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H&S EXPO SEARCH FOR THE ‘HOLY GRAIL’ IN 2011

Industry bodies and HSE collaborate on reducing construction site falls

This year’s Health & Safety Expo has seen six of the UK’s leading health and safety organisations coming together for the first time to discuss and debate how to eradicate falls from height in the workplace.

The event was chaired by David Thomas, safety, health and environment director at William Hare Ltd and the panel comprised;

  • Peter Bennett, chairman of the Access Industry Forum (AIF);
  • Joy Jones head of the Construction Division Safety Unit (HSE); 
  • Nigel Bryson OBE from the British Safety Council (BSC);
  • Barry Holt from the International Institute of Risk and Safety Management (IIRSM);
  • John Holden from the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), and
  • Roger Bibbings MBE from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).
Cooperation, coordination, education and planning

The panel conclusion focused on the need for more cooperation, better coordination, further education and improved long term planning.

Key themes to emerge included:

  1. better leadership and the need to engage the workforce more directly in safety issues;
  2. the avoidance of a ‘tick box’ approach to training;
  3. improved targeting, especially of SMEs in construction; and
  4. the necessity to pool and synchronise resources, knowledge and information.

Peter Bennett of the AIF commented:

“The Holy Grail panel discussion was a ground breaking event which, I am sure, will have positive, long term consequences for the work at height sector in general. The spirit evident in Birmingham augers well for a high degree of cooperation between all the organisations taking part, with a view to reducing the number of deaths and injuries resulting from falls from height.”

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