The industry celebrated its excellent record in workplace wellbeing and looked to building on it in the future at the 2008 Health and Safety Awards

Amid celebrations at Building’s 2008 Health and Safety Awards, Anne Maguire MP, who speaks in the House of Commons on health and safety issues, provided a stark reminder of the dangers those working in the construction industry still face.

In her keynote speech at the London Hilton, Park Lane, Maguire pointed to Health and Safety Executive (HSE) figures which indicated that 69 workers lost their lives in 2007/08. While this

was a 10% improvement on figures for the previous year, Maguire emphasised the need to continue to improve standards throughout the industry.

It has been 12 months since the introduction of the new CDM Regulations, and this year a new Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act was also brought in. “The government views the act as an appropriate wake-up call for those who are falling short,” said Maguire.

The awards showcased those who had strived to improve health and safety. The 12 winners displayed best practice across the industry and included housebuilders, consultants, contractors and clients.

Trevor Walker, chair of Constructing Better Health, received the Outstanding Achievement prize for his work in raising awareness about occupational health risk management. Walker was handed his award by comedian Michael McIntyre, and was praised by the HSE’s Sue Parkyn for his determination in raising the profile of the issue in an industry where there is a poor understanding of work-related health matters.

Ken Woodward, consultant to contractor Mace, won the award for Health and Safety Champion, while John Laing Partnership won the award for Best Public Safety Programme. Cala Group walked away with the Best Housebuilder’s Safety Programme award.

Over £3,500 was raised on the night for the Construction Youth Trust and Bromley council said it would take on 50 trainees from the trust courses.