Our last post reported how 40% of construction companies had failed recent health and safety checks by the HSE, but the HSE inspections touch only a tiny fraction of construction sites and most construction workers never see an HSE inspector unless a major accident has occurred.
The HSE campaign of random inspections serves to keep safety at the top of the agenda and publication of statistics of prosecution give a stern reminder of the importance of compliance. Steve Murphy, General Secretary of construction union UCATT said, " The HSE are uncovering basic and straightforward safety breaches. It is imperative that far greater emphasis is applied to uncovering dangerous construction practices and prosecuting the guilty". Murphy also sadly concluded that "Construction employers will never improve safety unless they fear being caught"
The industry would rather have headlines of firms being prosecuted for failing safety checks before experiencing a major incident but we are unfortunately seeing far too many tragic headlines in the industry press like ‘someone is going to get killed’ driver warned Costain day before his death’, ‘Firm sentenced for corporate manslaughter’, ‘Two hurt after overloaded scaffold collapse’ and tragically many more.
Safety signs when used correctly can help to enhance safety on site. Signage can be used to warn, instruct and educate. A visual reminder for staff and the general public of the hazards associated with a construction site. Used as part of a thorough safety policy, safety signage can help to prevent major accidents and therefore providing no reason for a visit from the HSE. However should a random visit take place, professionally produced, branded, well maintained signage will also shows the construction company has a serious and healthy attitude towards safety procedures.