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Keeping construction workers safe

Written by Phoenix Health & Safety
15th August 2014

All jobs are associated with a certain degree of danger. However, roles in the construction industry can be particularly risky. After all, individuals who are employed in the sector often have to work at height or with heavy equipment. According to figures provided by the Health and Safety Executive, while the industry accounts for only around five per cent of Britain’s workforce, it sees 27 per cent of fatal injuries to employees and ten per cent of reported major injuries. This means it's vital that bosses in the construction sector take the issue of health and safety extremely seriously. By adopting appropriate risk management policies and offering their workers suitable safety training, they can help to drive down the risk of accidents.   

Recruitment on the rise

This issue may be particularly important now, with new figures showing that activity is building in the industry. According to the latest UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index from Markit, output growth reached a four-month high in June, while job creation hit a survey record. The index climbed to 62.6 in June, which was up on the 60 recorded during the previous month and was well above the 50 mark that represents no contraction or expansion. Residential construction was the best performing sub-sector  over the 30-day period. 

A surge in activity

Responding to the findings, senior economist at Markit Tim Moore said: “UK construction companies started the summer with another surge in house building and commercial activity. He added: A key recent development across the construction sector has been the return to pre-recession rates of job creation, following a prolonged period of falling payroll numbers and cuts to operating capacity. Moreover, the latest rise in construction employment was the fastest since the survey began in 1997, which represents a remarkable yardstick of progress as the sector looks to recover the ground lost over the past seven years.” According to the expert, improvements in the underlying health of the country’s economy along with increases in new housing starts and favourable funding conditions have driven growth in the industry.   

No room for complacency

At times like this when activity is up, building companies can find themselves under pressure. However, regardless of how much work they have to complete, it is vital that managers do not lose sight of the importance of safety. After all, the consequences if they do, can be disastrous. Firms risk potentially long and costly legal action if they are found to be flouting safety laws. They can also suffer major reputational damage. Even more importantly, workers can be placed at unnecessary risk. While it can take a little time and money to improve safety standards, this should prove to be a savvy investment. 

Here to help

If you are on the lookout for health & safety training or consultancy services, you've come to the right place. Here at Phoenix Health & Safety we should be perfectly placed to help. Just take a look around our website for more information. You can also get in touch with our friendly and knowledgeable team.