Building Information Modelling (BIM) for WHS management

Research question

What is the best practice and implications of using BIM in WHS management?

What is this research about?

The current approach to managing work health and safety on major construction projects is using a WHS Management System. However, technological improvements have seen the rise of “digital engineering” and the use of BIM to facilitate project design, planning and management.

BIM is a 3D model-based process that maps the physical and functional characteristics of a structure.  It aids decision making throughout the planning, design and construction phases, and in the ongoing management of buildings and infrastructure.

The positive benefits of BIM have been recognised world-wide, with ongoing discussions about establishing international standards based on the UK standards and specifications for using BIM.

The interest in BIM in Australia is also growing, with several WHS jurisdictions initiating actions for its use.

This project aims to:

  • better understand the use of BIM for WHS management, including barriers and enablers, and benefits and consequences.
  • compare the use of BIM for WHS management against the current standard for major construction projects; that is, accredited WHS Management Systems.
  • identify preferred models and best practices for WHS and BIM in procurement, and to recommend the best way to evaluate the quality of BIM for WHS management.
  • understand the implications of managing WHS using BIM, and to identify models and practices to ensure compliance with WHS law.

Timeline of project

Project commenced: August 2019

Project completion: Mid 2021

What will the researchers do?

The research aims to deliver:

  1. A comprehensive report encompassing all findings, analyses and discussions captured throughout the project. It details best practices (and associated benefits, constraints and risks) for:
    1. the integration of WHS management in BIM by industry.
    2. the evaluation of WHS management in BIM in a government procurement process.
  2. A guideline for the integration of WHS management in BIM.
  3. A guideline for the evaluation of WHS management in the procurement of BIM

Research partners and stakeholders

Torrens University Australia

Western Sydney University

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