A new film demonstrates the behavioural changes businesses need to make to reduce deaths and accidents in the construction industry.
ConstructionSkills and UCATT have joined forces to encourage construction firms to improve on-site communication in a bid to reduce numbers of accidents in the industry.
Through the Worker Engagement Toolkit, a new film developed by ConstructionSkills and the Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians (UCATT), construction firms can learn that communication between employers and workers can dramatically increase health and safety awareness, and therefore lead to a reduction in the number of accidents. In addition, effective worker engagement can help to increase turnover, and help firms to safeguard their business during tough times. The interview-led, 30-minute film examines all levels of a variety of businesses, speaking to managing directors, foremen and workers, and offers working examples of how accidents have reduced over time when worker engagement has been effectively carried out. The Health and Safety Executive was also involved in developing the DVD, which has been identified by the Strategic Forum for Construction Worker Involvement Group as the best toolkit on the market.
Good communication prevents accidents
Recent research by Glasgow Caledonian University, commissioned by the HSE, found that the lack of communication between management and the workforce was an on-going problem that led to accidents taking place when simple communication could have prevented them. As a result ConstructionSkills and UCATT have been working together to address the root causes of the patterns in behaviour that can lead to accidents occurring.
Kevin Fear, Head of Health, Safety and Environment at ConstructionSkills said:
“This Toolkit aims to encourage firms to take on-site health and safety a step further and implement worker engagement at a higher level, in order to help eliminate the number of accidents across the industry. We have already seen evidence that worker engagement is vital in terms of driving down accident and fatality rates, and as the industry’s Sector Skills Council, we want to promote this across the board using this film as a guide. With entire workforces becoming more open and honest, both productivity and safety can be improved.”
Alan Ritchie, General Secretary of the Construction Union, UCATT, said: “All the evidence shows that construction sites which are well organised, where workers are directly employed and where there are a high number of independent health and safety representatives, are far safer than casualised sites where bosses pay lip service to safety.
“This new DVD is a useful tool in reinforcing the message to employers that effective worker involvement is a major factor in reducing deaths and injuries at work.”
ConstructionSkills is the Sector Skills Council (SSC) for the construction industry. As a partnership between CITB-ConstructionSkills, CIC and CITB Northern Ireland, it is UK-wide and represents the whole industry from professional consultancies to major contractors and SMEs.
UCATT represents 125,000 members employed in the construction industry throughout the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. UCATT’s General Secretary Alan Ritchie is the Chair of the Strategic Forum for Construction (SFfC) Encouraging Worker Involvement Working Group.
The first 20 copies of the DVD are free on a first come first served basis after which it will cost £20 and is available to buy from ConstructionSkills at: http://www.cskills.org/supportbusiness/publications/index.aspx?productid=3537