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Calls for safety register to manage risk

A health and safety risk register that embraces all stages of project delivery must be drawn up and adhered to if fatal workplace accidents are to be prevented, a construction chief has warned.

Specialist Engineering Contractors’ Group chief executive Rudi Klein called for the register after research by the group revealed poor management of health and safety risks within the construction industry.

The SEC Group report, based on responses from 400 engineering contractors working in construction supply chains on large projects, comes two weeks after six construction workers died on site in five days.

The research found that too often little is done to manage risk before people start work on site - firms are told on Friday to start work the following Monday.

Other information about site safety risks is not always made available to firms before beginning work, despite this being legally required.
Mr Klein called for an amendment to the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 to include a requirement for firms to set up a project health and safety plan.

“It would be like a risk register, you’ll have the risks set out and then you’ll have the measures that are to be taken either to reduce or eradicate them,” Mr Klein told CN.

“That plan should be signed up to by the consultants, contractors and the clients. Our report found there’s simply no overall attempt to manage health and safety risk at project level. We manage risk by not managing it and simply passing it on.”

The Experience of Working with the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 report also revealed a lack of early involvement of engineering contractors working with the design team to risk-assess design outcomes.

A Health and Safety Executive spokeswoman said: “The report’s conclusions will be considered as part of the evaluation of the impact of the 2007 CDM Regulations that HSE is carrying out.”


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