Motivation for prevention through design: experiential perspectives and practice

© 2017 American Society of Civil Engineers. Studies show that application of the prevention through design (PtD) concept with respect to construction worker safety, although compulsory in some countries, is inconsistent throughout the United States. This paper presents a study that explored the impacts and experiences in a construction community resulting from PtD implementation to benefit those countries where PtD is predominantly absent. Informed by a comprehensive review of PtD literature and governing regulations, the researchers conducted a structured, randomized survey of the construction sector in the United Kingdom, where PtD is prevalent. Based on analyses of 228 survey responses, it is clear that PtD is viewed as a positive enhancement to design practice, project team collaboration, and safety. Those experienced in its application hold it in high regard. Obstacles to implementing PtD may be present but can be overcome. PtD provides an opportunity to change the way safety is viewed and practiced in the United States and to make it more inclusive of the entire project team, with active participation consistent with current project team roles and responsibilities. The research reveals how the construction industry can make this change and the impacts to be expected. Doing so will create a supportive and participatory safety environment throughout the design profession.