Building Information Modelling (BIM)

"A collaborative way of working underpinned by the digital technologies which unlock more efficient methods of designing, delivering and maintaining physical built assets" - HMG - Digital Built Britain Feb 2015

To keep pace with change, Construction Division of HSE is investing time and research into understanding how modern digital technologies can benefit standards of health and safety on construction sites. The benefits are not just for the largest projects, projects of modest size can benefit from the improved precision of design, and ability to enhance collaboration within project teams that information modelling provides. BIM, properly applied, helps CDM duty holders to meet their responsibilities.

Some of the immediate benefits we have identified are;

  • talking around models helps construction people identify and reduce risks in planning
  • modelling the site environment helps plan logistics, assure good access and egress, and  gain control of public protection risks
  • using federated models for clash detection is very powerful in reducing time spent on site adjusting pipe runs and reduces exposures to risks of cutting holes in concrete for example
  • adding a timeline, and animating sequences of construction goes a step further, helping designers to model many times, but build better once.
  • collaborative reviews between clients, designers and constructors before starting work on site can identify problems, improve provision for the end user, and identify ways of reducing programme time. Efficiency, getting it right first time, avoids waste, stress and accidents that occur when work has to be changed at the last minute. Collaboration means better CDM, better health and safety.

Beyond the design process, more benefits are unlocked when health and safety information is generated, shared and stored for re-use by others on site or in future projects, for example as part of the CDM Health and Safety File. Models created in the design process can be re-used, for example to develop visual method statements and to show how maintenance operations should be carried out. Facilities managers can use the as built model to inform their decisions and risk assessments.

This report produced by HSE researchers from the Health and Safety Laboratory, describes in greater detail how digital engineering is making a difference to health and safety.

The British Standards Institute (BSI) have published a new:

  • PAS 1192-6; 2018 - Specification for collaborative sharing and use of structured Health & Safety information using BIM

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Updated: 19.12.22