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Tools for the Construction Industry


The Challenge

Data can be used to measure incidents, but it can also be used effectively to prevent them happening in the first place. To achieve this, it is essential that data is used to make the right health and safety decisions at the initial design stages. In the construction industry, there was a need to build health and safety into the design and planning stages of projects, before problems became apparent on-site.

The Solution

HSE, as part of Discovering Safety, investigated how to use building information modelling tools on construction projects to highlight health and safety issues at the early stages of projects. Discovering Safety is an ambitious programme of work, funded by Lloyds Register Foundation and delivered in partnership by HSE and the University of Manchester. It seeks to deliver health and safety benefits through a data-driven global community.

Senior scientists used state of the art text mining and natural language processing techniques to extract relevant lessons learned from HSE's archive of regulatory information, accrued over the last 30 years from its regulation of the UK construction sector. In parallel with this, the project research team worked with representatives from across the construction industry on the development of a number of software tools which will enable HSE's construction sector datasets to be intelligently linked to building information modelling tools for interrogation by project designers.

The Outcome

Ultimately, the outputs will provide designers on construction projects with an easily queried knowledge resource to support health and safety risk mitigation decisions. A prototype tool that will be piloted by industry is currently under development.

A key benefit of the work is that it will allow better consideration of health and safety risks at the design stages of projects. In particular, the work will provide much greater opportunities for risks to be mitigated through elimination rather than over-reliance on administrative measures, implemented once construction operations have actually started, which tend to be less effective.

For more information see the Discovering Safety website:

The benefits of getting involved are clear. Our stakeholders and partners tell us that gaining access to our regulatory experts is invaluable in improving their health and safety outcomes. To get involved, email



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