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VIDEO: ConstructionSkills and UCATT call for better communication to improve site safety

ConstructionSkills and construction union, UCATT have produced a video calling for construction firms to improve on-site communication in a bid to reduce accidents numbers.

The new film, The Worker Engagement Toolkit, demonstrates the behavioural changes businesses need to make to reduce deaths and accidents in the construction industry

It examines a variety of businesses, speaking to managing directors, foremen and workers, and offers working examples of how accidents have reduced over time when worker engagement has been effectively carried out.

Research by Glasgow Caledonian University, commissioned by the HSE, found that the lack of communication between management and the workforce led to preventable accidents taking place. As a result ConstructionSkills and UCATT have been working together to address the root-causes of the patterns in behaviour that can lead to accidents occurring.

Kevin Fear, head of health, safety and environment, ConstructionSkills said: “We have already seen evidence that worker engagement is vital in terms of driving down accident and fatality rates, and as the industry’s Sector Skills Council, we want to promote this across the board using this film as a guide. With entire workforces becoming more open and honest, both productivity and safety can be improved.”

Alan Ritchie, General Secretary of Construction Union, UCATT, added: “ All the evidence shows that construction sites which are well organised, where workers are directly employed and where there are a high number of independent health and safety representatives, are far safer than casualised sites where bosses pay lip service to safety.”

Heyrod Construction, one of the firms featured in the film, implemented a strategy called Site Supervisor Health and Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS) in 2005 to increase communication and awareness around health and safety within the firm

Mike Routledge, IMS manager at the company said: “[It has] led to a noticeable improvement in the way we operate. In addition, it’s not just us who have experienced a positive shift, but our clients are happier than ever with our work as a result of the health and safety procedures we have implemented. It has impacted significantly on our turnover that has increased from £40m to £95m, which is extremely encouraging given the current economic climate.”

The first 20 copies of the DVD are free on a first come first served basis after which it will cost £20 and is available to buy from ConstructionSkills on: www.cskills.org/publications or calling 0344 994 41 22