Whose responsibility is it to ensure design safety?
Responsibility for safe design.
The biggest mistake many building design and architectural practices make is assuming they do not need to do anything in relation to their duties under work health and safety (WHS) legislation.
The reality is that designers in most states and territories throughout Australia have a legal duty to design structures, so far as is ‘reasonably practicable’, that are without risk to health and safety when they are used as, or at, a workplace.
Designers need to make sure that they are protecting themselves and their practices and the people who are going to use the buildings or structures they design. Designers need to understand their duties under legislation and what they need to do to comply with these duties.
The good news is that it is easy to comply with legislation once you have processes in place.
How can designers meet their legislative requirements?
Designers can meet their legislative requirements for work health and safety by:
- Reading the Code of Practice: Safe Design of Structures and other WHS codes of practice.
- Training staff in safe design and legislative requirements.
- Researching WHS Injury statistics and specific data relating to the structure being designed.
- Consulting with the client, workers, engineers, plant designers, specialist operators (e.g. crane operators) and the principal contractor.
- Implementing a safe design procedure for their company and a systematic process for identifying hazards.
- Designing structures to be without risk to health and safety.
- Facilitating safe design workshops with key stakeholders.
- Preparing safe design reports and other supporting documentation.
- Engaging a safe design specialist like Safe Design Australia, to assist them with the above where required.
- Having an internal WHS procedure for staff.
Flexible and convenient online training for safe design
We know safe design ‘sounds’ boring. But it doesn’t have to be. We’ve developed a flexible and convenient online training course specifically focussed on Safety in Design (SiD) for design professionals – architects, building designers, engineers and other building professionals.
The online course has been designed by international safe design expert and WHS professional, John Daly, and is endorsed by the Safety Institute of Australia (SIA). It provides the latest information, advice and tools relating to safe design practices in Australia, New Zealand and around the world.
Contact us to find out more
To find out more about the duties of designers under safe design legislation, or how we may assist you with a Safe Design Workshop for your next design project, contact us.