Prevention through Design – Guidance & Publications

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Training Materials

The Prevention through Design Program published four education modules to be used in undergraduate engineering classes. Each module consists of an Instructor’s Manual and a slide deck. Each module outlines the motivations for PtD, encourages inclusion of worker health and safety considerations early in the design process, and identifies hazards associated with the topic.

The Architectural Design and Construction Education Module covers site planning and excavation, specific building elements such as skylights, solar panels and green roofs, general safety considerations, and hazards associated with decommissioning a building.

The Reinforced Concrete Design Education Module covers concrete design, detailing, fabrication and erection processes. Examples are provided to enable structural engineers and detailers to incorporate PtD into their reinforced concrete designs.

Topics in the Structural Steel Design Education Module include the steel design, detailing, fabrication and erection processes. Examples are provided to enable structural engineers and detailers to incorporate PtD into their steel designs.

The Mechanical-Electrical Systems Education Module covers electrical hazards and presents NORA goals for working with electricity. A wind farm case study demonstrates effective PtD solutions for fall protection. The research facility case study identifies PtD concepts applied to mechanical-electrical systems safety. This module contains five short videos in the PowerPoint version. In the Adobe version, links are provided to access captioned videos through the internet.


NIOSH Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) program includes design-related factors that have contributed to workplace fatalities and recommends appropriate design modifications. Both the NIOSH and State FACE reports on this page have special PtD links to see reports with design recommendations:

Workplace Design Solutions:

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Preventing Falls through Roof Parapet Designs:

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Preventing Falls from Heights through Embedded Safety Design Features:

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Supporting PtD using Business Value Concepts:

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Preventing Hazardous Noise and Hearing during the Project Design and Operation:

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Protecting Workers during Nanomaterial Reactor Operations:

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Protecting Workers during Intermediate and Downstream Processing of Nanomaterials:

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Protecting Workers during Handling of Nanomaterials:

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Controlling Health Hazards for Nanomaterials:

NIOSH has other design-related information such as:

Science Blog

The NIOSH Science Blog provides an opportunity to learn about various workplace safety and health topics and exchange ideas with leading researchers from NIOSH.  View PtD-themed NIOSH Science Blogs.

Search All Publications and Products

Search NIOSHTIC-2 , a bibliographic database of occupational safety and health publications, documents, grant reports, and journal articles supported in whole or in part by NIOSH, or view this pre-generated search query, PtD NIOSHTIC-2 Search

Other Resources

Prevention through Design consensus standard

ANSI/ASSP Z590.3 Prevention through Design consensus standard: This industry standard was a milestone for PtD progress, as it concisely summarized different aspects of PtD and provided risk management methods to follow, such as the collaborative Design Safety Review team.  As a non-governmental standard, it is available from either the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP).

No-Cost tool for PtD and the Business Case

No-Cost tool for PtD and the Business Case: A practical risk management and business case tool was released by the AIHA*. This no-cost tool helps think through and document a PtD risk management effort in line with the ANSI/ASSP Z590.3 standard, and then helps the users summarize a business case for their recommended intervention. The business case includes both financial and non-financial elements.

Download here: and see this helpful article:

*NOTE: AIHA developed this PtD Business Case product in collaboration with researchers from NIOSH. Funding was provided, in part, by NIOSH. The findings and conclusions are those of the AIHA and do not necessarily represent the views of NIOSH.  Mention of any company or product does not constitute endorsement by NIOSH.

Prevention through Design Initiative

Prevention through Design Initiative: The Arizona State University Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering coordinate and host annual PtD workshops with a wide range of success stories and helpful guidance for using PtD methods in the built environment. Examples show a wide range of benefits including benefits to the facility owner, the constructors, the end user/occupants, and the maintainers of the final facilities. The workshops are hosted in-person and virtually with presentations and summary reports available for no-cost viewing and downloading. The NIOSH Construction program funds this collaborative effort with ASU. See the website for the initiative at:

Sustainability in the Workplace

Sustainability in the Workplace: OSHA has a long-term effort to encourage planning and prevention efforts that treat workers as the most precious limited resource:

Design for Safety: OSHA also provides guidance on designing for safety, to include the business case for doing so:

The OSHA Alliance Construction Roundtable

The OSHA Alliance Construction Roundtable Design for Construction Safety course and design solutions:

Through the OSHA Alliance Program Construction Roundtable, participants developed a Design for Construction Safety website to provide information on PtD. Those participants continue to update the site under the management of Dr. T. Michael Toole, Dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Toledo.

SliDeRulE for Buildings

SliDeRulE for Buildings – a Design Comparison Tool: Based on answers to prompts, this site provides estimates of the safety profile for different building options such as steel versus concrete. See:

PtD Credit for Green Building certifications: The U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED™ green building program, provides certification credit for using PtD methods. Resources include:

cpwr and construction solutions website

CPWR and Construction Solutions: CPWR is a long-term partner with NIOSH and an advocate for PtD in construction. One of the best examples is their Construction Solutions website, where better designs for safer and healthier work are provided as “solutions” when a user clicks through the type of work they are doing.  See the websites here:

PtD Resources from the United Kingdom: Prevention through Design is practiced actively across the world to benefit workers, designers, and owners. Examples of helpful resources from the United Kingdom include:

Australian Safety and Compensation Council
The Australian Government’s Safe Design Initiative. Safe Design is a process of hazard identification and risk assessment to eliminate or minimize risk of injury throughout the life of the product.

Safety and Chemical Engineering Education (SAChE) Program – Human Factors guidance
This program provides teaching materials and programs to bring elements of process safety into the education of undergraduate and graduate students studying chemical and biochemical products and processes. The ELA 981 course in Human Factors is notable in that it goes beyond chemical processes to incorporate lessons and principles focused on the day to day chemical worker’s tasks.

The Purdue Process Safety and Assurance Center (P2SAC): P2SAC is an industry and academia partnership focused on designing out hazards in successful operations in the oil & gas, pharmaceutical, and technology industries. See: