We recently read in SHP (Safety & Health Practitioner) that the number of deaths in the construction industry rose by around 15 per cent last year, fuelling concerns that the cost-cutting measures being implemented by the HSE will reverse the downward trend of recent years.
The regulator's head of construction, Philip White, revealed the increase at a conference in London on April 5th on Safety Schemes in Procurement, indicating that competence - or lack of it - was "clearly a feature" in many of the fatalities.
We would wholeheartedly agree with his statement, the first cuts are always in training and, as a consequence, the competence of staff/contractors then suffers. In addition many clients believe that checking competence is a costly and unnecessary exercise. We believe that the lessons we have all learned over many years have shown that cutting out training/development can be a costly error should you (the client) be taken to court!
For more on this story go to Construction deaths rise as cuts are ushered in.
We have read that Network Rail has now revealed plans for the complete overhaul of London Bridge station over five years. Together with resignalling works and on-going Thameslink improvements, the scale of investment will soar to £800m around the busy London station site. The plans include a new concourse that is bigger than the pitch at Wembley, which will sit underneath the tracks.
It is good to see some exiting projects are still happening! Perhaps we are seeing the beginning of 'positive' change in construction & development; we would like to think so.
For more on this story go to £800m London Bridge station rebuild unveiled.
The SHP (Safety & Health Practitioner) reports that the Department for Work and Pensions has published further details of the draft terms of reference that will govern the independent review of health and safety legislation announced last month.
The main aims are to consider the opportunities for reducing the burden of health and safety legislation on UK businesses while maintaining the progress made in improving health and safety outcomes. The review will explore the scope for consolidating, simplifying or abolishing regulations but, at the same time, examine whether a clear link exists between regulation and positive health and safety performance.
For more on this article go to SHP Online.
The Construction Enquirer reports that Mace has asked its subcontractors to submit monthly performance reports detailing carbon use on its sites. They are being told to record information about water, waste and diesel use. This will be fed into the Credit 360 Platform programme currently being used by clients like British Land.
This is very interesting as more and more clients are concerned about 'Environmental Issues'. We understand that Mace hopes the initiative will help it to avoid heavy penalties under the Government's carbon reduction commitment scheme when it comes into force next year and the scheme will also give clients hard data to benchmark Mace against rival contractors when bidding for work. Mace aims to use the information to build a database detailing its carbon footprint on building sites by the autumn.
For more on this article see Mace vets subcontractors for carbon use.
We regularly receive updates from our customers and contacts about changes to legislation, the latest rumours and so on. We try to be selective with what we pass on and acknowledge our sources as appropriate. If you have information of general interest in the Health & Safety, and particularly, CDM and Asbestos Management arena, then please let us know by e-mail if possible.