Building and Civils Working Group

The Safe by Design (SbD) Buildings and Civils Working Group has recently been changed to the Health and Safety by Design (H&SbD) Buildings and Civils Working Group, as part of a wider programme of updates which are work in progress. It involves Network Rail working collaboratively with its valued supply chain to embed health and safety into construction and infrastructure operation through improvements at the design stage. The H&SbD Building and Civils Working Group is chaired by Andy Barnes (Arcadis Design and Consultancy).

What are our priorities:

The five priority workstreams of the Building and Civils Working Group are:

  1. Adherence to our H&SbD Principles,
  2. Early focus on constructability and temporary works –
  3. Improving awareness of Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (2015) roles and responsibilities,
  4. Dissemination of Lessons Learnt and Good Practice (LL and GP) on our projects and those from the wider industry
  5. Design, procurement, and programme

Publications (please see attachments on this page):

  • The H&SbD B&C WG Principles, issue 2.1 have been developed jointly by Network Rail and its Supply Chain Partners in the H&SbD B &C Working Group. They set down the principles which we are all are expected to adhere to when developing and implementing designs, embodying good practice. Please make use of these H&SbD Principles in your work.
  • SbD briefing note 01, our first briefing note, focuses on Design Risk Assessment and the steps we are taking to improve the consistency and quality of how significant hazards are communicated in design. This needs updating and will be updated in early 2024.
  • H&SbD Guidance Note; Early Focus on Constructability and Temporary Works, issue 4. Network Rail experiences a disproportionately high number of incidents / problems relating to Constructability and Temporary Works. Inadequate focus in these areas leads to reduced safety risk and improved execution of design and implementation, together with a reduction in re-work to fix problems. This Health & Safety by Design, Buildings & Civils WG Guidance has recently been through a comprehensive review by a Working Group including members of Network Rail and our valued supply chain. Although written by B&C team, it applies to multidisciplinary projects involving temporary works, which includes the temporary state of permanent works. This issue 4 update includes extensive updates to most sections, updated and new lessons learnt & good practice with narratives, a new section on managing change, new appendices & updates to all references. We see this as a live guidance document and welcome input as to how it can be further improved or expanded. Please email with any comments.
  • H&SbD B&C guidance on use of Warning Triangles; issue 3. This guidance has been through a comprehensive review by a Working Group including members of Network Rail and our valued supply chain. Issue 3 added August 2022
  • Lifesaving Rules Aide Memoir. The H&SbD B&C Working Group have updated our Aide Memoir for designers to embed the Life Saving Rules within Designs.  Updated issue v3.0 is attached.  We encourage designers to print the document to add to noticeboards and make use of this tool as guidance to help to ensure their designs are safe by design. Instructions for use are included, as is a blank page for additional entries on the word copy and an alternative format in excel. Feedback is welcomed.

Collaboration Site:

The Network Rail Collaboration Site now includes an area dedicated to Building and Civils related information on H&SbD. It provides a platform for sharing H&SbD information and best practices and is intended to help facilitate an industry conversation aimed at H&SbD. You can find all meeting documents on this site.

Please note the SbD collaboration site is only available to internal users at this time due to ongoing IT upgrades and we will advise when the new platform is ready

How to get in touch:

If you have any queries regarding the content of this page or if you want to get in touch with the Health & Safety by Design Building and Civils Working Group please email Steve Williams on

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