Industry experts believe that the use of digital tools in construction design and planning will increase by at least 50% over the next two years thus significantly improving workplace safety and project profitability.
“Proper preparation and planning prevents piss poor performance.” This age-old, attention-grabbing quote straddles the line of good taste, but the meaning behind it has never been more important in the continually evolving and complex construction industry. Every phase of a project needs to be properly planned from the outset to allow for maximum success and that includes thinking about safety from the beginning.
A research study by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) in the United Kingdom reveals that digital tools should be embraced by designers early in the planning process to create construction projects that are safe to build. The executives at the National Association of Heavy Equipment and Training Services (NAHETS) applaud this forward thinking. Planning and training fit like hand and glove, and the more thought given to safety the better for all involved.
An overriding theme of the study’s results was that designers and project managers should be thinking about the safety of a project even as early as initial planning. Also, utilizing the emerging building information modeling (BIM) digital technology and models will allow for safer and more profitable projects.
“Construction, as we all know, is one of our more dangerous industries,” said Jane White, research and information services manager at IOSH. “Therefore, with safety as a top consideration in the design phase, the number and severity of accidents that take place could be substantially reduced. The research highlights the opportunities and challenges of seeing safety issues earlier in the process using digital design models. If safety was a top consideration for everyone at this early stage, then we could potentially see positive change in health and safety within construction.”
A recent study by McGraw-Hill Construction confirms how important utilizing BIM will be in the industry moving forward. The McGraw-Hill study reveals that over the next two years contractors expect the percentage of their work that involves BIM to increase by 50%. And about half of the contractors surveyed who have a very high BIM engagement report returns in excess of 25% on their investments in BIM. Plus 40% of the contractors with very high BIM engagement levels report that BIM significantly reduced rework on projects, resulting in a significant cost savings.
Less rework means a reduced chance for accidents and incidents. Like we said, “proper preparation …” You know the rest.