HSE role was pivotal to Olympic safety record


HSE role was pivotal to Olympic safety record

Prospect union today (Friday) welcomed new research highlighting the contribution of the safety regulator in ensuring that the Olympics construction project was not only delivered on time and to budget, but set a new benchmark for health and safety.

A report by Loughborough University for the Health and Safety Executive highlighted that:

  • the accident rate on site was 0.16 per 100,000 hours worked – less than the building industry average of 0.55 and less than the all-industry average of 0.21.
  • there were no work-related fatalities on the whole London 2012 construction programme.

Prospect represents 1,350 inspectors and specialists in the HSE. Health and safety officer Sarah Page said: “The success of the Olympic construction was enhanced by the regulations and approach adopted by HSE.

“Its years of experience of projects like the Channel Tunnel and T5 prompted HSE to make crystal clear from the outset its faith in and expectations of the UK construction sector to be an exemplar.”

Acting as a 'critical friend' throughout the acclaimed project, HSE enabled the letter and spirit of the Construction Design and Management Regulations to motivate duty-holders and promote healthy, productive conditions and extensive worker involvement, said Page.

“It shows the importance of good regulation, sensitively and strategically applied, empowering leaders to set the tone for a project. A programme of targeted HSE visits added assurance that the project was being delivered effectively and with everyone on board, including the workforce. It counters Coalition Government claims, parroted in much of the media, that proactive health and safety is a burden on business.

“We urge ministers, the business community and other stakeholders to embed the Olympic learning legacy across business sectors as a model for success and supply chain support. This project has proved what is possible despite difficult times.”