Insurer urges construction industry to focus on health and safety
ECIC, a specialist insurance company for mechanical and electrical contractors, has asked the construction sector to place greater emphasis on health and safety practices.
The latest statistics from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reveals that 30 construction workers were fatally injured during 2018/19. This is a slight improvement over the yearly average deaths of 36 over the preceding five years. There were also seven deaths of members of the public.
There have been increased penalties for companies that breached health and safety laws, but EOIC says that these have not eradicated health and safety risks.
The CEO of ECIC, Richard Forest Smith, said:
“Aside from the immense human cost of accidents at work, there is also the negative impact this has on insurance costs, which can impact the whole of the sector and undermine new projects and investment.”
He wants insurance cover to be dependent on construction companies having a high standard of health and safety competence and says construction companies should educate all contractors on health and safety practices.
Construction workers wear protective workwear such as hard hats and steel-capped workboots that protect them to a certain extent. Around a fifth of all fatal accidents are caused by falling from heights. Protective workwear has a minimum effect on preventing fall injuries. Some strategies to prevent falls are simple to implement, such as ensuring safe access to heights, keeping ladders and surfaces dry and making sure stairs are not contaminated with substances that can cause slips.