Prescott sets safety targets

HR teams
must drive through safety improvements on construction sites after the Deputy
Prime Minister demanded a 40 per cent reduction in injuries by 2005.

At the
Construction Safety Summit last week, John Prescott called on the industry to
develop plans that would prevent most of the 3,000 serious injuries that occur
every year by 2010. 

figures show that between April 1999 and March 2000, 85 people were killed on
construction sites compared to 68 the previous year, and construction workers
are six times more likely to have an accident than the average UK employee.

Don Ward,
chief executive of the Construction Industry Board,  said, “HR is fundamental to directly improving the welfare of
construction companies’ workers. All HR managers should be scrutinising their
company’s safety performance as decent conditions are needed to improve
recruitment and retention rates.”

also wants to cut days lost due to injury and work-related ill-health by 20 per
cent over the next four years, and by 50 per cent by the end of the decade.

He said,
“It is totally unacceptable that, for much of last year, two construction
workers were killed each week and that in the space of one awful nine-day period
five people died.

“This is a
dangerous industry, but it is more dangerous than it needs to be.”

By Paul Nelson


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