Safety Planning Practices and BIM Applications

As for understanding the current state of safety planning in the affected area, an in-depth review of previous research studies is summarized as well and trench safety planning practices in the construction industry. The shortcomings in contemporary security planning have been addressed here with an advanced BIM-based design for security concepts. Research papers on rules-based safety planning and BIM are thoroughly reviewed and the need for the proposed safety rules-based automated excavation modeling approach is established.

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Safety planning practices for construction excavations
Despite extensive research and technological advancement in the construction industry, it is still considered a dangerous industry that exposes workers to accidents. Safe environment is mandatory in all sectors, while in construction it is of particular importance compared to other sectors due to the four times higher mortality rate [26]. Statistics on excavation-related accidents have revealed a relative increase in injuries and deaths in recent years [2], making excavation safety planning difficult. Carrying out inadequate safety planning consumes financial resources and time ineffectively and sometimes leads to serious accidents [18]. In order to improve safety on construction sites, companies have devised strategies and rectified construction methods to ensure health and safety, such as interviews with tools, periodic safety planning meetings, participation of owners in safety planning, etc. Several rules and best practices have been developed since the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 [16, 17] which can be classified into three general groups: (1) pre-excavation: procedures required prior to any excavation activity; (2) excavation: safety during the execution of the activity; and (3) post-excavation – processes required after completion of excavation [6]. Safety planning based on these standards in the design and planning phase is complicated due to the dynamic nature of the excavation activity. Construction companies rely on the perpetual manual observations of safety officers, which is an OSHA requirement; in addition, a competent person with relevant security capabilities [27] should frequently visit and review site conditions. This requirement sometimes causes inconvenience due to financial and time constraints; consequently, safety officers are not present when it is mandatory and, therefore, accidents occur [4]. Furthermore, knowledge of safety, such as safety standards and integrating experience with the design phase, could reduce or even eliminate related risks by suggesting adequate consideration or even design changes [28]. The analysis of 224 accident cases shows that 42% of deaths were related to the risks associated with the design phase [29]. Since manual detection of an unsafe design is difficult due to scattered regulations and the complex nature of construction projects [18], designers are largely unaware of the operating conditions and associated physical limitations during construction; as a result, designers are bothered to determine the risks associated with their design components that may arise in the construction phases of the project [1]. Consequently, the communication gap and limited cooperation of stakeholders on construction safety reduce the safety culture [30]. Although the collapse of the trench has a significant impact on safety and causes a large share of accidents in the construction sector, it has yet to be discovered. However, the literature revealed a lack of focus on the safety aspect of workers in the pre-construction phase of the excavation work. Overcoming these limitations and challenges is extremely important to ensure a safe working environment with the minimum chance of accidents in excavation related activities.

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