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CN Barometer: Industry leaders call for greater collaboration to improve safety

Respondents to the latest quarterly Construction News Barometer have called for greater collaboration to improve health and safety in the industry.

In the Q3 survey, 90 per cent said the UK was a world leader for health and safety, but most also believed more could be done to help improve the health and safety record of the UK construction industry.

“Greater collaboration” and “joined-up leadership” between contractors, clients and the Health and Safety Executive topped the list of respondents’ suggestions to improve safety.

Asked what could or should be done, one respondent said: “A more unified approach to safety by leading tier ones showing strong joined-up leadership, with a consistent approach as to how the industry can further improve and eliminate workplace accidents.”

“Behavioural safety and the prevailing site culture are the most effective ways of providing an incident-free environment”

CN Barometer respondent

Another called for “more HSE seminars for project managers; more sharing between construction companies; and data on an equal basis so comparators are easier.”

Two respondents wanted to see “greater collaboration across the industry”.

A number of those surveyed suggested better training should be delivered to improve health and safety, while also addressing on-site attitudes to health and safety.

“For the contractor on site it has become very procedural and almost a management function in its own right,” one respondent said.

“Behavioural safety and the prevailing site culture are the most effective ways of providing an incident-free environment.”

Another commented that the government could help to encourage better safety training and an experienced workforce by providing an even flow of public sector work.

Several respondents also said the industry should take a more punitive approach towards poor health and safety by naming and shaming or imposing “stiffer penalties for breaches”.

One respondent said government should preclude firms with a poor health and safety record from bidding for public sector jobs, while another said contractors should be ranked in league tables according to their record.

Construction News Barometer

The Construction News Barometer is a survey sent to chief executives, chairmen and senior directors of the top 100 contractors in the UK, ranked according to turnover.

The survey contained a total of 24 questions and was open from 13 August until 28 August. It was completed by 42 industry leaders.


Readers' comments (1)

  • In February 2006 CN and HSE started a 'name and shame' campaign with a league table of the 100 companies with the most violations.
    CN's safety supplement which launched the campaign stated ''The survey shows that H&S violations are still too common, even among some of the largest players. As a result CN intends to carry out an annual audit of enforcement action and fines for the top 100 contractors.''
    Although CN acknowledged at the time 'statistics are a blunt tool' I would support the view that boards of directors are likely to take note of their position in the table, which may lead to more effective safety leadership.

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