Health and safety in construction is getting a much-needed boost courtesy of funding from HS2 via the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK.
A new customisable online training tool is now in development by specialists in cloud-based Building Information Modelling (BIM) and digital twins, 3D Repo, in collaboration with 4D consultancy, Freeform, and Balfour Beatty Vinci JV.
The new tool will replace generic training videos and presentations with live walkthroughs of site-specific 4D (construction sequencing) visualisations based on existing BIM models that can be understood in any language.
Generic safety training will be replaced by real-time, site-specific visualisations delivered via an easy-to-use cloud-based user interface. Health and safety aspects will be coordinated with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Discovering Safety Programme, to enhance opportunities for compliance and reusability across other contractors.
Funding for the new training system is provided through a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) innovation competition funded by High Speed Two (HS2) and managed by Innovate UK. The competition aims to deliver innovation that will drive project efficiencies and process for use during the design and construction phase of HS2.
Dr Jozef Dobos, CEO at 3D Repo said:
“Inductions and onboarding in UK construction are usually delivered using generic PowerPoint slides, pre-recorded videos and printed questionnaires. Our new training solution will enable site personnel to quickly and easily generate engaging site-specific induction materials that are easy to comprehend and therefore reduce accidents and near-misses through better quality training.”
Dan Fawcett, Head of Innovation & Transformation at Balfour Beatty Vinci said:
“Our number one priority is to be ‘Be Safe and Well’ when constructing HS2, and BBV’s work on 4D Constructability Reviews with 3D Repo to date is a great example of innovating to improve health and safety. Introducing further collaboration with Freeform and HSE to build on this work is yet another step forward in ensuring no injury, ill health or incident is caused by our work activities.”
James Bowles, Founder of Freeform, said:
“4D models use graphical and non-graphical project information including time, resource, and logistics management to create more predictable, robust plans and sequences. With 3D Repo, we are developing a novel online tool which allows for simple planning and visualisation of intricate tasks to improve health and safety not only on HS2, but for the entire construction industry.”
Using the power of the cloud, the new training system will also provide centralised tracking of induction performance with full audit trail and reporting to measure effectiveness.
Work on the new 4D health and safety tool began in March 2021 and follows on from a recent announcement about adoption of new SafetiBase 4D technology which allows workers to safely identify and resolve issues using immersive 360º screens.