It's estimated that the construction sector accounts for 100,000 fatalities annually worldwide and about 30% to 40% of all fatal occupational injuries. How to cut those numbers? Researchers from the University of the West of England (UWE) in the city of Bristol are leading an international project aimed at doing that by designing construction projects better.

According to

Two UWE Bristol academics, working alongside industry experts and other universities, will create a new tool that will enable architectural and engineering firms to assess and improve their ability to produce designs that are inherently safer for contractors to build and maintain as well as being safer for occupants to use.

"Studies have established that design is a significant contributor to the occupational injuries and illnesses in construction and as a result 'design for safety', also called 'prevention through design' is increasingly becoming prominent in construction worldwide," said Dr. Patrick Manu, a senior lecturer in construction project management at UWE Bristol and the project's principal investigator.

Design for Safety provisions are mandatory in Britain. Here in the United States, the subject also has generated interest. A 2012 article from said Prevention Through Design initiatives have been studied at Virginia Tech University for several years.

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