At the 2005 health and safety awards at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel last Wednesday, the industry celebrated its improving record with 16 trophies for some of its safest practitioners …

The construction industry showed its backing for safety reform last week when more than 800 representatives honoured best practice at the annual health and safety awards.

The ceremony took place at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London, organised by Building and the Health and Safety Executive. The guests were thanked for their support by Rosi Edwards, acting chief inspector of construction at the HSE, who said that the industry was making good progress in improving safety practice.

Edwards told guests: “There have been big improvements in the industry in recent years. In a period of high activity and high employment, last year’s fatality rates were down to the lowest level ever. Seventy deaths is still far too many, but there have been significant improvements.”

Edwards also paid tribute to outgoing chief inspector of construction Kevin Myers, who took the Outstanding Safety Achievement award.

The awards were presented by Channel 4’s Jon Snow, who praised the industry’s improving site safety standards. Record-breaking yachtswoman Ellen MacArthur also paid tribute to the industry.

This year’s winners were headed by airport operator BAA, which scooped four awards, including Client with Best Commitment to Health, and Outstanding Organisation of the Year. Other winners included Skanska UK for Best Contractor’s Safety Initiative, and Berkeley Homes in the housebuilders’ category.