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    LONDON 2012 SAFETY BASED ON ‘COLLABORATIVE’ APPROACH

    Success comes from involvement, ‘fair’ blame culture, recognition and leadership 

    HSE is ‘challenging’ the UK construction industry to learn from the London 2012 construction project and improve the safety record of “one of the most dangerous occupations in Britain”.

    The research publication Leadership and worker involvement on the Olympic Park shows how the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) adopted an inclusive “no scapegoating approach” to managing risks that could be adapted to any project.

    It is the first in a series of research reports that HSE will publish as part of the London 2012 Learning Legacy. HSE has received reports of 114 injuries and eight dangerous occurrences that occurred during the 66 millions hours of work, as of October 2011. 

    “No scapegoating” allowed workers to raise issues without fear of reprisal

    HSE state that multiple opportunities for two-way dialogue complemented with supervisor training, behavioural safety initiatives, reward and recognition for positive health and safety behaviour, and a ‘fair blame’ culture, helped create an environment where workers felt comfortable raising health and safety issues and could participate in solving problems.

    Stephen Williams, HSE’s Director for London 2012, said:

    “The report shows how strong leadership and worker involvement are key to a safer working environment. The ODA’s creation of a no scapegoating culture allowed workers to raise issues without fear of reprisal, learning lessons to apply across the site and reducing the risk in hazardous activities.

    No matter what size your organisation, no matter what size your project, small changes in the way you operate can have a huge impact on the health and safety of your workers.”

    The report sets out how project leaders engaged with the supply chain to develop a more collaborative, challenging and learning culture where each contractor assumed accountability for health and safety across the whole site.

    Directly employed and unionised workforce makes a difference

    Construction union UCATT has argued that the key to delivering a safe construction environment was agreement between the construction unions and the ODA that only directly employed workers should be employed on the Olympic Park.

    UCATT believe that “ensuring regularised employment and basic employment rights, workers, supported by union representatives, had the confidence to raise safety concerns without the fear of being sacked”.

    George Guy, Acting General Secretary of UCATT, said:

    “It is vital to understand why the Olympic Park achieved a very low accident rate. If the construction industry really wants to learn the lessons from the Olympics it is that sites where workers are directly employed are far safer, especially when this is combined with strong union involvement from an early stage.”

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