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Building a safer, more efficient future for construction with ISO 19650-6 standards

4 April, 2024

The construction industry is poised for a transformative leap with the advent of the ISO 19650-6 guidelines, a new beacon in the digital transformation of construction. Focused on the meticulous management of health and safety information, ISO 19650-6 heralds a new era of efficiency, safety and collaborative synergy in construction projects. 

This standard not only encapsulates the essence of construction safety standards but also paves the way for a more integrated and informed approach to building. By embracing these guidelines, the construction sector is stepping into a future where every project benefits from enhanced safety protocols and streamlined information management, ensuring that every stakeholder is better equipped to contribute to a safer, more productive building environment.

A recent webinar hosted by Denise Chevin of Project Safety Journal brought this forthcoming standard into focus, featuring insights from Nick Nisbet, the mind behind ISO 19650-6.




ISO 19650-6 explained


ISO 19650-6 is set to complete the transition of the PAS 1192 series to international standards while introducing vital guidance for health and safety information management. Nick Nisbet, the author of the new standard, provided insights into its development and the industry's feedback.

Expert insights: Nick Nisbet on ISO 19650-6


According to Nisbet, the standard will merge the principles of collaborative BIM (Building Information Modeling) with health and safety information management, thereby enhancing the availability and accumulation of information to foster better outcomes.

He shared, "We are joining together the ideas about collaborative BIM that we've seen in ISO 19650, with the particular issue of health and safety information... using the 19650 process to identify issues to share and accumulate information and to converge on solutions, and this is exactly the same model as we see in Part 2 for projects and Part 3 for asset management.

“But by increasing the availability of information, we hope that the industry can produce better results."


The process and its milestones


Nisbet highlighted the rigorous ISO standards process, which involves feedback and review from industry and standards communities across numerous countries. This process ensures that the standard, upon its publication, will have undergone thorough scrutiny and consensus building among professionals globally.

"This global review process is what makes the standard not just thorough, but universally applicable," he remarked.



Key features and discussion points


ISO 19650-6 plays a crucial role in managing safety information in construction, advocating for a seamless integration of health and safety data with BIM processes.

      • Enhanced collaboration through information sharing: ISO 19650-6 advocates for identifying issues, sharing and accumulating information across all project phases—pre-construction, construction and use. This approach aims to mitigate risks and enhance safety outcomes.

 

      • Integrating with BIM: The standard emphasizes integrating health and safety information with BIM processes. This integration is crucial for maintaining a comprehensive project information model (PIM) that includes health and safety considerations.

      • Database schema for asset information: A formal database schema will assist application developers in creating comprehensive risk registers that stakeholders can share throughout the project lifecycle.

      • Scope and application: The standard's scope includes defining how health and safety information is shared and used but not how it's developed. It respects existing legal frameworks for risk management, aiming to enhance communication rather than dictate risk assessment methods.



Moving forward


As ISO 19650-6 approaches its final stages of development, it stands as a testament to the construction industry's commitment to improving health and safety management through better information sharing and management practices. The widespread anticipation for its release underscores a unified drive towards embracing more collaborative, efficient and safer project management methodologies.

This standard is poised to introduce significant benefits to project management by streamlining health and safety protocols and bolstering collaborative efforts across all project phases.

"We’re trying to make sure there's a single source of narrative truth. The origin of the Common Data Environment (CDE) was to ensure the preservation of the project's narrative—documenting who knew what, did what and viewed what—when.

"And of course, we're also trying to achieve a single source of descriptive truth, a single stake or a description of the project, and any outstanding risks and opportunities. This approach underscores to clients that integrating information management and BIM fosters a more collaborative and integrated approach to the way projects and asset management is delivered."

Nick Nisbet, author of ISO 19650-6


Looking ahead


Nisbet's involvement and the global feedback loop underscore a shared vision for a future where project and asset management are seamlessly integrated with health and safety protocols.

However, he did mention there’s one issue that has been particularly challenging within 1192—distinguishing between 'real requirements' and 'information requirements' for health and safety. It's essential to clarify this, as information requirements are indeed critical. You need to differentiate, for example, between client requirements and the information that supports these. Ensuring clarity here is vital for accurately reflecting these concepts in contractual documents and project standards.

Find out more on ISO 19650-6, watch the webinar, ‘Understanding ISO 19650-6: health and safety information management’ on-demand now.

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