While Prevention through Design (PtD) may be considered a "hot topic" within the safety industry, many organizations have been slow to adopt its practices. Reasons for this range from lack of information, limited examples to validate its worth, and the changes required to typical project development. This case study provides background on this emerging topic and offers details of how PtD is being effectively applied on a complex project. The resulting safety improvements and cost savings realized on this project illustrate the benefits that can be achieved by implementing PtD. Armed with this knowledge, safety professionals can help educate architectural and engineering (A/E) consultants—the "designers" in the Prevention through Design system—so PtD can be utilized to its maximum benefit.
This case study shows how the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) used a virtual inspection of a design model to prevent fall hazards from being designed into a building renewal. AOC often undertakes design and building projects as part of fulfilling its mission to serve Congress and the Supreme Court, preserve America's Capitol, and inspire memorable experiences. AOC is responsible for the operations and care of more than 17.4 million square feet of facilities, 580 acres of grounds on Capitol Hill and other areas in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia, and thousands of works of art. Many of these facilities are historic, with limited space and, in some cases, outdated systems. AOC must make use of available technology and tools to design modern systems and incorporate the latest safety advances into these facilities, while preserving the historic character and aesthetics the American people expect.
Organizations that have applied PtD programs have benefited from meaningful results: life-threatening work hazards are reduced, productivity is improved, and costs are lowered.