Safety by design

Safety by design is a concept and movement that encourages construction or product designers to "design out" health and safety risks during design development. The concept supports the view that along with quality, programme and cost; safety is determined during the design stage.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7]

Within Europe, construction designers are legally bound to design out risks during design development to reduce hazards in the construction and end use phases via the Mobile Worksite Directive (also known as CDM regulations in the UK).[8] The concept supports this legal requirement.

Many non-governmental organizations have been established to support this aim, principally in the UK, Australia and the United States.[9][10][11]

Some Notified Bodies provide testing and design verification services to ensure compliance with the safety standards defined in regulation codes such as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.[12]


  1. Behm M, 2005, Linking Construction Fatalities to the Design for Construction Safety Concept, Safety Science, Number 43, Pages 589-611
  2. Churcher D W, Alwani-Starr G M,Incorporating construction health and safety into the design process”, Implementation of Health and Safety in Construction Sites, Alvels, Dias & Coble (eds), ISBN 90-5410-847-9, 1996
  3. ECI 2000 Designing for Safety and Health, Proceedings of the ECI/CIB/HSE international Conference, London, European Construction Institute, Loughborough, ed A G F Gibb, June 245pp ECI, Publications
  4. Gambatese JA, Hinze J and Haas C, Tool to Design for Construction Worker Safety, Journal of Architectural Engineering, Volume 3, Part 1, Pages 32-42, 1997
  5. Gambatese JA, 2003, Safety in design: A Proactive Approach to Construction Worker Safety and Health, Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, Vol 18 (5): pp 339-342
  6. Gambatese JA, Hinze J, Addressing Construction Worker Safety in the Design Phase – Designing for worker Safety, Automation in Construction, Volume 8, Issue 6, Pages 643-649, August 1999
  7. Hecker S, Gambatese J, Weinstein M, Designing for Worker Safety- Moving the Construction Safety Process Upstream, Professional Safety, Pages 32-44, September 2005
  8. Health and Safety Executive CDM
  9. Safer Design
  10. Safe Work Australia
  11. Harvard University School of Public health
  12. Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspection According to ASME

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