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October 19, 2011

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Decade-long safety campaign ends on a high

The Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA) has successfully completed a ten-year safety programme, which has resulted in a massive reduction in both major and other RIDDOR-reportable incidents.

The ECA, which has more than 3000 members, launched its Zero Accident Potential (ZAP) safety programme in 2001. According to figures released last year by the Joint Industry Board (JIB), the scheme has, since its inception, led to a 54-per-cent reduction in the rate of RIDDOR-reportable accidents and a 70-per-cent drop in major accidents among members.

As part of the initiative the ECA provides safety advice for members in the form of free information, guidance, best-practice workshops, and a telephone helpline.

ECA head of safety and environment, Paul Reeve, explained that the initiative is now complete following the publication of accident figures by JIB, and the Association is now developing new health and safety programmes, which it hopes to launch next year. He said: “We have seen a massive cultural and performance shift among our membership, and, indeed, the industry itself, over the last 10 years. ZAP has played a big part in that shift, but the main effort has come from ECA members, who have achieved these improvements in challenging circumstances.

“What started out as an ‘awareness and safety targets’ campaign has evolved into a management programme that helps members develop and demonstrate their health and safety credentials through third-party assessment. On the way to improving employee safety and morale, numerous ECA members have benefited from better productivity and profile in their supply chain.”

The ZAP initiative was highly commended at the 2007 SHP IOSH Awards in the ‘best health and safety achievement in construction’ category.

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