Many North American construction companies are lauding building information modeling (BIM) safety programs for their higher project return on investment, less injuries and faster production.
Surveying 263 general contractors, specialty contractors and engineering firms, McGraw-Hill Construction found that BIM lowers labour costs, material costs for engineers and contractors, and provides off-site fabrication capabilities and better schedule compression.
At the Georgia Institute of Technology, professors Jochen Teizer and Chuck Eastman are developing rule-checking software that applies OSHA requirements to 4D BIM models to identify temporary conditions such as stairs without railings and pour breaks in slabs.
“We catch slab edges without wall barriers, openings in walls that have a non-safe sill and holes in slabs that people or things can fall through,” said Eastman, in the report.
The application will also identify the corrective action and inserts it into the schedule for implementation. Their technology won the first BIM & Safety Competition.
“The more complex the task, the more powerful the effect BIM models can have,” said Charlie Bird, loss prevention director for Balfour Beatty. “So far, we’ve used these models to explain safer methods for site excavations, trenching, benching and access, but the applications are nearly endless.”