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Design & Technology

Health and safety

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Health and safety is an integral part of designing a product. A risk assessment should be carried out to identify and help reduce the risk of a hazard occurring.

Identifying and reducing the risks

A designer needs to consider health and safety throughout the designing process.

Safety during the making of the product

The designer must make sure that the materials and process used to make the product will not cause harm to the maker.

Safety of the product when it is used

To ensure safety of the product when it is used, the designer needs to check that:

  • the product is strong enough to support the loads involved.
  • the materials are suitable for the purpose and have no adverse effects.
  • all hazards are sufficiently guarded (electrical insulation, moving parts, folding components, etc).

Safety of the finished product when disposed of after use

To ensure safety when a product is disposed of, a designer should consider the following points:

  • Can the component parts and different materials be dismantled without harm?
  • will dismantling result in the release of toxic or harmful substances?
  • Will recycling materials, eg melting down, cause release of toxic or harmful substances?

A designer must consider how the product could affect the safety of the user. If someone could be injured by using or disposing of the product, it should be redesigned.

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