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Construction Industry Assessed on Health and Safety Performance

The Strategic Forum for Construction (SFfC) releases its fourth report on Health and Safety Performance in the Construction Industry for 2004-2005.

Since the Safety Summit in Feburary 2001, SFfC states in the report that real progress has been made in the quest to make the construction industry a healthier and safer one. The preparation of this report was undertaken by the industry Working Group, rather than its regulator, the HSE, and emphasizes the industry’s commitment to this cause and determination to tackle the issues confronting the industry.

Falling Injury Rates

The report contains three telling statistics that chart the progress made to date. Firstly, the rate of fatal injury to workers in construction during 2004-5 fell to 3.4 per 100,000 workers ““ the lowest rate on record. Secondly, the rate of major injury to workers in construction during 2004-5 fell by five % to 3,760 ““ again the lowest rate on record. Thirdly, since the 2001 Safety Summit, accident rates have fallen by 42 % for fatal accidents, 21 % for major injury accidents and 35 % for over three-day injury accidents.

James Wates, the new Chairman of the Strategic Forum states that: “The report portrays the success of the many initiatives introduced by the industry, in collaboration with clients, Government and trade unions, are having a positive effect, not just on statistics but the attitudes of workers and employers alike. However, there is more work to be done.”

He adds that the core Forum will follow up the report in May, with a focus meeting with Lord Hunt of Kings Heath OBE, the Minister for Health and Safety, and the Department for Work and Pensions.

2012 Driving Agenda

Looking ahead, the 2012 Olympics offer a real opportunity to drive the safety agenda forward. The Olympic Commitments, which will be published by the SFfC, sets out the six key areas considered vital to delivering the Games on time and to budget, of which Health and Safety is one. The document clearly highlights that Health and Safety concerns must be addressed and dealt with throughout the project process from the out-set and will be involved in every aspect of the planning and implementation of the project.

John Spanswick, Chairman of the SFfC, says: “Much still remains to be done, but we are making headway in the cause of safety and the Strategic Forum’s Health and Safety Task Group will continue to promote and support all ideas and actions that help to create a safer working environment on Britain’s construction sites.”

So, should the implementation of these outcomes result to fruition, it may encourage more young people to develop a career in the construction industry.

Sudakshina Mukherjee

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