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July 22, 2010

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“Nothing is more important” than health and safety say Olympics chiefs

With its busiest year on the construction side yet and an equally intense period coming up, the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) has reiterated it commitment to health and safety as a priority theme in its annual report for 2009-2010.

Published today (22 July), the report reveals that around 70 per cent of the construction work on the project is complete and will reach a peak this year. With some 10,000 workers on the project the Authority is adamant that “the health and safety of workers and providing a secure workplace continue to underpin every element of work on the Olympic Park”.

Since construction began on the Park, the ODA has achieved one million hours worked without a reportable accident 13 times over. Said its chief executive, David Higgins: “Working closely with our contractors, Delivery Partner, and the thousands of workers on the site, it is very encouraging that we continue to have an excellent safety record on the Park.

“The health and safety of our workforce will always be our top priority and we will continue our efforts to sustain a strong safety culture at every level of the workforce. Nothing is more important to me.”

The Safety, Health and Environment Committee – a sub-committee of the main Board – meets at least four times a year to review HS&E standards and policies, and ensure their implementation remains in line with corporate governance and industry best practice.

To ensure safety remains paramount, the ODA says it has engaged and worked with contractors, who have “fully signed up to the high expectations set”, with many of them implementing their own safety initiatives, and reward and recognition programmes.

Earlier this month, the Authority itself held its second annual health, safety and environment awards to recognise exceptional commitment by contractors and individuals across the project. Alan O’Hagan, a carpenter working on the Park’s south loop road and bridges, won the Worker of the Year award, for his “attitude, aptitude, enthusiasm and sense of responsibility”.

Said the head of health and safety at the ODA, Lawrence Waterman: “Our record on health, safety and environment is down to the hard work, dedication and professionalism of the thousands of people who work on the site.”

ODA chairman John Armitt added: “We have world-class engineering, design and construction in this country. The Park, and the thousands of workers that are on it, are showcasing the very best performance of UK plc – not just in terms of delivery but also areas such as health and safety, equality, accessibility, training and sustainability.”

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