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BIMSafe NZ Could Be A Health And Safety Game-changer

An upcoming state-of-the-art office building in Dunedin will be the case study for new safety trials, aimed at lowering the high number of workplace accidents in the building industry.

The construction industry represents 8% of the workforce, but accounts for more than 16% of ACC work claims, at a cost of $158 million annually.

BIMSafe NZ is a three-year, $1.7m partnership between the building industry and government and aims to reduce accident and injury rates in New Zealand through greater understanding, communication, and mitigation of risk.

The project is funded by ACC’s Workplace Injury Prevention Grants and MBIE and is a collaboration between the Canterbury Safety Charter and the Building Innovation Partnership (BIP) at the University of Canterbury.

BIMSafe NZ aims to reduce workplace harm by developing best practice guidelines for integrating health and safety information into BIM models and then enabling workers to access the models in real-time.

The future ACC office building in Dunedin will be used as a case study to trial the guidelines, and provide feedback on their effectiveness.

The building will feature 8000 square metres of office space. Construction will be undertaken by Ngāi Tahu Property starting March 2022 and is expected to be completed in early 2024.

Ngāi Tahu Property Development Manager, James Jackson says the construction project is the perfect opportunity for the safety trials.

“BIMSafe NZ is set to be a game-changer for the industry, and we are looking forward to playing a part in achieving this.”

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The use of BIM in New Zealand construction projects has doubled in the last five years and is now a requirement on all Government facilities projects valued at greater than $5 million.

Brad Sara, BIMSafe Advisory Group member and Head of Technology at Warren and Mahoney says the BIMSafe NZ project will be a step-change for how health and safety is procured and delivered in New Zealand. This will extend the capability of the health and safety design process into the realm of computer gaming.

As the use of Health and Safety Integrated BIM gains momentum with subcontractors and workers, the industry is expected to experience a positive cycle of uptake, impact, and most importantly, change.

Virginia Burton-Konia, Manager, Workplace Safety, ACC says people are the most important thing in any company and taking care of them should be every employer’s top priority.

“ACC is committed to partnering with Industry to support initiatives that enable sector/industry groups to strive for an improvement in workplace health, safety, and wellbeing.

“We know that where businesses are able to keep their workforces safe and well and free from injury, they are more likely to see increased worker engagement at every step of their improvement journey. Ultimately this also results in higher business productivity.”

The knowledge garnered from this project through the guidelines, case study and technology will have far-reaching benefits. Sharing this knowledge through education and engagement of the wider industry provides the opportunity to transform the construction sector and literally save lives.

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