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Health and safety in the construction industry is getting a welcome boost thanks to funding from HS2 via the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK.

A new customisable online training tool is now in development by specialists in cloud-based Building Information Modelling (BMI) and digital twins, 3D Repo, in partnership with 4D consultancy, Freeform and Balfour Beatty Vinci JV.

The new tool is set to replace the generic training videos and presentations that are normally shown with live walkthroughs of site-specific 4D (construction sequencing) visualisations based on existing BIM models which can be understood in any language.

Generic safety training is set to be replaced by real-time, site-specific visualisations that will be delivered via an easy-to-use cloud-based user interface.  Health and Safety aspects will be coordinated with the HSE’s ‘Discovering Safety Programme’, to help enhance opportunities for compliance and reusability across other contractors.

Funding for this new training system will be provided via a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) innovation competition funded by High Speed Two (HS2) and managed by Innovate UK. The competition aims to deliver innovation which will drive project effectiveness and process for use during the design and construction phase of HS2.

Dan Fawcett, Head of Innovation & Transformation at Balfour Beatty Vinci, said: “Our number one priority is to be ‘Be Safe and Well’ when constructing HS2, and BBV’s work on 4D Constructability Reviews with 3D Repo to date is a great example of innovating to improve health and safety. Introducing further collaboration with Freeform and HSE to build on this work is yet another step forward in ensuring no injury, ill health or incident is caused by our work activities.”

James Bowles, Founder of Freeform, said: “4D models use graphical and non-graphical project information including time, resource, and logistics management to create more predictable, robust plans and sequences. With 3D Repo, we are developing a novel online tool which allows for simple planning and visualisation of intricate tasks to improve health and safety not only on HS2, but for the entire construction industry.”

By using the power of the cloud, this new training system is to provide centralised tracking of induction performance with full audit trail and reporting to measure effectiveness.

Work on the new 4D health and safety toll began last month, March 201 and follows from a recent announcement about adoption of new SafetiBase 4D technology which allows works to safely identify and resolve issues using immersive 360 degree screens.

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