About Design for Safety

Learn about Design for Safety (DfS) and the relevant laws and industry standards. Understand the duties of the various stakeholders involved.

Definition: Design for Safety

Design for Safety (DfS) is the process of identifying and reducing safety and health risks through good design at the conceptual and planning phases of a project.

Laws and Industry Standards

As a developer or designer, you are expected to comply with Singapore's WSH laws. You should pay particular attention to:

You should also observe the WSH Guidelines on Design for Safety.


Stakeholders and Duties


  • Work together with the designer to ensure foreseeable design risks are eliminated or reduced.
  • Communicate foreseeable design risks, allocate sufficient time and appropriate resources for designers and contractors to perform their duties.


DfS Professionals

  • Convene DfS Review Meetings on behalf of the developer.
  • Keep an updated copy of DfS Register.
  • Provide all relevant information on each foreseeable risk identified and its mitigation to the developer.



  • Ensure foreseeable design risks are eliminated or reduced through the design plan.
  • Ensure collective protective measures are taken to manage any residual design risks.
  • Ensure all relevant information on design, construction and maintenance are available to stakeholders.



  • Inform developer or main contractor of any foreseeable risks.
  • Provide all relevant information and ensure persons (e.g. subcontractors) hired are competent to carry out their duties.
  • Carry out risk assessments to mitigate risks.
  • Ensure safety during the construction phase.



  • Keep a copy of the DfS Register.
  • Communicate all foreseeable risks to persons carrying out maintenance and future works.
  • Hand over DfS Register to future owners.


Watch the DfS Video below to learn more about the various stakeholders involved in a construction project and how they can work together to improve WSH outcomes through DfS.