The DG Method focus on the different people types that will interface with the implemented development of a design. A good example of this situation occurs in road design to road construction to road maintenance to road demolition and disposal. During the design it is vital to consider the different people types who would interact with the road and how they will interact with this environment. Once you have done this, you then go on to analyse the risks associated with the people type interactions, and then what measures can be undertaken to eliminate these risks. If the risks can not be reasonably practicably eliminated then mitigation measures will need to be found.
Identifying People Types
The first step of the DG Method is to identify the different people types who will interact with your road environment. Focusing on those people who facility actions to either develop, construct, or demolish. This can usually be a stock standard list and can include people such as:
- Road safety auditors
- Utilities locators
- Site inspectors
- Constructors (and usually this can include demolishers)
The second step is to identify the relevant other people types that will utilise the road environment:
- Car drivers
- Bus drivers
- Heavy vehicle drivers
- Restricted access vehicles / Controlled vehicles
- Emergency facilitators (fire, ambulance, police, state emergency service)
The third step is to identify utility providers who will need to work within the road environment. These utility providers can include:
- National broadband network (NBN)
- Telecommunications networks
- High and low pressure gas
- Special gas and fluids, for example ethane pipelines or petroleum pipelines
- CCTV networks
The fourth step is to then identify people types who are unique to the site. This can often be associated with the adjacent land use, as well as those users who will need to access through the road. For example:
- Golf courses (for example golfers walking across a road with a buggy, golfers playing adjacent to roadways, etc)
- Pubs, hotels, clubs, etc (including drunk patrons, large crowds waiting to enter or leave, etc)
- Sporting fields / parks
- Train stations / bus interchanges
- Shopping centres
- Retirement villages
For the fourth step it is often easiest to identify the land use first and then try to work out who are the likely people types to interface with the road environment. For example retirement villages could include both elderly people, as well as the people coming to visit them. Schools might include the school children, but would also include the parents, carers and teachers interacting with the road environment.
Identifying How Interactions Occur
Once you have identified all of the possible people types that are likely to interact within and around your site, you then need to identify how those people types are likely to interact. This can occur between themselves, or within the road environment. You need to think about interactions in terms of safety in design risk zoning that surround each participant within an interaction.
Interactions will vary from people type to people type. For example with pedestrians, it would be a good idea to have a pedestrian management plan prior to going in to the workshop. For strategic level projects, this may be as simple as a couple of hand drawn lines sketched onto a design plan. But don’t forget that interactions can also be time based. In this case you would need to develop construction staging plans and then consider the pedestrian management plan for each stage of construction.
This stage of the process is a brainstorming type session in which you try to identify interactions. Almost at the same time you will try to identify the risks that occur for each of the people types. The easiest way to identify how the interactions occur and what are the risks is by going through each of the people types, one at a time, and exhausting the interaction types and risks. Once you have done this for a particular people type, you then move on to the next people type you identified earlier.
Identifying What Risks Occur from the People Type Interactions
Identifying the risks is an important part of the process. There may be more than one risk or type of risk for each people type interacting with the environment. Safety in design should really only consider the safety of people within the context of the safety in design process. Consideration of flora and fauna should be avoided as a general rule and would be more likely suitable in some sort of environmental risk assessment. However, if any flora or fauna has a direct impact on the safety of people, this should then be considered as a safety by design issue.
For example, some leaves on the road is not likely to be a safety by design issue. However, if there are large volumes of leave on the road, or large volumes of leaves that block drains with the water spilling onto the road creating potential aquaplaning issues, then these situations are likely to cause safety by design issues.
Eliminating the risks to the people types you identify is the first priority. Where it is not reasonably practicable to eliminate these risks, mitigation measures are likely to be identified.