Gibb_Manu DfOSH JEDT Paper - accepted version 2018.pdf (374.47 kB)

Design for safety implementation factors: a literature review

Download (374.47 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 07.03.2019, 14:18 by Anush Poghosyan, Patrick Manu, Lamine Mahdjoubi, Alistair Gibb, Michael Behm, Abdul-Majeed Mahamadu
© 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited. Purpose: Decisions made during the design stage of construction works can significantly reduce the risk of occurrence of occupational accidents, injuries and illnesses. Moreover, it has been established that design is one of the major contributors of accidents and injuries. Design for safety (DfS) studies within construction have highlighted factors affecting the implementation of DfS, among which are designer attitude; DfS knowledge/awareness and education; availability of DfS tools, including guidance; client’s influence and motivation; and legislation. The purpose of this study is to carry out an in-depth literature review of DfS studies within construction to explore the extent to which existing DfS research has looked at the above-listed DfS implementation factors. Design/methodology/approach: A review of 164 journal articles related to DfS in construction (published from 1990 to 2017) within built environment, engineering and multidisciplinary safety journals was undertaken. Findings: The findings indicate that around 60 per cent of the journal articles reviewed address designer knowledge/awareness and education issues, about 27 per cent looked at DfS implementation tools to assist designers to undertake DfS, about 23 per cent studied client influence/motivation, about 16 per cent studied designers’ attitudes towards DfS implementation and approximately 16 per cent looked at the role of legislation in DfS implementation. The literature points that client influence/motivation and legislation are very influential DfS implementation factors despite a limited number of studies in these areas. Originality/value: Overall, the findings provide an indication of areas of DfS implementation, particularly client influence/motivation and legislation, where more research would be needed to promote DfS in construction to help mitigate the occurrence of accidents and injuries.


This work has been funded by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (grant number: EP/N033213/1) as part of research into DfS in the construction sector.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

Published in

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology


POGHOSYAN, A. ... et al., 2018. Design for safety implementation factors: a literature review. Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, 16(5), pp.783-797


© Emerald


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at:

Acceptance date


Publication date



This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology and the definitive published version is available at






Loughborough Publications