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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/N033213/1
Principal Investigator: Manu, Professor PA
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
BAM Construction Ltd East Carolina University GCP Architects
Health and Safety Executive Heathrow Aiport Ltd ISG Construction Limited
Loughborough University Mott Macdonald Nick Bell Risk Consultancy
Safety in Design Ltd SID
Department: Faculty of Environment and Technology
Organisation: University of the West of England
Scheme: First Grant - Revised 2009
Starts: 04 October 2016 Ends: 01 July 2018 Value (£): 101,043
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Construction Ops & Management
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
13 Apr 2016 Engineering Prioritisation Panel Meeting 13 April 2016 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The global construction sector is estimated to account for 100,000 fatalities annually and about 30-40% of all fatal occupational injuries. In the UK, although the construction sector accounts for only approximately 5% of the workforce in Britain, it accounts for a disproportionate 31% of occupational fatal injuries to employees. Injuries and new cases of ill health in construction cost society over £1.1 billion a year. The direct and indirect costs of injuries and illnesses resulting from construction are not only borne by the victims and their families, but also by the victims' employers, the construction client, the industry as a whole, and the government.

Due to the socio-economic impacts of the unenviable health and safety record of the construction sector, there are efforts to improve health and safety in construction. Prominent amongst the efforts has been the emphasis on mitigating or eliminating health and safety risks through design, which is commonly referred to in construction as design for safety (DfS). The importance of DfS rests on the fact that design contributes significantly to the occurrence of accidents, injuries and illnesses in construction. DfS requires that designers (e.g. architects and engineers) give careful consideration to how their design decisions would affect the health and safety of builders, maintenance workers, and users of built assets. In the UK, DfS is mandatory under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015) which stipulate that designers (organisations/individuals), when preparing or modifying designs, should eliminate, reduce or control foreseeable risks that may arise during the construction, maintenance and use of built assets. Consequently and understandably, CDM 2015 also requires that the appointment of organisations with design responsibilities should be based on their capability. This brings to the fore the important issue of design firms having adequate maturity in terms of DfS capability. Whilst some design firms may have attained some appreciable maturity in terms of DfS capability, others will also be deficient. Whilst there is a growing body of research on DfS in construction, there is lacking an in-depth understanding of what constitute DfS capability. Furthermore, neither has there been research aimed at understanding the maturity levels related to DfS capability. Consequently, there is lacking a robust systematic approach for ascertaining the DfS capability maturity of construction organisations with design responsibilities to pave way for improvements in DfS capability. Borrowing from the popular maxim that, "If you can't measure it, you can't improve it", and considering the significance of design to health and safety, this research will develop a web-based DfS capability maturity indicator (DfS-CMI) tool which will offer a robust and systematic approach for diagnosing the DfS capability of construction supply chain organisations involved in architectural and engineering design.

The research will employ an expert group technique and ICT tool development and testing processes. The DfS-CMI tool will serve as a robust process improvement tool to enable architectural, engineering design and construction firms to improve their DfS capability. The tool will also provide a mechanism for ascertaining the DfS capability of organisations under the CDM 2015 regulations.

Key Findings
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Organisation Website: http://www.uwe.ac.uk