17 November 2017

Update: Since this article was first written, all the content from the NBS National BIM Library has moved across to NBS Source.

What is a PAS anyway?

Publicly Available Specifications (PAS) are rapidly-developed standards, specifications, codes of practice or guidelines.

A PAS is developed to meet an immediate market need and follow guidelines set out by the British Standards Insitution (BSI). After two years PASes are reviewed to determine if they require revision, should be withdrawn or become formal British or international standards.

What are PAS 1192-6 and PAS 1192-7?

PAS 1192-6 and PAS 1192-7 are two new documents that will shortly be added to the PAS 1192 framework.

PAS 1192-6 is a specification for collaborative sharing and use of structured health and safety information using BIM.

PAS 1192-7 deals with construction product information by serving as a specification for defining, sharing and maintaining structured digital construction product information.

What is the PAS 1192 framework?

A series of PAS documents set out the requirements for achieving BIM Level 2 by establishing a framework for collaborative working and information requirements.

As a whole the series currently contains:

  • PAS 1192-2: 2013, which deals with the construction (CAPEX) phase, and specifies the requirements for Level 2 maturity; sets out the framework, roles and responsibilities for collaborative BIM working; builds on the existing standard of BS 1192, and expands the scope of the Common Data Environment (CDE).
  • PAS 1192-3: 2014, which deals with the operational (OPEX) phase, focussing on use and maintenance of the Asset Information Model, for Facilities Management.
  • BS 1192-4: 2014, technically a code of practice rather than a specification standard, which documents best practice for the implementation of COBie.
  • PAS 1192-5: 2015, a specification for security-minded building information modelling, digital built environments and smart asset management.

Find out more about the PAS 1192 framework

PAS 1192-6

Why is PAS 1192-6 for sharing health and safety information needed?

As the construction industry embraces its own digital revolution new opportunities exist to spot and forsee risks and hazards earlier and more effectively mitigate them.

Building on the advances in software applications and information systems, an opportunity exists to improve the process of documenting and sharing knowledge of risks throughout the lifecycle of a project, the built asset and across the wider construction industry.

The traditional tools of risk management used by health and safety professionals, documenting safe systems of work through method statements based on risk assessments, are often variable in quality and generic in nature. There is a theory gap in the understanding of how to develop, use and apply these tools within information systems and digital processes.

The increased use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) for both building and infrastructure projects provides greater opportunities to identify “foreseeable risk” much earlier, and continuously, throughout a project’s lifecycle, and to communicate the risks more clearly for use by others.

How can digital construction improve health and safety?

Digital design and construction aims to develop an appropriate ‘information model’ of the project including the shape, location and attributes of the key products and systems, components and equipment, materials and substances, and zones and spaces.

The developing ‘information model’, with relevant and appropriately tagged data, provides enhanced opportunities for the health and safety hazards throughout the project and asset lifecycle to be identified, communicated and addressed.

Project programs are developed relating to the sequences, techniques and resources required to construct the proposed project. Software applications enable multi-discipline 3D models and construction programs to be brought together to create a ‘4D’ time-line model. A 4D animation can be used to review, assess and communicate construction options, hazards and risks. A visual representation of particularly difficult challenges is more easily understood by those who have to take responsibility and accountability for risk mitigation, control and management in both design and construction.

Developing a progressive information model throughout the design stage provides the planners and designers with a direct opportunity to improve the mitigation of risk. The use of 4D time-lined models in design supports the principles relating to ‘inherent safe design’, ‘safety by design’ and the legislative duties on designers.

What does the PAS cover?

The PAS sets out how health and safety information can be identified, shared and used by the key players in the construction process, from initiator to handover.

The PAS builds on current practices in the UK construction industry, where the most advanced digitally enabled projects are using modelling tools and information systems to improve the design and construction; whilst recognising there are very few examples yet where feedback shows that management of the built asset has equally benefitted.

The document specifies requirements for collaborative sharing of health and safety information across the project and asset lifecycle, ensures structured health and safety data is considered from the outset, and provides guidance on how information can be generated and disseminated. In effect it sets out a model for the application of health and safety data and information use throughout BIM processes and applications. The aim being to provide a safer and healthier environment, mitigate hazards and risks, drive improved safety performance and provide clearer, validated and relevant info to those who need it.

What's happened with PAS 1192-6 so far?

A draft version of PAS 1192-6 went out for consultation in February 2017, with a deadline for comment set at the end of March.

The document was funded by British Standards Institute (BSI), the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the Association for Project Safety (APS) and Costain among others and developed by the BIM4Health and Safety Working Group.

Comments were resolved and the document gained approval at the end of June with a publication start date set at 19 February 2018.

Image: First Aid Kit, Alyson Hurt, CC BY-NC


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