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PREVENTION THROUGH DESIGN

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Activities: NIOSH Research Projects

Benchmarking Management Practices related to PtD in the U.S.

Objective is to determine the level of adoption of PtD concepts among a subset of Fortune 500 companies in the US through a survey conducted by ORC Worldwide. Specific aims include:

  • Identify existing PtD practices in corporate procurement policies and procedures.
  • Identify existing PtD practices in corporate manufacturing and work processes.
  • Identify the level of leadership commitment to PtD among safety conscious corporations.
  • Determine if implementing PtD concepts is associated with the company’s occupational injury and illness experience.

Many Fortune 500 companies openly purport Prevention through Design concepts and have developed management practices to implement them. This project identifies management practices related to Prevention through Design in Fortune 500 companies in the United States. The findings from this project will be disseminated broadly outside and within the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

Project Period: 2007 – December 2010

Benchmarking Management Practices related to PtD in the UK

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.

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.

Project Period:  2007 –December 2010

Diffusing PtD Principles through Engineering Textbooks

Objective is to demonstrate how PtD principles can be diffused to engineering school curricula by incorporating the concepts into engineering textbooks that focus on design. Specific aims include:

  • Assess the extent of coverage of PtD principles currently in selected engineering textbooks.
  • Gauge the importance, interest, and demand for PtD principles by engineering professors.
  • Incorporate PtD principles into new editions of engineering textbooks.

A longstanding goal in the occupational safety and health community is to find ways to interject concepts of occupational safety and health into engineering school curricula so new graduates can apply this knowledge to future designs. This project works with the editor for aerospace, civil, chemical and industrial engineering textbooks at John Wiley & Sons to increase the coverage of safety and health topics in Wiley publications. Wiley is one of the largest publishers of engineering textbooks in the United States. This is a unique opportunity to affect engineering curricula on a broad scale, as it has the potential to be replicated.

Project Period: 2007 – December 2010

Moving NIOSH Engineering Design Solutions into Practice

Objective is to investigate how promising NIOSH-developed control technologies (engineering design solutions) can be transferred from research into practice. As part of this effort, NIOSH will investigate the economic underpinnings of these technologies, the barriers and motivators for their adoption, and will develop diffusion strategies for those engineering design solutions where the greatest opportunities exist. Specific aims include:

  • Review NIOSH developed engineering design solutions that have been demonstrated to be effective in the field for the construction, healthcare, and manufacturing industries.
  • Select four to six of the effective design solutions that are presently underused and two of the solutions that have been well adopted within their respective industries.
  • Assess motivators, barriers, information on worker acceptance, and aspects of availability for each selected design solution.
  • Develop business cases for both successfully adopted and underutilized design solutions.
  • Promote widespread implementation of underused design solutions that are supported by strong business cases by applying diffusion strategies.

One goal of the Engineering Controls Coordinated Emphasis Area is to move engineering research projects (design solutions) into practice. Too often researchers develop a new tool, process, or engineering control that can effectively be incorporated into future designs, write a paper on their achievement, and then move on to the next research topic without seeing the products of their research move into practice. This project attempts to overcome this trend by reviewing important but underused NIOSH-developed design solutions and disseminating them so that they can be put into practice. It is anticipated that the lessons learned from this activity will be helpful to other research-to-practice programs.

Project Contacts: John Sheehy and Mike Gressel
Division of Applied Research and Technology
(513) 533-8462
Project Period: 2007 – December 2011

Integrating PtD into Management Systems/Consensus Standards

Integrate PtD concepts and principles into management systems and consensus standards. Specific aims include:

  • Identify appropriate standards for strengthening through the introduction of PtD concepts.
  • Identify NIOSH researchers to participate in appropriate consensus standard committees.
  • Incorporate PtD concepts and principles into at least 7 different voluntary consensus standards

This project further promotes research-to-practice by attempting to influence management systems and consensus standards to include principles of Prevention through Design. This project identifies and targets important consensus standards committees and appoints National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health specialists to them to have input and influence. The results from the other component projects will support the ability to influence the language of future consensus standards.

Project Contact: G. Scott Earnest
Division of Applied Research and Technology
(513) 533-8462
Project Period: 2007 – December 2011

 
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  • Page last reviewed: December 19, 2012
  • Page last updated: December 19, 2012
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