Project manager and planning supervisor PCM is developing an internet-based system to prevent accidents on site.
The firm claims the system, called E-Safe, can be used as part of a legal defence by directors who may be prosecuted over site deaths.

Matthew Loughlin, director of Knowledge Online, the PCM subsidiary that is developing it, said: "The problem with safety has always been how much information directors have about safety procedures on site without physically going there. This programme gives them greater opportunity to be involved in health and safety on site."

He added: "It gives the project team the ability to manage what needs to happen and when."

Christian Bucknall, associate director with Knowledge Online noted: "If something terrible does happen, directors need to ask themselves if they did everything they could to prevent it. This helps them to answer."

The firm said contractor Balfour Beatty had agreed to pilot the scheme.

If something terrible happens, this system helps directors to be sure they did all they could

Christian Bucknall, Knowledge Online

It is also in talks with an unnamed major client over using the system.

Loughlin said the firm hoped to have the programme running at the end of next month.

Loughlin said the system automatically emails site managers if safety procures have not been complied with. He said: "It will continue to email them until action is taken. "Eventually, if the order is ignored, it will be communicated to the contractor's boss."

Loughlin said the system also audits near-misses, which he claimed was a crucial element in its armoury. He said: "It means you can control, audit and monitor performance.