An Effective Strategy for Safe Design in Engineering and Construction
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An Effective Strategy for Safe Design in Engineering and Construction

David England, Andy Painting

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eBook - ePub

An Effective Strategy for Safe Design in Engineering and Construction

David England, Andy Painting

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About This Book

AN EFFECTIVE STRATEGY FOR SAFE DESIGN IN ENGINEERING AND CONSTRUCTION

Practically and efficiently implement the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations in any project

In An Effective Strategy for Safe Design, safety and risk professionals David England and Dr Andy Painting provide a comprehensive exploration of the design process, from initial idea to the validation of the product in service, from a product and project safety perspective. In that context, the authors show how the appropriate implementation of the requirements of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 can not only improve health and safety on a project but can also improve the project's output as well as offering savings in both capital and operational expenditure.

Readers will discover how the seemingly complex matters of regulation and risk management can be practically applied to projects via examples, illustrations, and real-world references. They will find out how safety regulation, standards, and initiatives all converge on the same goal—the safest output from any given project.

The book achieves three primary goals:

  • To improve the understanding and implementation of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015
  • To reduce errors during the design process via the effective implementation of design management strategy
  • To embed the concept of safety in design

Perfect for designers, design managers and supervisors, project managers, surveyors, and insurers, An Effective Strategy for Safe Design is also an invaluable addition to the libraries of principal designers, specifiers, and building control officers.

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Information

Year
2022
ISBN
9781119832058

1
Elements of the Design Process

The design process consists of several stages that commence once it is agreed that the idea for a product is worth the investment of time and resources. To establish this prior to starting the design process in earnest, the following are required:
  • an initiating need, or driving force, that requires resolution;
  • a business case to justify the investment.

Initiating Need

This pre-design stage is concerned with understanding the high-level goal or ambition of the client as well as what this is intended to resolve. For example, the goal may be a new design of car in order to seize upon a current gap in the marketplace, but car design obviously encompasses a great many styles, types, performance levels, and design possibilities. Refining that goal during this stage to “a car that can carry five persons comfortably, with luggage, and be powered electrically” reduces the number of possible design outputs for consideration and may also reduce the overall design costs.
Some possible reasons and underlying factors for an initiating need might include those in the following list.
  • To support current growth in the business through:
    • adding an extension to existing premises;
    • adding new premises, either acquired or purpose-built;
    • moving en masse to a new location;
    • developing an additional or enhanced range of products for the market.
  • To support a change in technology or invention that will:
    • increase production;
    • reduce operational costs;
    • improve safety and reduce levels of risk.
  • As a result of new or changed legislation that:
    • is designed to improve air quality;
    • is designed to enhance water quality;
    • impacts the use of restricted or hazardous materials;
    • makes material changes to workplace assets.
  • To effect a change to the client’s undertaking due to:
    • a recent safety-related case that highlighted poor practice;
    • an expansion into new markets or product lines;
    • preparing for the sale of the undertaking;
    • a change in direction of the board or a fundamental injection of capital.
The initiating need may lead to a number of initial ideas that could push the limits of technical capability and possibility. Whilst some of these ideas might be ruled out very quickly, some of the more novel or unorthodox ones may help the client re-evaluate their ambition for the product. It may transpire that for a modest capital investment, the client can blaze a new trail in their particular sector, perhaps in aesthetics, technology, or product sustainability. This balance of investment against return is resolved through conducting a business case.

Business Case

This stage is where the outline costs and benefits of progressing with the initiating idea are captured. There may well be more than one possible solution to any requirement, each of which may have different investment costs (capital expenditure) and running costs throughout its life (operational expenditure). Combined with this will be the level of risk each option exposes the business to. The business case must balance these positive and negative outcomes for each option against the levels of exposure to risk—in terms of financial, reputational, and corporate risk, and so forth—that the organization is prepared to accept. This should provide the client with a balanced argument from which to make an informed decision. There is also always the “do nothing” option to consider if this is ascertained to be less impactive to the organization than the value of the investment in an ambitious new project. Each organization has a level of risk it is prepared to accept under various circumstances and this in itself will play some part in the potential design options considered later on.
The business case of course provides an informed approval based on knowledge at the time it was conducted. Should issues arise during subsequent stages of the design process, or risks become apparent that had not been hitherto identified, then there should always remain the option to halt the project; either temporarily in order to reassess the business case or permanently to prevent unnecessary further expenditure.

Requirements Capture

Once the initiating need has been defined and the business case to proceed has been approved, a statement of requirements (SoR) is created to document what the client actually needs. This is because the client’s ambition may include a “wish list” of qualities for the product that cannot be justified in terms of current technology, capability, or probity. The involvement of a wider group of stakeholders, such as suppliers, manufacturers, or teams within the client’s organization, should result in a more balanced and informed SoR. This should then be checked against the initiating need to ensure that the key objectives of it are being met.
At this stage, a risk register (covered in the risk management chapter) is also created and populated with risks to the project. Sometimes with complex projects, it may be that the design requirements have to mature before some risks become apparent. This is in part due to how risk can be either foreseeable or observable; that is, foreseeable risks are those that we can speculate with some certainty might happen and observable risks are those that readily present themselves to us. For example, the requirement might state that the product is intended for use in atmospheres that contain explosible or volatile substances. In this case, the foreseeable risk is that the product might cause an explosion if it is not made to the correct tolerances. The observable risk is in the capability of the production stage to maintain those tolerances against the design specification.
The statement of requirements should state the client’s design intention clearly but without specificity. In our “car” example from the initiating need stage earlier, we might demand electric power with a range of at least 300 km in the SoR. If we were to qualify this by stating that the power is to come from lithium-ion batteries we might exclude, at the project’s expense, emerging battery technology; just as lithium-ion supplanted nickel metal-hydride batteries, which in turn supplanted nickel-cadmium batteries before that. The SoR should pose the question to which the full design is the answer, thus allowing the designer some degree of flexibility in proposing solutions.

The Design Process

Once the SoR is completed, the designers can be approached and the design process can begin. This process is composed of four key stages that follow the product’s life cycle through to completion of production. These stages may be combined or repeated according to the size and complexity of the design itself (see Figure 1.1). The stages are:
  • feasibility;
  • specification;
  • full (or technical) design;
  • validation.
Figure 1.1 The Design Process.
There may also be further independent reiterations of the design process during the in-service stage of the product’s life cycle—for example, where the product is repurposed or amended—and these should be considered as separate iterations of the design process.

Design Feasibility

By interpreting the client’s needs from the SoR as well as considering the initial risks captured in the risk register, the designer may arrive at the most likely solution quickly. Indeed, the solution may be quite obvious. This should not, however, preclude the designer from suggesting alternatives, regardless of their apparent obscurity. Similarly, the client would do well to examine each suggestion dispassionately in case any of them expose a hitherto unconsidered solution or potential cost saving, perhaps over the lifetime of the product. Such considerations are a matter for the client to review as often as necessary to whittle down the prospective design concepts to those that best fit their business case.
The SoR will assist in reducing the number of initial ideas to a select few that fall within the agreed levels of suitability and affordability. All the while, the designer should be referring to any control measures necessary to ensure the safety of each design (see the section on the general principles of prevention) and to establish that, at this early stage, the risk with each one has been—or is being—considered.
During the feasibility phase, various tests, experiments, and calculations may be required to substantiate one design over another. Once again, the output of these tests should be considered with reference to the SoR and the risk register to ensure that they are providing relevant data.
Towards the end of this stage, a design review might be undertaken to qualify that the SoR has been adhered to and whether the proposed design meets with the client’s objectives for the project. The design review will also examine key stakeholder requirements, as well as identify any potential risks concerning design, production, in-service use, and disposal, and these can help to inform the design risk assessment as well as the design specification.

Design Specification

The specification stage is where a single design concept from the feasibility stage is agreed for further development and progression. The design can now be imbued with enough detail in order to fully understand its functionality and any potential impacts associated with the end product. This level of detail may still be a little way from being enough to go to production, but should be enough to provide modelling data and to understand whether it will perform as specified in the SoR.
As the design matures during this stage it will become more complex and this can lead to a tendency to drift away from the original idea. To help prevent this, it will need to be tested against the SoR as well as additional issues such as: whether the product can still be technically produced, whether it creates additional hazards, and whether risks have been captured and managed by the designer. All the while throughout this stage the design should continue to be developed in accordance with the general principles of prevention.
As with the previous stage, a design review may be undertaken to assess whether the design meets with the client’s intentions as captured in the SoR and whether the benefits continue to outweigh any perceived risks. The review should question how the design is to be tested to ensure that it is compliant and will meet all the required operational parameters. At this point the design is formally accepted by the client and any subsequent substantive changes made by them will result in any additional costs being borne by the client.

Full or Technical Design

The full or technical design part of the process is where the design gains ever more detail in preparation for production. The design is modified in accordance with all aspects of the stakeholders’ requirements, as far as the client demands. It must consider how the product will be produced as well as the implications of time and cost for all relevant testing and c...

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