Culture Change Called for; PLANNING: Safer Detailing, Safer Procurement, Safer Management

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), October 10, 2001 | Go to article overview

Culture Change Called for; PLANNING: Safer Detailing, Safer Procurement, Safer Management


Byline: STELLA SAUNDERS Association of Planning Supervisors

BY now you are no doubt aware that health and safety is high on the agenda in all boardrooms as a constituent part of the process of delivery of service.

In the construction industry it takes three forms:

Ensuring that construction workers are safe during building operations;

Ensuring that once a building is completed, the maintenance of its structure or equipment can be safely carried out;

Ensuring that sufficient data is kept about buildings to allow following alterations or demolition to be undertaken safely.

The binding legislation is the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and, in particular, the Construction Design Management (CDM) Regulations 1994. So, managing health and safety is an integral part of the business process, not an add-on.

Responsibility for control of the risk lies with the creator, not the regulator.

So who is the creator?

Certainly the designer, the architect, the structural engineer and the mechanical and electrical consultants are, but who initiates the building? Who conceives of the project?

The client, of course. So do you operate as a creator of buildings, a client to the construction industry? If so, you need to know your duties under the CDM Regulations 1994. And you will need to know any extended duties to become law in February 2002 when the amendments to the regulations come into force. (Contact your local APS rep for advice).

But this is not just about obeying legislation, the whole construction industry is being called to effect a culture change. The stiff talking to that Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott gave the country's first Construction Safety Summit, of which CIC is heavily involved, held in London on February 27, 2001, endorsed this culture change.

To achieve this end the Association of Planning Supervisors is working closely with the Health and Safety Executive and advising its members and fellow contractors to observe goals set to reduce accidents and ill health on sites as:

Improve training and skills in health and safety at all levels of operation;

Observe a zero tolerance campaign to bad practices by contractors, ie HSE Working Well Together campaign and European Safety Week;

Strive to achieve key targets - agreed by the industry, including clients, employers and trade unions. …

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