Safe design is the integration of hazard identification, risk assessment and control methods early in the design process to eliminate or minimise risks to health and safety throughout the construction and life of the structure being designed.
By identifying potential work health and safety hazards early in the design process, designers can make informed design decisions to eliminate or minimise potential risks to health and safety.
Designers need to consider safety of people during the lifecycle of the structure when it will be used as a workplace. This includes systematically identifying potential hazards during lifecycle phases. The main lifecycle phases are:
- construction of the structure (including civil works stage and demolition of any existing structures);
- use for the purpose for which the structure is designed
- maintenance, cleaning or repair of the structure; and
- demolition of the structure at end of life or for adaptive reuse.
The designer can improve the safety of their designs by understanding the proposed use of the structure and work processes, through research, testing and analysis, through selection of safer materials, through knowledge of methods of construction, maintenance and demolition, by consulting with others and by applying solutions from recognised standards. Information should be communicated to those further along in the lifecycle of the structure.