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June 22, 2008

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Construction strategy sets safety challenge

The construction sector has been set a target to cut worker fatalities by 10 per cent year on year. The challenge is outlined in a joint government-industry Strategy for Sustainable Construction, which was launched on 11 June, and includes a commitment to recruit 230,000 more construction workers and offer 13,500 extra apprenticeship placements by 2010.

While welcoming the strategy, John Lacey, chair of the IOSH Construction Group, warned that the training given to these workers must have “health and safety at its heart”, and called for employers offering work-based learning to be “vetted to ensure they are safe and providing adequate supervision of young and inexperienced workers”. He added that with the expected growth of the workforce, the target would be missed unless there was an eventual doubling of inspectors.

Meanwhile, in Ireland, a new three-year Construction Safety Partnership (CSP) Plan was launched on 17 June. It includes a target to implement a benchmarking system to highlight best practice.

The UK Strategy for Sustainable Construction is available to download here.

The Irish Construction Safety Partnership (CSP) Plan is available to download here.

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