HSE puts accidents in construction under the microscope

The
Health and Safety Executive has published the first phase of a new report
examining the causes of accidents in the construction industry.

The
study, which was conducted by engineering firm BOMEL, analysed HSE data to
provide a structured model of accidents which in turn could be used to quantify
risk and identify areas for improvement.

The
research identified 40 fundamental influences which can lead to accidents and
it cites political, economic, social and human factors as contributors, as well
as the more obvious organisational and technical issues which lead to
accidents.

The
report also highlights factors that could improve safety, including contracting
strategies, training, supervision, safety management and increased
communication and feedback.

Falls
were found to be the most common cause of fatal accidents, with ladders and
scaffolds being the main agents, and roofers and scaffolders the most at risk.

Kevin
Myers, chief inspector of construction at the HSE, said, "HSE will take
forward the recommendations in the report. We will use it to help frame our construction
intervention strategy.

"There
are clearly lessons in this list for all stakeholders, and the HSE intends to
act on those issues where it can have the greatest affect through its contacts
with the industry," he added.

www.hse.gov.uk

By Ross Wigham

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