Imperial College London


Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Laing O'Rourke/RAEng Chair in Systems Integration



+44 (0)20 7594 9245j.whyte Website




Mr Tim Gordon +44 (0)20 7594 5031




436Skempton BuildingSouth Kensington Campus






BibTex format

author = {Larsen, GD and Whyte, J},
doi = {10.1080/01446193.2013.798424},
journal = {Construction Management and Economics},
pages = {675--690},
title = {Safe construction through design: perspectives from the site team},
url = {},
volume = {31},
year = {2013}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - How does the work of designers impact on the safety of operatives at the construction site? Safety research and policy emphasize the importance of designing for safe construction, yet the interface between design and construction is poorly understood: accidents have multiple causes making it hard to establish causal links between design choices and safety outcomes. An in-depth case study of a major station project examines how professionals on the construction site perceive and manage the safety challenges of a building design. Analyses reveal understandings that, on the project studied, design has an impact on safety because of: (1) the timing of design work, where the volume of late design changes increased the difficulty of planning safe procedures, e.g. for working at height, lifting heavy items, refurbishing and demolishing old buildings; and (2) inputs from design stakeholders with insufficient practical knowledge of construction and operation required unplanned work-arounds, e.g. to coordinate different sub-systems, provide maintenance access, and manage loads during construction. These findings suggest that safety suffers where projects are under-designed, and that alongside regulation, there is a need for robust management attention to the contractual structures, incentives, processes and tools that enable clients and designers to understand material practices of construction and operation. © 2013 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
AU - Larsen,GD
AU - Whyte,J
DO - 10.1080/01446193.2013.798424
EP - 690
PY - 2013///
SN - 0144-6193
SP - 675
TI - Safe construction through design: perspectives from the site team
T2 - Construction Management and Economics
UR -
VL - 31
ER -