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NIOSH Program Portfolio


Prevention through Design

NIOSH Prevention through Design Sector Strategic Goals

927ZBET (1 of 2) - Benchmarking Management Practices related to PtD in the UK

Start Date: 1/1/2007
End Date: 12/1/2010

Principal Investigators (PI)
Name: John Gambatese, Oregon State University
Phone: (541) 737-8913
NIOSH Contact: Donna S. Heidel
Phone: (513) 533-8302
Organization: NIOSH
Sub-Unit: Division of Education and Information
Funded By: NIOSH

Primary Goal Addressed

Secondary Goals Addressed
1.4.1 , 4.4.4

Attributed to Prevention through Design

Project Description

Short Summary

The United Kingdom has had regulations since 1994 requiring construction companies, project owners, and architects to address safety and health during the design phase of projects. This study identifies management practices related to Prevention through Design in construction companies in the United Kingdom. The findings from this project will be disseminated broadly outside and within the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.


Addressing PtD on a construction project involves the participation of the project designers, typically architects and engineers (A/Es), and other project team members who have influence on the design (e.g., owners). Since OSH is traditionally not part of the designer's role in the United States, the PtD concept is relatively new to the U.S. construction industry and not considered standard design practice. Formal applications of the concept, however, have taken place outside the United States. For example, the European Union has EC Directive 92/57/EEC that requires all parties involved in EU projects, including designers, to address OSH hazards and risks on construction sites. As a result, EU member countries have enacted legislation in response to the directive. In Great Britain, the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations were put in place in 1994 (CDM 1994). These regulations place responsibilities for construction worker safety on design professionals and others involved in the projects. The CDM regulations place a duty on designers to ensure that foreseeable hazards and risks to construction workers are avoided.

The twelve years of PtD experience among A/Es, owners, constructors, insurance companies, and others in the UK presents a valuable opportunity to learn how they have adapted to PtD regulations. This information could be useful to the U.S. construction industry, particularly in support of the PtD National Strategy that is being developed. This proposed activity will capture the salient perspectives and knowledge from UK companies in the construction sector for dissemination to U.S. companies


Objective is to assess the effects of 12 years of PtD regulations on construction companies in the UK. Specific aims include:

  • Identify expected organizational and industry impacts related to safety and health perceptions, roles, and culture that result from implementation of the PtD concept.

  • Identify innovative processes and products that evolve from the implementation of the PtD concept within an organization and which could be disseminated for widespread use.

  • Develop guidance for effective implementation of the PtD concept within the U.S. construction industry.

  • Disseminate the research findings to the U.S. construction industry for application in practice.

Mission Relevance

This activity will provide evidence of potential organizational and professional impacts of implementing the PtD concept in the US construction industry, and guidance in developing a strategy for effective implementation of PtD here in the US. Dissemination of the research findings will assist construction project personnel in efforts to implement and manage the PtD concept. As a result, and with widespread and continued implementation, it is expected that the occupational safety and health performance of the US construction industry will improve.

Page last updated:June 25, 2009
Page last reviewed: May 23, 2011
Content Source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Office of the Director


NIOSH Program:

Prevention through Design