Masterspec
12 Jan 2021
NEW PRODUCT PARTNER SECTIONS FOR JANUARY 2021
In case you missed our Masterspec NOTES at the beginning of the month, here is a list with reference links for the new Product Partner work sections...
08 Dec 2020
MASTERSPEC BEGINS A NEW INDUSTRY PARTNERSHIP WITH STEEL CONSTRUCTION NEW ZEALAND (SCNZ)
Masterspec and SCNZ are delighted to announce a new industry partnership to support the structural steel design, fabrication and erection in the New...
26 Nov 2020
STORMWATER DRAINAGE DESIGN – NEW OPPORTUNITIES IN NZBC E1 NOVEMBER 2020 UPDATE
November 2020 brought a number of updates to the Building Code, including a new Acceptable Solution in the form of E1/AS2 in its newest version,...
26 Nov 2020
GREEN STAR UPDATE TO VERSION 1.0
The Green Star Technical Manual v3.2 has been superseded by Green Star Design and As Built NZ v1.0. Also Green Star Office Interiors v3 has been...
24 Nov 2020
GUTTER & DOWNPIPE DESIGN MADE EASY
It is not often that changes to the NZBC Acceptable Solutions and Verification Methods provide a windfall that makes life a whole lot easier for a...
29 Oct 2020
LATEST BUILDING CODE 2020 UPDATES
Earlier this year MBIE ran public consultation on proposed changes to a number of Acceptable Solutions and Verification Methods. Despite a number of...
06 Oct 2020
THE STATE OF CONSTRUCTION – BY THE NUMBERS
At Masterspec the amount of specifications live on the platform at any one time has always given us an indication of the health of the industry. In...
29 Sep 2020
UPDATES TO MASTERSPEC SUSTAINABLE & GREEN BUILDING GENERAL SECTIONS
A number of the formal sustainable systems, Living Building Challenge and Green Star, have recently made significant changes to their systems....
01 Sep 2020
AMENDMENTS TO STRUCTURAL STEEL STANDARD AS/NZS 5131
AS/NZS 5131: 2016, Structural Steelwork - Fabrication and Erection is cited in NZBC B1/VM1, 5.0 Steel. This new Amendment A1, which has just been...
04 Aug 2020
WHAT ON EARTH IS EQUIPOTENTIAL BONDING
This month Masterspec has added more clauses to the electrical sections about earthing and equipotential bonding of conductive elements of the...
02 Jul 2020
NEW GENERIC WORK SECTION 7765 - ELECTRIC VEHICLE (EV) CHARGING STATIONS
Masterspec's new generic section, 7765 Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Stations, responds to increasing EV ownership and NZTA's coordination of NZ's...
30 Jun 2020
REPLACEMENT STANDARDS FOR CEILINGS & SPRINKLERS
There have been quite a few new and amended Standards since the beginning of lockdown. Two major replacement Standards you should know about...
30 Apr 2020
STRUCTURAL INSULATED PANEL SYSTEMS (SIPS) - AN ALTERNATIVE BUILDING SYSTEM
Masterspec introduces a new generic section 3876 STRUCTURAL INSULATED PANEL SYSTEMS (SIPS) (available in Standard, Basic,
23 Apr 2020
COVID-19 GUIDANCE FOR THE SPECIFIER
Masterspec's Managing Editor Alex Shaw suggests how using the information at this link can help ensure your project fulfils its obligations to provide...
31 Mar 2020
SCHEDULING FUNCTIONALITY INCREASED TO INCLUDE SLIP RESISTANCE
To help reduce repetitive content and streamline the user experience, a new schedule section 1278SR SCHEDULE OF SLIP RESISTANCE TESTING has been...
31 Mar 2020
PROPOSED BUILDING CODE UPDATES - CONSULTATION REPORT APRIL 2020
MBIE are proposing changes to a number of Acceptable Solutions and Verification Methods which can be viewed in their consultation document....
17 Mar 2020
MASTERSPEC TOOLS FOR REMOTE WORKING
With the challenges facing everyone in the coming months it’s likely to be busier than ever for many Masterspec users. Here are some of the Masterspec...
17 Dec 2019
BUILDING CODE NOV 2019 UPDATES - INTERIM CHRISTMAS REPORT
On 28 November 2019, the transition period started for updates to six Acceptable Solutions and Verification Methods. Masterspec has almost completed...
17 Dec 2019
NEW GENERIC SECTION 7455 STORMWATER SOAKAGE SYSTEMS
The section relates to the design, supply and installation of stormwater soakage systems for residential and non-residential applications. Stormwater...
16 Aug 2019
UPGRADED EDITOR ON NEXTGEN2
We have been working on improvements to the editor function on NextGen2, and the new upgrade will go live from the weekend of the 17th of August. You...

ENSURING YOUR DESIGN IS A SAFE ONE

25 Jun 2019

By Bill O’Byrne for Site Safe NZ

Sometimes, getting a building’s design wrong merely amounts to a bit of inconvenience for someone, like the electrician who must do advanced yoga to work on a tightly placed switchboard. However, at other times, it can be a real matter of life and death. 

The Safety in Design in Construction guide from Site Safe has been written to help designers put safety at the heart of their projects. Focusing strongly on the construction industry, the guide combines practical advice along with a solid theoretical basis to the practice of safe design. 

Site Safe chief executive Brett Murray says the concept of safety in design has become increasingly important in the last ten years, particularly since the introduction of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.  “We now have to give thought to people working in a built-up environment and how those people interact with plant and machinery.” 
Mr Murray says he’s seen too many examples where poorly thought-out designs lead directly to injuries or deaths. “For instance, many of Wellington’s buildings now require the use of abseilers to wash windows, but the lack of thought in the design of some buildings is a problem. The problem was highlighted when an abseiler fell after an anchor screw popped out of the building.” 

 It isn’t just life-threatening situations where smart planning and design can help. “Good design means things like not installing circuit boards in tight spaces so that when electricians are performance maintenance, making  the boards difficult to access.” 

Blake Kyle, a research and technical advisor at Site Safe, says the guide has been developed and reviewed by industry experts to make sure it offers practical advice. The guide also takes a philosophical look at where design fits into safety.  “The information now available around safety in design has been broadened to include the concept of Whole Life Project Costs. These include consideration of all costs involved in a project from conception, planning, tendering, construction, maintenance, use and right through to demolition.” 

For designers, this helps them meet their legal duties as a Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU) to ensure - so far as is reasonably practicable - a project design eliminates risks to the health and safety of construction workers, users, maintenance workers and others. 

Chartered civil engineer Jeremy Eldridge got involved in the Safety in Design project through his links to Constructing Excellence in New Zealand. Over several decades working in New Zealand and internationally, he has seen the growing importance of embedding health and safety into the design of projects.  “This is a useful document for designers, incorporating the collected views and comments of many people – it’s valuable to bring a consistency of approach to safety in design across New Zealand.” 

Mr Eldridge says safety in design is a crucial part of the training as a professional engineer in the United Kingdom. It developed through the 1980s in response to a series of significant failures such as the 1984 Abbeystead disaster in England where natural methane gas entered a water transfer tunnel and collected in an underground discharge station. A tour group of 44 was in the station when the methane ignited killing 16 and injuring 22. The provision of permanent, natural ventilation would have prevented this. 

He says designers must develop designs that break the sequence of potential cascade failures. “The Safety in Design document has a clear diagram of the ‘bow-tie’ analysis [on page 13 of the guide] which assists in identifying how and where appropriate breaks can be incorporated into a design to forestall the consequences of things going wrong.”  He says the duties and liabilities placed on designers by the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 is driving change to the training of professional engineers.  “This guide provides clear, philosophical guidance on what you should be looking at and why.” 

Another fan of the document is Dunedin architectural designer Reece Warnock, a director on the board for Architectural Designers New Zealand (ADNZ) which helped review the publication.  “It has a useful, step by step process as to how we should be doing our risk assessment and what we should be doing while designing,” Mr Warnock says. 
“Apart from being a good document, it is a good reminder to everyone in the trade what our responsibilities are”. 

He says safety in a design goal should focus on the places where designers can make the most difference to the outcome over the whole life of a project. “The document expresses this very nicely; I think that came through quite strongly.” 

Site Safe would like to thank the many people who contributed to the creation of the publication. These include;

  • Marcellus Lilley of Studio Pacific Architecture
  • Chloe Stewart-Tyson and Ian Fenemore of Beca
  • Nathan Moher of ADNZ
  • Kirsty Allen of WorkSafe
  • Adam Thorndon of Dunning Thornton Consultants.

Site Safe’s Safety in Design guide is available for free download here 

 

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