White was keen to point out how far construction has come in the 40 years since the Health & Safety At Work Act came into force – with the UK now being a world leader in health and safety.
“We have to work together, but construction has come a very long way in the last 15 years. However, while there have been huge steps forward in terms of safety, eight of the 23 fatalities on UK construction sites recorded in the first 9 months of 2014 were plant related, so there is always room for improvement.
Health and safety prior to construction
White said that he wished to continue the close working relationship that HSE has with the CPA and the Strategic Forum for Construction Plant Safety and called for a coordination of health and safety prior to construction starting, including:
- a better focus on traffic routes
- trained signallers
- improved selection of plant
- competent operators
- qualified supervisors.
With this in mind, the HSE will release new Construction, Design and Management (CDM) Regulations in April 2015.
Looking further ahead, he promised fewer, but better targeted, health and safety inspections.
“The HSE is smaller than it was just a few years ago, so needs to focus on the highest risks. This will result in new and innovative interventions and increased communication on health and safety matters,” ended White.
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