it is often not those parties involved in the accident that had the best opportunity or ability to prevent it. On many occasions decisions made long before an eventual accident can be identified as the primary cause or a significant contributor. This problem is exacerbated because often the potential for an accident is 'designed in' by individuals unaware of the affect their decisions were having on safety. For example, offshore plant designers may make decisions that make the future operation of plant and machinery difficult and potentially dangerous.
Consequently, it is expected that improved safety could be achieved by making all decision makers aware of the safety implications of their decisions. This is already an objective of the Health and Safety Executive who aim to educate and enforce safe working practices. However, it is recognised that effective dissemination of safety information, particularly to small companies and sole traders, is immensely difficult. The Steel Construction Institute has investigated ways of improving this dissemination, with particular focus on the potential for utilising emerging Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to improve the dissemination process.
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