No room for complacency in construction safety, RoSPA conference will hear

A RoSPA conference for the construction industry will hear that effort is still needed on safety and health despite recent reductions in injuries.

The event, called No room for complacency, will take place at Maple House, in Birmingham, on March 27. Top speakers from across the construction industry will discuss safety measures, how to prepare in the event of a major accident, and legal implications, including financial and reputational damage as a result of poor health and safety management.

Construction workers are nearly four times more likely to be killed at work than the average worker. In 2012/13, 39 construction workers died due to injuries sustained at work - a reduction from 49 in 2011/12. Around 70,000 employees are currently suffering ill health as a result of their work in the construction industry.

Simon Longbottom, head of construction policy and sector at the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), will give the conference’s opening address on the key risks facing the industry and examples of the practical measures needed for improvement.

Ros Seal, senior health and safety adviser at Aggregate Industries, will draw on her experiences as the former health and safety adviser for the Olympic Delivery Authority, and will talk about the contractor management system used by Aggregate Industries.

Providing guidance on safe practices when working at height will be Ian Goodhead, group HSEQ manager at Winvic. He will reveal how a commonsense approach and making use of innovative techniques helped to tackle the risks.

Steve Radcliffe, managing director at Clugston Construction, will outline why strong leadership is essential when it comes to setting the tone of an organisation’s health and safety culture, and Tony Palgrave, project director at Mace Group, will detail the challenges his company faced while constructing The Shard - the tallest building in western Europe.

Meanwhile, Madeleine Abas, senior partner at Osborn Abas Hunt, will provide the legal knowledge needed to prepare companies and their workforces if things go wrong.

Also speaking on the day will be Dr Noble Francis, economics director at Construction Products Association, on economic forecasts for the industry, and Chris Lucas, HM inspector of health and safety construction division: health risk management unit at the HSE, on employer’s duties to prevent or adequately control worker exposure to dust.

Karen McDonnell, occupational safety and health policy adviser at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), said: “Despite a recent fall in the number of major injuries sustained in the construction industry, it remains the UK’s most dangerous sector to work in. This is why there is no room for complacency.

“Staying one step ahead, by protecting your company’s workforce with top level commitment to health and safety, will not only ensure your workforce’s health and wellbeing, but it will also protect your company’s finance and reputation. Any death at work is one death too many, which is why those with a responsibility for managing occupational safety and health in the construction sector should attend this conference.”

For more information about this event, supported by the Construction Products Association, Federation of Master Builders (FMB), Scottish Contractors Group (SCG), and UK Contractors Group (UKCG), visit www.rospa.com/events/construction/ or contact the events team by calling 0121 248 2089 or emailing events@rospa.com.



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