HS2 Health in Construction
Expedition is working with Mott MacDonald on this project for HS2, which will help designers understand the impact that decisions they take in the early stages of a project can have on the health of construction workers. We are driving research and coordinating the development of digital tools to support choices for improved health outcomes.
This year-long project aims to address the impact of design decisions on the health of site staff, and provide HS2 designers with a robust digital tool that will allow them to consider any health risk to operatives that might arise as a result of choices they make in the design process. The intention is to ensure that health considerations – so often overshadowed by their natural partner, safety – are given greater weight.
We are working with Mott MacDonald to provide assurance that their proof of concept tool has the potential to develop into a viable prototype, using innovation best practice of user-driven development to do so.
The project began in March 2022 with a series of interviews with designers, specialists and experts in the community of practice, drawing on their knowledge to help us establish and test our remit. We built an understanding of what metrics would be necessary to support development of a digital tool, analysing how such a tool would fit within the HS2 design process, and considering what legacy impact it might have across the wider industry.
This work helped us to establish a range of potential use cases for the tool, from generating a weighting score to input into option choice at the concept stage of a design, to creation of a detailed mapping process which designers could use through the detailed design of a project to assist them in avoiding choices that might subsequently have negative health impacts on site.
Identifying the potential benefits and challenges of each use case helped us ensure that effort in the subsequent stages of this project will be directed effectively. The main focus for the second phase is to confirm the user story journey and give more consideration to how to generate meaningful scores that can feed into an options comparison chart. A secondary focus will be to examine the feasibility and time commitment needed to map out a more detailed design process.
The final phase of the project will be the development and deployment of the digital tool itself, when it will be tested on live HS2 projects. A key aspect of the project includes considering how we can motivate designers to give the health of workers greater weight in decision-making, especially when many other conflicting elements such as cost and programme have to be taken into account.