Trade bodies and HSE hope research will help establish a best-practice guide for handling materials on site.
Materials suppliers should be included in the design stage of all construction projects, according to a report to be released next month.

The Health and Safety Executive report draws on research carried out by BRE for the Construction Products Association. The research, sponsored by the HSE, was conducted by surveying seven contractors' sites in London and the South-east.

The report scored the sites on how well materials used on site are delivered, stored and distributed.

CPA industry affairs director John Tebbit said the research was a positive step towards bringing materials suppliers into the construction process. He hoped the research would point to a best-practice guide for how handle and manage materials on sites.

He said: "The research supports the establishment of an integrated supply team, which the HSE is continuing to probe through the strategic forum."

The information in the report is also being used to prompt a new working guide, to be produced by the CPA, that sets out how different materials are used on sites. It is understood that this guide will draw together information on different materials to provide one document that is easy for site managers to consult.

The research supports the establishment of an integrated supply team

John Tebbit, CPA

Tebbit added that the document could also be tailored to the needs of individual trade associations and the materials that their members use.

The survey on which the report was based was carried out using a hand-held computer called Sabre, which HSE inspectors used to score individual sites. The sites were given a grading of fail, pass, good, or excellent. Details of which contractors failed the survey were not released.

The HSE is also due to release a discussion document next month which will examine how to make the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations easier to use and include an assessment of the "roving reps" pilot schemes.

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