BIM Safety: the 10 ways of increasing safety when using BIM based methodologies
BIM Safety is the application of BIM technologies to the service of safety at work. Discover the benefits of integrating BIM and Safety
The issue of safety is one of the most delicate and important in the AEC sector. The objective of all has always been to preserve the health of workers, but despite continuous efforts, traditional solutions do not seem able to reduce the worrying number of accidents that have always affected the construction sector.
It therefore seems that the time has come to introduce more technologically and digitally advanced solutions that provide for “integrated safety”, which is why today we are dealing with BIM Safety.
Is there a real need for a BIM approach to safety?
Research suggests that the construction sector is saturated with traditional accident prevention strategies and that some of them are caused by deficiencies that arise at the base of the design process and are manifested in the executive phase on the safety of workers.
That said, is it possible that a new approach to security innovation is needed? Is it possible that the increase in the level of digitization of the construction process and the implementation of BIM Safety, leads to a decrease in accidents on site?
Studies and research seem to suggest a single positive response!
We have often talked about digital twins, created way before the beginning of the executional phase. It is easy to understand how the digital simulation of the construction process also simulates the construction phases and therefore helps to detect and prevent the safety risks related to the various processes.
In this context, therefore, the idea of BIM Safety finds its place, as the application of a BIM methodology to the service of workers’ safety. BIM applied to health and safety offers the opportunity to identify and prevent health and safety risks from the very beginning of project design, thanks to the digital simulation of the construction site.
What does BIM Safety mean?
BIM Safety refers to the application of BIM technologies to safety planning and risk management.
Thanks to integrated site planning and 4D simulations of the construction phases, BIM Safety, the BIM methodology applied to H&S -Health and Safety sector, allows you to:
- digitally view and control the construction site;
- identify risks and dangers;
- resolve issues such as work phases planning, lack of communication and training of workers, interference detection between the various processes.
The adoption of BIM in the field of safety-related issues is certainly a leap towards innovation that makes it possible to simplify hazard assessment and risk analysis on construction sites.
H&S operators can now benefit from better awareness of risks deriving from construction site digitization bringing the crucial health and safety aspects to a whole new level with increased risk-free efficiency.
In this context, the issueing of regulations is also included; indeed, BIM Safety also facilitates the implementation of regulatory requests too. This leads to multiple results including reduction of risks for workers leading through to coordinating all aspects related to the H&S sector with a single database consisting of:
- 3D models;
- 4D analysis;
- document management
Ultimately, the design of the construction site, which was seen in the past as a static and documentary-only practice, now becomes more interactive and dynamic with BIM Safety and the use of specific site safety software. It’s also possible to intercept dangerous incidents and hazards that may occur in the early stages of design thanks to:
- the creation of safety plans;
- 3D and 4D models of the construction site;
- the analysis of processes;
- the study of risks.
What are the 10 ways that BIM makes construction sites safer?
The various ways in which BIM makes construction sites safer for all construction site operators are many and probably more than those that we can address here. Let’s try to follow the design path from the beginning and identify the advantages that BIM Safety can provide:
- It allows you to digitally reproduce the exact nature of the environment in which the construction site will be located (orography, presence of watercourses and vegetation, the viability of the area, the presence of schools or other buildings, etc.): in this way you have real knowledge of the risks and possible interference that could occur during the different tasks execution and the related operating spaces.
- Facilitates the work of the safety coordinator: in the traditional approach to design, the safety coordinator does not take part in the design phase of the work. In BIM, on the other hand, collaboration is one of the key points, so the on-site safety planning phase is also shared in order to avoid unforeseen risky situations during the execution phase.
- It simplifies compliance with the various regulations on the prevention of accidents at work.
- It allows you to examine the time schedule already in the design phase: this facilitates the analysis of the risks related to the different activities and allows you to integrate, step by step, all aspects relating to the implementation of the project by dividing the work areas with a high safety factor.
- It returns a real digital construction site, complete with machinery and men on the move: thanks to BIM site management software, it allows to simulate the real dimensions, identify the areas where the activities could overlap and verify the operation of the escape routes.
- It allows you to plan workflows and to focus individually on each risk so that workers can better prepare for the individual activities to be carried out.
- It allows you to safely manage restructuring activities in parallel with normal work activities.
- It allows an immediate accounting of temporary equipment with consequent reduction of management costs.
- Thanks to the BIM clash detection software, it allows to detect any clash before the executive phase, thus reducing the accidents connected to them.
- It provides an informative communication with a level of detail that increases according to the phase of the design process, being able to include for each object: the minimum space requirements for installation and maintenance, details on spare parts, dates for scheduled maintenance, up to the data relating to the risk assessment from exposure to Hazardous Chemical, Carcinogens and Mutagens agents. It is worth reminding that everything is dynamic and updateable throughout the entire life cycle of the work.
These are just some of the advantages that BIM Safety can bring, but in order to appreciate them all, the best thing is to try the software for construction site safety on your project for free.
You’ll appreciate the peace of mind of planning your project in complete safety!