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CONSTRUCTION FATALITIES REPORT PUBLISHED

Inquiry calls for new Building Control, Director and Gangmaster laws

Report of the Government Inquiry into the underlying causes of construction fatal accidents has been published.

The report identifies the most frequently cited causes of fatal accidents as: training factors, experience, information and advice deficiencies, risk perception, rescheduling of work without planning, minor/ one-off jobs, compliance, equipment operability, space, personal protective equipment (PPE) issues and tools not designed to fit the user/task. Most of these accidents were preventable.”

A number of recommendations are put forward including :

  • New Legislation Recommended

Building Regulations to include health and safety processes; Gangmasters Licensing Regulations to include construction and; new duties on Directors to ensure good H&S management.

Other recommendations are:

  • Industry and Workforce

Support partnership working through the supply chain; renew efforts to establish genuine worker consultation; encourage joint working and trades union membership and; construction workers to accept reasonable responsibility for their own safety.

Reduce the need for subcontractors to acquire a ‘host of pre-qualifications’; review allocation of training grants; consolidate CSCS; research high apprenticeship drop-out rate and; review educational curricula regarding health and safety.

  • HSE and Government

Investigate delays regarding prosecutions following fatal accidents; appoint a Minister for Construction; apply the Office of Government Commerce guidance and standards throughout publicly funded construction projects; renew occupational health efforts; tackle second hand equipment or machinery; raise awareness on accident reporting requirements; target vulnerable groups e.g. migrants, young people ; improve HSE resources in London; pilot the impact of prosecutions without an injury; improve fatal accident data; promote director guidance with better presentation material; continue fatal accidents review and; support organisations developing the worker safety adviser scheme

Comment: The report conclusions on the ’causes’ of fatal accidents do not add much to our understanding and implementing the recommendations on legislation will prove challenging. Adding health and safety to the remit of Building Control (BC) departments on smaller projects could be a positive move. BC officers visit smaller building projects regularly and checking on basic health and safety requirements fits well with their current work. 

However, strong opposition can be expected to this change and to any new statutory duties for directors or extending Gangmaster laws. Consequently, this important report may have less impact that it deserves, especially at a time when the number and incidence of construction fatalities are at the lowest levels on record.

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2 Responses to “CONSTRUCTION FATALITIES REPORT PUBLISHED”

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