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Fall hazard prevention system in an early design stage with BIM

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Last Updated: 3-2019

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The construction industry has one of the highest rate of work related injuries worldwide. Fall
hazards account for most of these injuries. The objective of this thesis is to develop a flowchart
for a fall hazard prevention system that is used in the BIM method to identify fall hazards
using IFC. The fall hazard prevention system is designed to be implemented before
construction is started. The methodology used in this thesis is the waterfall development
model which is a well-known method in software development. The research defines 4
standard situations for fall hazards: an edge of a slab with no walls; an edge with walls; an
opening in a slab; and the roof. The safety rules are based on the dimensions of the building
elements like slabs and walls. With a topological and geometrical approach requirements to
the data representation are given for the most effective method to run such an analysing tool.
After the requirements are set, the requirements are compared with the IFC 4 schema. The
first requirement: openings used must be modelled as a separate element, is satisfied. The
second requirement: a geometry of a building element must be defined as that specific
element, is satisfied. The third requirement: a list of coordinates must be available per
element, is possible but not how it is currently used. The fourth requirement: the topological
relationship must be defined from a building element, is possible but not how it is currently
used. The last requirement: a building element must be modelled as a B-rep, is possible but
not how it is currently used. With these requirement there is determined that the IFC4 needs
to be exported with the Design Tranfer View model view definition. The thesis discusses the
different steps in the flowchart and set requirements to the BIModel. A testcase is conducted
to prove the flowchart can find fall hazards and give the right prevention method.
The flowchart can be further developed in multiple directions. Such as implementing the
flowchart in a programming language. Or implementing more shape representations. The
results serve as a step up towards the development of fall prevention systems using IFC.

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