Designing for safety

All stakeholders have to take responsibility for managing and minimising building risks throughout its lifecycle.

Accidents due to design can be catastrophic, and such accidents can happen any time in a building project life cycle—whether during construction, maintenance or occupancy stages.

The Morandi Motorway Bridge in Italy collapsed on 14 August 2018, killing 43 people. While investigations are still ongoing, many reports point towards the original bridge design as a cause of the collapse. The bridge was opened to the public in 1967.

Rope access, as an individual protective measure, carries higher risks for workers

Closer to home, in Singapore, a Pan Island Expressway (PIE) viaduct under construction at Upper Changi Road East collapsed on 14 July 2017, killing one worker and injuring 10 others. The main contractor and five individuals—three from the main contractor, one professional engineer and one accredited checker—were charged.

A fire at an industrial building at Toh Guan Road on 4 May 2017 resulted in one fatality and led the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) to take immediate action on buildings with certain types of cladding island-wide.

Specialist Adult Educator, SCAL Academy Pte Ltd Founder, SMER Pte Ltd
Goh has more than 30 years of workplace safety & health (WSH) and strategic planning experience from both the public and private sectors.

He is the Specialist Adult Educator of SCAL Academy Pte Ltd, a subsidiary of the Singapore Contractors Association Limited (SCAL). His main role is to assist in the implementation of the Construction Industry Transformation Map (ITM).

Concurrently, he is the founder and owner of SMER Pte Ltd, which specialises in the provision of WSH planning and leadership services.

Previously, Goh has worked with Singapore’s MoM the WSH Council, Det Norske Veritas (DNV) Industry, Singapore Construction Safety and Consultancy Pte Ltd (SC2), and IRM Consultants.

His involvement with design for safety dates back to 1998 when he took part in the first Construction (Design and Management) Regulations study mission to the UK. He subsequently launched the first edition of the Guidelines on Design for Safety as well as the Train-the-Trainer course for Design for Safety Professionals, when he was the Director (Industry Capability Building) of the WSH Council of the MoM from 2005 to 2011.

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