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The Need for Prevention through Design in Civil Engineering Curricula

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

Fostering Transformational Change in Civil Engineering

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

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Paper Authors


T. Michael Toole P.E. Bucknell University

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T. Michael Toole is Associate Dean of the College of Engineering, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Director of the Grand Challenge Scholars Program at Bucknell University. He received his B.S. in Civil Engineering from Bucknell University and his M.S. in Civil Engineering and his Ph.D. in Technology Strategy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has published journal articles, book chapters and conference papers and received research grants on construction safety, construction innovation, and project management since joining the Bucknell faculty in 1999. Dr. Toole is a professional civil engineer registered in Pennsylvania and a member of the Order of the Engineer. He initiated and maintains

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Prevention through Design (PtD) is an innovative safety management technique in which design professionals explicitly consider the safety of construction and maintenance workers during the design process. PtD (also called Design for Construction Safety) is a direct application of a safety management framework called the Hierarchy of Control and of the principle that the ability to influence the achievement of a project goal diminishes over the design and construction cycle. PtD has been required in Europe for over two decades but adoption in the U.S. has been slow. This paper provides overviews of the PtD concept and process and identifies the challenges to the diffusion of PtD, peer-reviewed educational resources on PtD, and ways that PtD could be added to individual civil engineering courses. It is suggested that PtD provides a compelling context to teach related topics, including engineering ethics, social sustainability, integrated design and construction, life cycle safety, and comparative public policy.

Toole, T. M. (2016, June), The Need for Prevention through Design in Civil Engineering Curricula Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26990

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