How can BIM improve health and safety on construction sites?

If you’re a construction manager, then there’s a good chance you’ll have access to BIM technology on your projects, but did you know you might not be using it to its full potential.

Here, we share some ideas on how it can be used to keep you, and your teams, safe.

BIm for Health and safety

Engineer or Architects wearing virtual reality headsets for work with virtual reality modeling software application. Use Virtual Reality Modeling and BIM Technology in the Building complete.

BIM, or Building Information Modelling, is all about collaboration. It allows you to plan, design and build an entire development virtually through a 3D model, meaning that the potential is endless. One area where it can make a huge difference is when it comes to health and safety.

The system allows you to track progress on site, helping you spot things like time or resource pressures, allowing you to prepare your site and teams accordingly. Where it comes into its own is using this foresight, generated by the virtual twin, to reduce accidents, by planning ahead and knowing when hazards are more likely to occur.

BIM can also be used to explore ‘what if’ scenarios, and the associated risks. So, you can see how a sequence of choices you make could affect health and safety levels on-site.

How else can safety be improved by using BIM?

BIM will reduce the risk of dangerous equipment clashes before starting any job. When it comes to pipework, the 3D visualisation capabilities and data sheets show installers exactly how deep pipes need to be placed, while also identifying and flagging any potential conflicts.

The model can also be accessed using a tablet device on site, so no matter where you are – as long as you have internet access – you can check in and see current or future hazards immediately.

Can BIM help with PPE needs?

Incorrect or inadequate PPE is a leading cause of injuries on construction sites, so there can be no room for error. By using information within the project’s BIM models, managers can highlight higher-risk tasks that may require additional PPE or equipment. Product data from manufacturers is also incorporated and can be viewed to make sure any safety precautions needed to protect workers are readily available when needed. So as long as you follow the guidance in the model, you should be able to again reduce risk for workers.

I’m struggling to engage my teams when doing safety inductions. How can I make them more exciting using BIM?

With BIM, you don’t just tell your teams about health and safety onsite. You’ll be able to show them new insights about their working environment, different routes of escape and the locations of hazards in a quick, effective, and interactive way.

Essentially, BIM is a resource that can streamline your project end to end. Using a virtual twin allows you to visualise an entire construction design and in turn plan for future events, ensure resource availability, complete comprehensive risk assessments, reduce accidents, and provide better safety inductions.