Your leader and the article on the impending corporate manslaughter bill suggest that the measures are welcomed by the industry (20 May, page14).
By all means severely punish those who allow inadequate health and safety practice in a “sector that kills 70 people a year”, but this bill will, I suggest, do little to reduce the death toll.
The failure of the Construction (Design and Management) regulations to reduce the grim statistics surely illustrates that health and safety measures are aimed at the employer, the designer, the contractor and so on, and miss the real target … the individual.
A recent article in The Times about the removal of risk from the school environment, with the consequent inability of young adults to evaluate and cope with risk, gives rise to interesting comparisons. Our industry spends fortunes on trying to reduce risk on site which, when all the regulations are complied with, creates the illusion that the site is a safe environment.
There is no substitute for individual responsibility, experience and self awareness. People need to be trained to evaluate risk to their own and colleagues’ safety, avoid it, or deal with it. Get this right and fatalities will reduce.
David Tuffin, managing partner, TFT Consultants