SESHA 2009 Symposium - Abstract

Prevention through Design (PtD)

Jamali, Jay
(Enviro Safetech, San Jose, CA)

This presentation will give an overview of Prevention through Design (PtD). Several studies have shown that the risk of occupational injury and illness as well as environmental impact can be reduced by integrating decisions affecting Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) in all stages of the design process. The Prevention through Design (PtD) approach is based on the concept that one of the best ways to prevent and control occupational injuries, illnesses and fatalities is to design out or minimize hazards and risk early in the design process. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Proper PtD during the design and redesign process will prevent or minimize work-related hazards and risks associated with the construction, manufacture, use, maintenance and disposal of facilities, materials, equipment and processes. In addition it will eliminate or reduce the cost of retrofits. However PtD requires: Forethought Experience Management support Information in a timely manner PtD will result in less OSHA inspections and fines due to less accidents, injuries and illnesses, which usually trigger an OSHA inspection. OSHA fines range from hundreds of dollars to millions depending on circumstances. PtD and DFS usually reduce the cost of overhead. Although the costs associated with worker injuries are limited under workers compensation, third party liability (contractors and public) is not limited. The phases during which safety can be designed into the process are: Conceptual design Detailed engineering Procurement Construction Startup Demolition PtD will be beneficial during three major timeframes in the practice of safety: Preoperational, in the design process, where the opportunities are greatest and the costs are lower for hazard and risk avoidance, elimination or control Operational mode, where hazards are to be eliminated controlled and risks reduced before their potentials are realized and hazards-related incidents or exposures occur; Post-incident, as hazards-related incidents and exposures are investigated to determine causal factors and necessary risk-reduction measures. PtD is used to avoid bringing hazards and risks into the workplace when new facilities, equipment, materials and processes are considered, and to ensure that hazards and risks are properly addressed when existing operations are altered. To implement PtD management may: Designate qualified in-house personnel to identify and analyze hazards, and assess the risks deriving from them for operations in place; Employ independent consultants with hazard identification/analysis and risk assessment capabilities to assist with respect to operations in place and in the acquisition of new facilities, equipment, materials or processes; Enter into arrangements with suppliers of newly acquired facilities, equipment, materials or processes to fulfill these responsibilities.