Engineering contractors who fail to address safety issues risk being publicly denounced by their own trade body.

The BEST programme, launched last week by the Engineering Construction Industry Association (ECIA), addresses issues of behavioural safety. Companies who sign up to the gold-standard scheme must provide annual reports on their progress in addressing workplace accidents, and those who fail to meet targets will be named on the ECIA’s website.

Richard Ash, ECIA health and safety manager, said: “The sector has consistently held a better safety record than the construction industry average, but the gap is starting to narrow. We’re focusing on behavioural safety to kickstart our accident prevention and keep leading the industry’s record.”

The ECIA has introduced the scheme in an effort to cut the number of “careless accidents”, such as slips and trips. These account for most injuries in engineering construction.

Ash stressed that the scheme would only work if companies were genuinely committed to taking action. He warned that those who could not provide evidence of involvement could be removed from the scheme, and their dismissal announced on the website.

He said: “It will not be enough merely to express moral support. Companies will be required to prove that they have taken real action.”