Construction industry safety insiders Shaun Davis and John Spanswick give their views

Shaun Davis is group director of safety, health, environment and quality at Rok. He contributed to the Donaghy enquiry

Shaun Davis

The provision of a safety-conscious workforce is what counts. I support the extension of gangmaster licensing and all that it brings with it, especially employee protection and freedom from exploitation. Ensuring that organisations are planning, delivering, monitoring and reviewing their operations to ensure health and safety is key.  

I specifically support “Recommendation 13”, which encourages worker participation and consultation. For too many years, too many companies have employed a top-down approach and not engaged with those at the sharp end. Consultation gives huge value to a business, and not just in health and safety.

John Spanswick is chair of the Strategic Forum health and safety group

John Spanswick

Anything that raises the profile of health and safety is welcome. But I don’t agree with an extension of gangmaster licensing. These laws were set up for industries that use casual labour, but in construction, foreign workers are properly employed within the supply chain.

I’m also not clear on the recommendation regarding directors’ duties. There is already legislation on this and Donaghy said herself it was not likely to have a large effect on big businesses. And I don’t agree we’re going to make a fundamental change by having more HSE inspectors. Most accidents happen on small sites – we will never have enough inspectors to check them all.