ASCC develops guidelines for safe design

Monday, 28 August, 2006

The Australian Safety and Compensation Council (ASCC) has released a guidance document outlining the principles of safe design as a means of preventing injuries in the workplace.

The document supports the current priority of eliminating hazards at the design stage and provides guidance to anyone involved in the design or modification of products, buildings, structures and processes used for work.

The guide defines safe design as: "The integration of hazard identification and risk assessment methods early in the design process to eliminate or minimise the risks of injury throughout the life of the product being designed.

"It encompasses all design including facilities, hardware, systems, equipment, products, tooling, materials energy controls, layout and configuration."

The safe-by-design principle was also a major highlight in the recent release of the Safety of Machinery AS 4024 standard.

When the standard was released, chairman of the committee, Ern Millard pointed to NOHSC statistics that claimed "42% of plant-related fatalities occurred as a result of poor design and 95% of machinery/fixed plant fatalities were party caused by design".

Millard said that falling in with the national OHS strategy of eliminating hazards at the design stage was one of the major factors in the decision to revise the standard.

To view a copy of Guidance on the Principles of Safe Design at Work, go to

Wendy Cramer, Editor

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