Design for safety in construction: a study of design professionals in Kuwait

Mohammed Sharar, Kofi Agyekum, Patrick Manu*, Che Khairil Izam Che Ibrahim, Abdul Majeed Mahamadu, Maxwell Fordjour Antwi-Afari, Frederick Owusu Danso

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Design for safety (DfS), also known as prevention through design (PtD), is a concept that mitigates accidents and hazards through considerations during the design stage of building projects. The literature provides much information on this concept, but such information is only limited to a few developed countries such as the UK, the USA and Australia. There is limited insight into DfS implementation in the construction industry of several countries, including countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) such as Kuwait. Therefore, this study investigates DfS implementation among design professionals in the Kuwait construction industry. Design/methodology/approach: The study used a questionnaire survey to obtain data from design professionals. The data were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics (i.e. analysis of variance and t-test). Findings: The results revealed that DfS awareness among design professionals is very high; there is a very high willingness among design professionals to apply the concept, and design professionals generally view DfS implementation as important. Despite these, the frequency of implementation of DfS practices is generally moderate. In addition, the results revealed that though there is a high interest in DfS training among the design professionals, their actual engagement in training is low. The results also suggest some association between the frequency of engagement in the DfS practices and designers' DfS awareness, training and education. DfS related regulations, industry guidance, formal education and training are considered by design professionals to have the greatest influence on DfS implementation in Kuwait. Originality/Value: These emerging findings both mirror and contradict aspects of the outcomes of previous DfS studies in other countries. Furthermore, the findings from this study provide insights into a less investigated area regarding work-related health and safety in the GCC region. It offers new and additional information and insights into the current state-of-the-art DfS implementation in the construction industry in Kuwait. In view of the findings, joined-up efforts by government, industry and academia are needed to enhance DfS implementation by design professionals in Kuwait.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation
Early online date18 Mar 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Mar 2022

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  • Construction
  • Design
  • Design for safety
  • Health and safety
  • Survey


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