David England is a safety and risk consultant at Attis Engineering Solutions Ltd. He has extensive experience in the manufacturing, retail, logistics, central government, and military sectors.
Dr Andy Painting is founder of Attis Engineering Solutions Ltd (www.attis.org.uk). He has experience consulting in the safety and risk space in industries including the military and national defence, manufacturing, retail, logistics, and maritime trading.
Aims of the Book
Design is the cornerstone of creating and producing any structure, product, or item either for bespoke use or mass reproduction. Anything that is created, constructed, or manufactured relies on design whether for aesthetic, functional, or critical purposes. Of paramount importance is the designer's understanding of the intended use and the application of the product and their subsequent ability to translate this into a finished design. Some examples of products that require specialist design knowledge are:
Architecture-such as habitable or commercial property or structures.
Electronics-such as printed circuit boards or electrically controlled devices.
Marine-such as ships, oil rigs, jetties, and quays.
Mechanical-such as mechanized plant, engines, and wearable or implantable medical devices.
Chemical-such as nuclear, biological, and explosible materials, or structures that contain them.
Emergent technologies-where designers may be dealing with novel production techniques or exotic materials.
Of equal importance to the designer is an understanding of the operating environment in which the product is to be used and how this environment is controlled by such considerations as regulations, standards, or social norms. These considerations may have a direct influence (such as the regulations surrounding health and safety) or indirect influence (such as ethical or moral concerns) on the design process.
Additionally, the actual individuals who will use the product should be considered, as well as any others who may come into contact with it. What is important in any design process is that the criteria of the design requirement are developed within this sphere of considerations and that the product is capable of being subsequently produced accurately to that requirement. This is known as the input-process-output cycle.
This book aims to explain this cycle in detail in order to provide the reader with a broader understanding of the responsibilities of the designer not only to their profession and industry but also of the wider implications of their output by explaining the many considerations that any design should take into account. These considerations are not always apparent and it is the product of not only successful designs, but also successful design management, that ensures that they are appropriately considered in the design process.
Equally, we aim to demonstrate the important connection between good design and safe design and how this can be achieved as well as show how the various design professions, with their own standards and practices, are often a reflection of each other, and how design can be improved through the application and management of effective safety.
There are many associations, organizations, and standards, active in a wide range of design disciplines, that aim to improve the design process for either the designer or the client. This book intends to demonstrate that the essential tools for improving safety in design for both designer and client are already well established and readily available but, possibly, not well understood. By utilizing these tools any design project can be improved in terms of safety, quality, cost benefit, and project outcome.
Who the Book is For
This book is intended for use by all stakeholders who are involved in the design process, either directly or indirectly, as well as students of any discipline where design is a component part of their syllabus. It is also intended for those who have a responsibility for specifying during the design process and, of course, for those who have an interest in understanding more about the process and the best practice that can be achieved in this demanding and rewarding profession. This book is therefore aimed at:
- design managers and supervisors;
- those with oversight for design-such as project managers, surveyors, and insurers;
- principal designers (duty holders under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015);
- specifiers-such as Building Control representatives;
- procurers-such as marketing, sales, or financial departments;
- manufacturers, constructors, and developers;
- students of engineering, architecture, software development, and so forth;
How the Book is Structured
Different disciplines-or professions-where design is practised tend to generate their own language for the inputs, processes, and outputs that they perform and it is not the intention of this book to attempt to harmonize these differences. Instead, a glossary is provided in this chapter in order that the reader can disseminate the information contained herein and translate it, as required, into the language or phraseology with which they are familiar in their own profession.
Each of the first five chapters deals with a separate component or consideration of the design process. The last chapter prescribes an effective strategy for managing the logical sequence, from the initiating need prior to design commencing, through to the proposed or anticipated disposal of the product. Whilst it is clear that not all design disciplines require all elements of this book's design management process, it is the hope that the reader should become familiar with the generality of its intention. The chapters in the book are concerned with:
the design process-the life cycle of the design process, its influences, and the expectations we have of it;
regulations-how they affect design and how they can be used for effective process control;
design management-the tools and techniques used to manage the design process;
risk-identifying, managing, and controlling all aspects of risk in design;
design strategy-applying the techniques of safe and successful design.
The final chapter on effective design strategy uses, as a guiding framework, the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. This is the third incarnation of the United Kingdom's statute interpretation of the European Union temporary and mobile construction site directive 92/57/EEC. The reason for this may not seem immediately obvious to the reader, but we shall demonstrate how the extensive reach of this legislation over the variety of disciplines and objectives to which they apply, combined with the spirit of the regulations with respect to good design management, make them an excellent benchmark.
Although these regulations deal predominately with what may be considered to be the "traditional" construction industry (that is to say, buildings and structures), the spirit of the legislation is to improve the safe function of design in any given project. Regulation is just one of several influences on design and, therefore, to utilize that regulation to the benefit of the design process-rather than consider it burdensome to it-can only provide positive results: by improving management of the design process; ensuring legal compliance; and providing a considered, proper, and safe design output (see Figure I.1).
Figure I.1 Design Inputs.
Construction regulations as a separate piece of legislation were originally introduced in 1994 in response to the high level of injuries and fatalities in the industry historically and they remain one of the many pieces of legislation concerned with workplace health and safety. The third version of the regulations in 2015 encompassed a number of changes which we believe are of fundamental importance not only to the functional requirements of health and safety, but also to the wider moral and financial implications of good design. Moreover, the commercial release of designed products into the UK marketplace is governed by various safety regulations and it is an ambition of this book to encourage the reader to plan their particular project with this knowledge in mind.
Whilst not every design process will require every element described in this book, the reader is encouraged to identify which elements are salient to their particular project or discipline. The establishment of a well-defined and structured environment in which to conduct any design project is a feature of regulations, standards, and practices, which we shall examine in more detail throughout this book. The advantages of creating such an environment, whatever the size or complexity of the project, include:
- better translation of the client's originating requirements for the finished product;
- clear parameters within which the designer can operate;
- control over scope creep or design variance, whether or not intentionally;
- the capture and control of risks which promotes-
- the reduction of errors;
- the control of costs.
Promoting Safe Design
The central tenet for this book is to reinforce the concept of safety as a critical part of the design process. Not just from the perspective of preventing harm to people, but also in ensuring the safety of the project: that is, preventing errors and miscommunication that can cause delays, increase costs, and reduce the quality of the finished product.
There are many factors which can influence any design and these will be explored in detail throughout the book. These...