DfOSH-CMI Background Information

It is well established that design is a significant contributor to occupational injuries and illnesses in the construction sector. Consequently, design for occupational safety and health (DfOSH), also called "prevention through design" or "safety in design" is increasingly becoming prominent in the construction sector. DfOSH in construction involves the identification and mitigation of occupational safety and health (OSH) risks right from the early stage of the design process of a building or structure. DfOSH requires that designers (e.g. architects and engineers) give careful consideration to how their design decisions would affect the OSH of builders, maintenance workers, and users of built assets.

In the UK, DfOSH is buttressed by the Construction (Design and Management) (CDM) Regulations (latest version: CDM 2015) which seek to integrate OSH into the design and management of construction works from the inception stage. CDM 2015 stipulates that designers (organisations or individuals), when preparing or modifying designs, should eliminate, reduce or control foreseeable risks that may arise during the construction, maintenance and use of built assets. CDM 2015 also requires that the appointment of organisations with design responsibilities should be based on their capability. This brings to the fore the important issue of design firms having adequate DfOSH capability for projects. Regardless of regulatory requirements such as CDM 2015, given that design is a significant contributor to occupational injuries and illnesses, it is then imperative that design organisations should have adequate DfOSH capability. Responding to a lack of robust tools for profiling the DfOSH capability of organisations with design responsibilities, DfOSH-CMI was developed through a research project.

DfOSH-CMI Project Team

The core group of individuals and organisations involved in the development of DfOSH-CMI are:

Beyond the core research team, over 30 construction industry professionals with expertise in OSH, architectural and engineering design were consulted during the development of DfOSH-CMI. These professionals engaged in data collection and testing of DfOSH-CMI.


Development of DfOSH-CMI was funded by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (Grant number: EP/N033213/1).

Introductory Video

The introductory video (available at https://vimeo.com/277079841) explains how to use DfOSH-CMI to undertake an organisational capability assessment