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The Construction Centre

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The Construction Centre Reviews Health and Safety in the Building Industry

Kenilworth, United Kingdom, April 18, 2007 --( The Construction Centre has reviewed the provisional figures for deaths and injuries in construction which has been issued by the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) for the year 2006-2007. Indications show that there is still a long way for the UK building industry to go in order to reduce the number of fatalities every year.

The report estimates that construction related deaths have risen in the last year from 64 to 79 and that 50% of these deaths came from the refurbishment and repair sector and 21% from new house building projects. Following the Construction Summit in 2001 which was held to address issues in health and safety, there has been a steady decline in the number of fatalities through the collaboration of the HSE and the building industry. However the 25% rise in figures on last year brings fresh concerns about how widespread the implementation of health and safety procedures has actually been across the industry.

Despite these fears, The Construction hopes that the new Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 (CDM 2007) effective from 6th April 2007, will serve to help the industry work to reduce the number of deaths. The new regulations have been simplified in order to make compliance much easier through the reduction of paperwork and encouragement of team work from site workers through to the boardroom. The building industry has responded positively to the new CDM regulations and it is hoped that the changes will have a significant effect.

The Construction has however noted that the Government has come under fire from campaigners and union bodies regarding the proposed reduction in investment to the HSE which will ultimately mean job cuts for up to 10% of HSE inspectors by 2008. It has been widely reported that this lack of investment blatantly contradicts the message that the Government is pro-health and safety. The Construction predicts that the resultant lack of inspectors available to police the new rules is likely to see non-compliance continue to be an issue throughout parts of the industry.

Richard Simmons, managing director at The Construction and a property developer for over 30 years commented “It is no surprise that the majority of deaths and injuries come from the refurbishment sector as by their very nature, they are more hazardous for those working on site, whereas with a new build project safety measures can be put in place right from the foundations upwards.”

He continued “HSE inspectors tend to target larger projects in order to ensure compliance and naturally with limited man power it becomes impractical to visit every SME developer turning as the resources just aren’t available. If the government does reduce the number of HSE inspectors available it will simply exacerbate the situation. However with the simplification of the CDM regulations I hope that compliance at the low end of the market can be achieved at a higher rate than previously seen and that by default developers implement a duty of care to site workers as a matter of course.”

The Construction is convinced that both industry Unions and health and safety campaigners are likely to target the Governments position regarding the HSE and lobby Gordon Brown for an increase in funding in order to prove his commitment, to the safety of the lives of the construction workforce. In the meantime it is hoped that the new CDM regulations will alleviate some of the issues and increase compliance leading to the overall reduction in construction deaths and injuries over the coming year.


Notes for Editors:

The Construction Centre: Number 1 for delivering results on products and people

Targeted at consumers and the building industry, The Construction Centre is an encyclopaedic directory containing over 10,000 UK product manufacturers. Additionally there are over 50,000 contact details for merchants, industry professionals, tradesmen and contractors. Local Authority planning websites, trade publications and jobs can also be directly accessed from The Construction Centre.

Based in Warwickshire The Construction Centre is part of the UK250 Ltd group.
Contact Information
The Construction Centre
Angela Gallacher
01926 865825

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