Structured Safety

Hello BIMfans,
With the recent release of PAS 1192-6, the newest core BIM Level 2 publication, there is now a specified process on how to share structured health and safety information.  So, let’s try it out and see if we can deliver this information!

EIR Invocation:

First things first (ironically), If an Employer wants the project’s health and safety information structured as specified with PAS 1192-6, then they will need to say so in their Employer’s Information Requirements.  So, as PAS 1192-6 is now specified in my EIR, I guess I’ll have to follow it.

(open) BIM Usage:

According to PAS 1192-6, 4.3 because I am modelling Tŷ Crempog using BIM processes, clauses 9 (COBie) and 10 (IFC2X3) apply.

From reading this PAS, it is clear that health and safety knows no vendor.  To comply, information shall be shared in open standard structured formats.  Meaning that thanks to PAS 1192-6, IFC2X3 is now a normative BIM Level 2 requirement (Woohoo!).  Thankfully this doesn’t impact on the most important BIM file format…

Loving you is easy ’cause you’re…controlled by ISO/IEC 29500

Clause 10 (IFC):

As only maintainable objects should be captured in COBie, there needs to be a method of capturing risks about other objects; this is where PAS 1192-6, 10 comes in.  It specifies that all health and safety information being shared shall be captured using HS_Risk_UK, a new property set specified within PAS 1192-6, Appendix ANote:  During the final edit, the first column of this table was incorrectly given spaces.  To comply with BS 8541-4, the properties should be written in CamelCase.

Once corrected, I added this property set into my PSet Definition Text File and created Revit shared parameters to match.  Thanks to the changes to my IFC Export Process, my Electrical IFC File now captures this information and places it into the correct property set.



The ease of adding this information was a shocking revelation


Risks can also be non-object related. When this is the case, PAS 1192-6 says that annotation entities (a.k.a floating risk signs), should be used.  To know what these entities should look like, PAS 1192-6, 4.3.3 states that BS ISO 3864-3 should be used.  Note:  This isn’t correct, as BS ISO 3864-3 tells you to use the symbols within BS EN ISO 7010.  Unfortunately, beyond this, PAS 1192-6 provides no further guidance.

This presents a problem.  With only the example being a screenshot in the appendix; I’ve had to go it alone and have produced what I feel is a pragmatic solution.

They say every sign has a story; this looks more like a hare-brained scheme

Shown above is my Master Warning Annotation Entity which has been produced to include all* warnings as separate types (*Only electrical and fall warnings have been added so far).  I have made this entity 700x700mm, 10 times the sign size outlined in BS EN ISO 7010), with a 7mm simplified symbol that displays on drawing plans.  Note:  The symbol is simplified because Revit can’t do lines small than 0.8mm, stupid Revit.

Also, due to the lack details on how to produce annotation entities, I also used the following additional sources to help:

  • BS 1192.  My annotation entity is named ‘Z-PM_80_60_70-M_WarningSymbol‘ to comply with BS 1192Note:  You might have thought that I’d use BS 8541-1. However, this isn’t an object, it’s a symbol. BS 1192 covers the naming of containers with files (i.e. symbols).
  • BS EN ISO 7010.  I extracted the symbols I needed and recreated them using several solid extrusions.  For the sign colour, I used online tools to get the RGB code (243 200 30) and set it to 20% transparency so that the object wouldn’t be opaque.
  • Uniclass 2015Finally, I wanted to give this object a Uniclass 2015 classification.  After some thought I settled on ‘PM_80_60_70: Residual risk information’ as the while the nature of the risk might change, at least all of these objects would be grouped under the same classification.

I might be a little bias, but I think my annotation entity looks quite fancy in my Electrical Native Model FileNote:  The rabbit silhouette is technically not BS EN ISO 7010 compliant.

Now for the real question, will Crempog check the information model before he tries to chew my cables?


COBie, unfortunately, took a lot more effort.

While I had managed to export this information into IFC, after testing xBIMXplorer, the COBie Extension for Revit and BIMserver (Thank you Emma), I couldn’t get the issue sheet to populate.  This was because PAS 1192-6 introduced HS_Risk_UK and with it a new method of structuring risks.  Existing COBie export tools haven’t yet reacted to this new process.  Currently, COBie looks for approvals to populate its issue sheet, but it is now having to look for objects.  Note:  While PAS 1192-6 appears to go against IFC2X3, the authors have confirmed that HS_Risk_UK is a draft proposal for updating Pset_Risk so feedback on this process will be used to update the IFC Schema.

Luckily I had a plan.  As I know the members of xBIM Development Team, I could ask them to patch the exporter to comply with PAS 1192-6.  Looking at xBIM’s GitHub, I identified the problem and proposed a rough solution for them to test and implement.  After a few emails, some black magic and only a couple of hours, we had managed to successfully export COBie with the issue sheet being populated as intended.  Note:  To get the validation to work, I’ve had to expand my picklist further to capture the new enumerations.

Note:  This patch is now live, anyone using xBIMXplorer can now benefit from the fantastic work that the xBIM Development Team have done.  

Those of you who have been following this blog will know that xBIMXplorer is my go-to IFC/COBie tool.  While it isn’t perfect, it’s free, open-source and as I’ve shown in this post, able to quickly respond to user needs.  I highly recommend you try it for yourselves.

If however, you want to comply with PAS 1192-6 but don’t want to build xBIMXplorer, there is another way.  After I asked for help on Twitter,  Nick Nisbet of AEC3 volunteered his help and also managed to use the same IFC files to automate the export of PAS 1192-6 compliant information using AEC3 BimServices 2018.  If you need a bit of COBie support, I’m certain that Nick can help.

And there we have it.  Less than a week after PAS 1192-6 was released, the processes have been tested and successfully demonstrated.  I managed to test HS_Risk_UK myself and thanks to Nick Nisbet and the xBIM Development Team, we have shown that automated COBie population of the issue sheet is possible using more than one method; fantastic!

Note:  If you have any comments regarding my structured health and safety information or PAS 1192-6, then please let me know either on Twitter, or by commenting below.

Update:  The HS_Risk_UK property set was missing three properties (AssociatedProduct, AssociatedActivity and AssociatedSpace).  This was done intentionally to be automated during export into COBie, but my method is incorrect as they are mandatory fields.  They have now been included in the Pset Definition file, screenshot and downloadable files.  Thank you, Nick Nisbet.

6 thoughts on “Structured Safety

  1. That’s a very quick turnaround for a test/fail/test/pass process. As ever, your expedience and diligence will make the road clearer for the masses.


    • Hi William, that is a very good question.

      Short answer. I don’t know (I will ask the author and reply back). Sitting additional risks on the hazard entities is a quick ‘n’ dirty solution.

      Long answer. Hopefully, you would never need to. The intention isn’t to add every risk (for example, I have chosen not to include working at height when replacing my bulbs). Effective risk management can only be achieved when competent contractors are given ‘unusual risks’. By that, I mean that a risk assessment shouldn’t include that bricks are heavy and glass is sharp. I did an IOSHH course years ago that really put this into perspective. As such, I wouldn’t expect too many risks being recorded in this manner, and if so, perhaps the problem is actually an unsafe design solution.


  2. ‘Elevated Risks’ can be freestanding objects or attached to places or to things: the associated product, activity and location means that rabbits, living rooms and wires can be safer everywhere from now on!


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