The government has taken considerable flak for its plans to reduce Health and Safety Executive (HSE) funding, but the construction industry mustn’t this as an excuse for rising accident and death rates. After all, this is an industry-wide responsibility.

There’s a real danger of complacency and that could be the biggest fallout of the proposed spending cuts. Contractors need to realise that stopping at the minimum regulations and compliance requirements rarely adds any value to the business.

Appropriate health and safety systems and a rigorous approach to equipment status management is proven to reduce maintenance costs, improve the likelihood of tendering success and also enhances reputation.

At a time when on-site death rates are spiralling, health and safety has never been more important. Those firms who think they can cut corners and avoid the HSE – at a time when it is vulnerable – are only cheating themselves, the business and its employees.

Jonathan Edwin, business manager, Scafftag