Input needed to enable BIM to make sector safer


BIMSafe NZ is asking for the construction industry’s input to help reduce accidents and injuries on New Zealand construction sites in an industry-wide survey launched recently.

Currently, construction accounts for 10% of the national workforce, but 15% of all ACC claims. Construction has more injuries and claims than any other sector and, to date, rates of serious injury and deaths in New Zealand are higher than OECD equivalents.

BIMSafe NZ wants to do something about this by using the collaboration and visualisation powers of Building Information Modelling (BIM) to improve health and safety outcomes in the sector.

The technology aims to create safer and healthier work environments by reducing workplace harm.

BIM can be used for all components of a build project’s design process, and facilitates greater collaboration between all stakeholders.

By being able to visualise the work to be done and see the risks involved through the 3-D model, architects, engineers, contractors and workers can identify potential health and safety risks before they happen.

It also allows those who are exposed to the risks to have a say on how they are best mitigated.

The online industry questionnaire will assess the current state of BIM use and awareness in New Zealand, and takes only 10 minutes to complete.

BIMSafe NZ Project Lead Paul Duggan says the research is being conducted to better understand how (BIM) technology is currently used in construction health and safety practices.

Accurate data needed

“In order to set a benchmark and measure the industry’s progress over the next three years, we need accurate data from all stakeholders in horizontal and vertical facilities projects in New Zealand to enable greater reach and impact across the industry,” he says. 

The project’s aim is to accelerate the use of BIM, which has already doubled in the past six years — from 34% to 68% according to the latest BIM in New Zealand Benchmark survey.

The use of BIM has been mandated for all government projects with a value of more than $5 million, and will be the primary way information is shared between construction stakeholders in the future.

“We really want to hear from all members of the construction industry,” Duggan says.

“By donating just 10 minutes of their time, industry members can help us reduce accidents and injuries, raise awareness of the powers of digital engineering, and help to keep New Zealanders safe on construction sites.

What is BIMSafe NZ?

BIMSafe NZ is a $1.7 million, three-year collaboration between the Canterbury Safety Charter and the Building Innovation Partnership (BIP) at the University of Canterbury.

The project is funded by ACC’s Workplace Injury Prevention Grants and the MBIE. It aims to change behaviour in the way risks are identified, managed and communicated on construction sites in New Zealand.

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