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Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited
Working well together to build safer construction sites
Working well together to build safer construction sitesKeywords: Health and safety, Construction, Accidents
The Working Well Together campaign was a notable feature of Interbuild 2000, the biggest event for the UK building and construction industry this year.
Launched in May 1999 by Alan Meale, MP, the then health and safety minister, Working Well Together encourages all industry stakeholders – clients, designers, planners, suppliers, professional and trade bodies, unions, contractors and individual workers – to commit publicly to reduce deaths, injuries and ill health on site.
Construction is the UK's biggest industry as well as one of its most dangerous. In the last 25 years, 2,800 people were killed on construction sites or as a result of construction activities and many more have been injured or made ill. The Health & Safety Commission's Construction Industry Advisory Committee (CONIAC) initiated the Working Well Together campaign with the aim of turning this deplorable record around.
Kevin Myers, the Health & Safety Executive's (HSE's) Chief Inspector of Construction, said today: "The construction industry has an unacceptably poor health and safety record. The Working Well Together campaign provides a framework and approach to help achieve this and a visit to the campaign's stand at Interbuild could be the first step in this process."
More that 250 companies, unions and trade associations are publicly supporting the campaign and over 5,000 workers have pledged to look after themselves and their work mates. Becoming part of Working Well Together is free. All participants are asked to make a commitment to better health and safety. They are then encouraged to publicise their involvement, identify good practice and, most importantly, share it with others in the industry.
The exhibition will focus on the benefits of joining the campaign and will use large screen video and the World Wide Web as well as free literature including a Working Well Together business card on CD. The Working Well Together team will be on hand to greet visitors and give advice and guidance.
"Revitalising Health and Safety in the Construction Industry" was the name of the inaugural Working Well Together national conference, open to all senior managers and health and safety professionals in the construction industry, held at the Birmingham International Convention Centre on 7 June 2000.
There will also be a major two-day conference for construction stakeholders on 17 and 18 October 2000 to be held in London. Speakers will include Lord Whitty, Minister with responsibility for Health and Safety; Bill Callaghan, Chair of the Health and Safety Commission, as well as representatives from HSE, the construction industry, trade unions, occupational health specialists, and the insurance industry. The conference will involve interactive workshops on a range of issues for which delegates will be invited to express preferences. On the second day, there will also be elective sessions on particular occupational health topics, including dermatitis and respiratory disease. For more details contact June Ellis at HSE on +44 (0)151 951 4595.