Ethentic Ethentic Higher Safety Higher Safety Chipmunk Data Chipmunk Data
  • Higher Safety Higher Safety Chipmunk Data Chipmunk Data Ethentic Ethentic

    MANAGING RISKS WITH CATASTROPHIC POTENTIAL

    Construction industry failing to demonstrate serious approach to disaster risks 

    In 2009 HSE contracted the Construction Industry Research and Information Association (CIRIA) to explore “risks with catastrophic potential” in the construction sector. In February 2011 the findings were published in Research Report RR834 – Preventing Catastrophic Events in Construction.

    HSE subsequently established an industry CONIAC Working Group (WG) to ensure the construction industry acted on the report conclusions. The WG has now reported to CONIAC. 

    Failure to take catastrophic risks seriously

    The WG sought to gauge the extent to which RR834 was being considered within the construction industry through a survey of the Top 100 construction businesses conducted in August 2012.

    The companies were invited, by letter to Directors of Health and Safety, to complete a short on-line questionnaire. There were no responses to the survey which was therefore re-run in September 2013. The second survey attracted forty-six people to view the questionnaire although only 5 went on to complete the survey.

    The WG states that since the RR834 was published events with catastrophic potential have continued to occur citing the following examples:

    The WG concluded there is limited evidence that awareness has turned to action or that awareness is sufficiently widespread to be self-sustaining. The awareness and action seen has been confined to Principal Contractors with clients and designers lagging behind, adding:

    “At a time when there are many other pressures on the construction industry it is not difficult to envisage, catastrophic risks might not be at the forefront of organisations’ minds. It is likely therefore that even the levels of interest seen in the last 2-3 years might be on the wane.

    Overall, it is the considered opinion of the Working Group, that construction industry as a whole has yet to demonstrate it is taking the topic sufficiently seriously”

    The WG recognise there is no “silver bullet” that will instantly raise levels of awareness but nevertheless conclude that “urgent action is required”. To assist industry the WG has produced a set of factors to determine where to focus efforts which it plans to publicise.

    Professional duty of care to share incident information

    The WG believe that “learning from previous catastrophic events is, self-evidently, an important process” although this is “hampered by practical constraints” around the dual role of regulators (principally HSE) and reluctance of individual companies to share information.

    The WG suggests that action is required by Professional Institutions to make it clear to their members who become aware of events of concern to them that consideration should be given to reporting the technical issues to CROSS, as part of their professional duty of care.

    The Institutions might also look at the way expert witnesses work and its relationship with their personal duty of care and Codes of Conduct.

    HSE might also explore further measures on information release, including greater use of the provisions under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. There may also be useful insights to be gained from a study of how other countries and other regulatory models approach the issue, e.g. CAA and RAIB in the UK and the Dutch Safety Authority.

    Next steps proposed

    The WG identified the following potential Next Steps:

    • Priorities guidance – the set of factors developed by the WG publicised to assist companies to determine where to focus their efforts;
    • Performance indicators – the construction industry encouraged, as a matter of urgency, to develop leading performance indicators that are appropriate to credible events with catastrophic potential in construction;
    • Awareness raising – discussions with UKCG, CECA, CITB and others to provide a way of rectifying current systemic deficiencies in the awareness and knowledge of catastrophic risks in the industry and how they can be managed. Discussions with the design community on their role;
    • BIM potential – construction industry invited to consider how to drive forward with the progressive uptake of BIM with a specific focus on maximising its potential to improve the identification and mitigation of risks at the design stage;
    • Key roles – UKCG invited to promote understanding among its members of the critical importance of ensuring personnel in key supervisory roles have the appropriate knowledge and experience to be able to identify events with catastrophic potential and the strength of character to take the right action;
    • Temporary works – building on recent successes there are two areas of temporary works management where further progress might be possible: (i) development of recognised competencies for key personnel, e.g. TwCs; and (ii) reduction or elimination of the need for TWs through improved design and construction processes;
    • Independant review – representations to relevant bodies to stimulate increased use of independent review; and
    • Sharing information – views of the Professional Institutions and HSE sought on how further improvements in to the release of information about incidents and near misses can be taken forward.

    Latest Construction Health and Safety News

    STEEL PIPE FALL TRIGGERS FREAK CAUSE OF DEATH

    Wooden bearer sent flying by pipe struck workman on head

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 16th September 2019

    FATAL FALL FROM INSECURE SCAFFOLD LADDER

    Scaffold erected by unqualified and incompetent person

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 16th September 2019

    FIRMS FAILED TO MONITOR SAFE SYSTEM OF WORK

    Principal Contractor and specialist fined over fall through roof mesh

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 12th September 2019

    ASSISTANCE FROM THIRD PARTY PROVES COSTLY

    Contractor fined after non-employee loses fingers crushed by dozer

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 12th September 2019

    CUSTODIAL SENTENCES AFTER CAPTURE ON CAMERA

    Roofing business partner failed to properly plan and supervise roofwork

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 12th September 2019

    FIRM FINED OVER FALL FROM LORRY BED

    Serious injury after failure to provide suitable and clear instructions

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 10th September 2019

    COUNCIL FINED £100k OVER VIBRATION FAILINGS

    Excessive use of power tools uncontrolled and without health surveillance

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 10th September 2019

    HSE ENFORCEMENT DATABASE LATEST UPDATE

    hselogo1View current online register of HSE prosecutions and enforcement notices

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 28th August 2019

    IMPROVING CDM DESIGNER HAZARD AWARENESS

    Research explores power of “multi-media digital tool” for design hazards

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 27th August 2019

    DEMOLITION FEDERATION ON RECENT INCIDENTS

    NFDC ‘statement of awareness’ follows unplanned collapses

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 27th August 2019

    RAISING COMPETENCE AND MAKING BUILDINGS SAFER

    Life-safety-critical disciplines urged to act on Interim Report

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 27th August 2019

    BUILDING WORKS COMPROMISED GAS SAFETY

    Company and director fined after work created risk to residents

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 27th August 2019

    NON-INJURY PROSECUTION OVER WORK ON THE EDGE

    HSE routine inspection results in £25,000 fine for errant contractor

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 27th August 2019

    FALL PRECAUTIONS FELL BETWEEN TWO FIRMS

    Contractors fined after workers at risk of falling from roof

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 9th August 2019

    SOLAR PANEL FIRM AWARE OF FRAGILE ROOF RISK

    Workman suffered long-term injuries in 4m fall through rooflight

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 9th August 2019

    HSE PROSECUTE FIRM OVER RISK NOT HARM

    Multiple safety failings land construction company in court

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 9th August 2019

    CLIENT AND CONTRACTOR FACED COURT TOGETHER

    Firms breached joint duty to plan and carry our work at height safely

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 6th August 2019

    £1M FINE OVER DEATH CAUSED BY EXCAVATOR

    Vehicle driver found guilty at trial alongside CDM Principal Contractor

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 6th August 2019

    CHILD DIED WHILST PLAYING ON POWERED GATE

    Lack of end stop caused gate to fall on 6 year old boy

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 6th August 2019

    HSE SPEAK AT ACCESS INDUSTRY CONFERENCE 2019

    AIF National Working at Height Conference November 2019

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 6th August 2019

    UK CLIENT FINED OVER UNSAFE OVERSEAS FIRM

    Italian contractor found guilty despite failure to attend court

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 6th August 2019

    COMPLETE FAILURE TO RECOGNISE HAVS RISK

    Specialist drilling company and director sentenced over HAVS danger

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 6th August 2019

    PC AND TWO OTHERS FAILED TO ASSESS WIND EFFECT

    Fall of director from roof caused by ‘Storm Doris’ gust

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 30th July 2019

    MAJOR FIRM FINED £400k OVER LIFTING OPERATION

    Fitter loses four fingers as load slides and falls to the ground

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 28th July 2019

    NEW HOMES LEFT IN DANGEROUS CONDITION

    Fined for unsafe gas work causing fires at housing development

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 28th July 2019
    Ethentic Ethentic Higher Safety Higher Safety Chipmunk Data Chipmunk Data
  • Higher Safety Higher Safety Chipmunk Data Chipmunk Data Ethentic Ethentic