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Warning over health & safety manuals

Contractors have been reminded of the importance of keeping their health and safety manuals up to date following the release of the latest industry fatality figures by the Health & Safety Executive.

Analysis of the 2007/08 six-month fatal notifications show there have been 35 fatal accidents so far.

This compares with 32 reported at the same tiem last year - during which the highest number of fatals occurred for more than 5 years. The causes of these accidents are mainly falls from height and workplace transport.

Construction Confederation director of health & safety Shelley Atkinson-Frost said that although the industry was devoting a great deal of time, effort and resources to improve health and safety much work remained to be done.

She said: “The one clear fact to emerge from the statistics is that too many people are still being killed and injured at work. We must recognise the need to step-up the level of improvement in our health and safety record.

“One of the key challenges for all contractors is to be aware of the latest health and safety legislation, regulations and the best guidance available – which is why the Construction Health and Safety Manual is such an invaluable source of information. It is crucial to keep it updated.”