CORDIS - EU research results

Models of Practice in the Management of Occupational Safety and Health Risks During the Pre-Construction Phases of Construction Projects

Project description

Occupational risks management at the pre-construction phase

The EU construction industry is associated with high rates of fatal and non-fatal accidents. Researchers have suggested that reductions of up to 60 % in construction accidents are possible through better design decisions and coordination at the pre-construction stage. EU Directive 1992/57/EEC aims to improve occupational safety and health (OSH) risks management in the construction industry, requiring the introduction of national laws for the appointment of a Pre-Construction Phase Coordinator. However, its efficacy today is questioned across the EU. The EU-funded Pre-COSH project will research roles and practices in OSH risk management during the pre-construction stage, envisaging development of an advanced pre-construction OSH risk management simulator that will decrease accidents and economic losses.


The construction industry (CI) across the EU has a depressing record of fatal and non-fatal accidents. Researchers have reported that reductions of 42-60% in construction accidents are achievable through better design decisions and coordination at pre-construction phase. EU Directive 1992/57/EEC is aimed at improving the management of occupational safety and health (OSH) risks in the CI. It therefore prioritises coordination during the pre-construction phase by requiring national laws to mandate the appointment of a Pre-Construction Phase Coordinator (PCPC). Statistics on UK accidents have sparked debate as to the efficacy of the transposition of the Directive into national law, particularly the provisions on the PCPC, referred to in the current legislation as the Principal Designer. This challenge has resonance across the entire EU. The proposed action is aimed at developing knowledge and understanding of roles and practices in the management of OSH risks at the pre-construction phase towards the ultimate research output in the form of an advanced pre-construction OSH risk management simulator. These outputs will deliver improvements in OSH which, even at 1%, could mean 3706 fewer accidents, equivalent to €43M annual savings. The research will adopt a mixed methodology involving document analysis, focus groups and case studies to determine practice and industry opinion on identified issues. Research informants will comprise experienced construction professionals and expert OSH practitioners. The action will provide knowledge-exchange opportunities between industry and academia, and stimulate practitioner debate on current OSH policy, leading to changes in professional practice and better training of professionals. The Fellow will be the nexus of these exchanges and will thus receive excellent research training that will equip him with knowledge and expertise to become an advocate for better OSH risk management in the CI.


Net EU contribution
€ 224 933,76
WV1 1LY Wolverhampton
United Kingdom

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West Midlands (England) West Midlands Wolverhampton
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 224 933,76