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With the rapid development of digital information and modelling software applications for construction, questions have arisen about their impact on construction safety. Meanwhile, recognition that designers can help reduce risks involved in construction, operation and maintenance via a prevention through design (PtD) approach (also known as design for safety) highlights the significance of digital technologies and tools to PtD. Thus, this paper aims to provide a systematic review of a wide range of digital technologies for enhancing PtD.Design/methodology/approachA five-stage systematic literature review with coding and synthesis of findings is presented. The review covers journal articles published between 2000 and 2020 related to the applications of various digital technologies, such as building information modelling (BIM), 4D, databases, ontologies, serious games, virtual reality and augmented reality, for addressing safety issues during the design phase in construction.FindingsAnalysis of the articles yielded a categorisation of the digital applications for PtD into four main areas: knowledge-based systems; automatic rule checking; hazard visualization; and safety training for designers. The review also highlighted designers’ limited knowledge towards construction safety and the possibility to address this by using gaming environments for educating designers on safety management and using artificial intelligence for predicting hazards and risks during design stage in a BIM environment. Additionally, the review proposes other directions for future research to enhance the use of digital technologies for PtD.Originality/valueThis paper contextualises current digital technology applications for construction health and safety and enables future directions of research in the field to be identified and mapped out.
Construction Innovation: Information, Process, Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 28, 2022
Keywords: BIM; Construction safety; Digital design; Design for safety; Prevention through design; Safety management; Design and construction; Information systems/management; Health and safety; IT building design’s construction; Virtual reality and visualization
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