HSE puts accidents in construction under the microscope

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

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.


By Ross Wigham

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