Health and safety professionals have called for construction directors to take greater responsibility after a survey found evidence of friction between safety personnel and site management.

A survey by Principal People, a recruitment consultant for health and safety professionals, revealed that more than half of safety experts found themselves in regular conflict with site management. The same number said they were not given the authority to do the job.

One respondent said: “A safe working environment needs to come from the heart of the company to succeed. Directors sometimes feel that they employ health and safety professionals to protect them from the law.”

The survey also found that one in four health and safety professionals felt that their employer did not offer adequate health and safety training, and 31% said personal protective equipment regulations were not enforced. Respondents felt that site managers should receive compulsory safety management training to increase their awareness.

Respondents also called for greater corporate liability for accidents, claiming that increased management accountability would reduce accident rates. They also felt that there should be better policing of construction by the Health and Safety Executive, and 93% said safety would be compromised if there were no full-time health and safety staff.

The HSE has published a revised edition of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at Work Regulations 1992, a guide designed to help employers that supply and use PPE to meet their legal duties.