Author Bio ▼

Safety and Health Practitioner (SHP) is first for independent health and safety news.
June 8, 2011

Get the SHP newsletter

Daily health and safety news, job alerts and resources

Olympics safety success may be as good as it gets for HSE

The health and safety record of the London 2012 Olympics construction project has been outstanding but the scale of the achievement may never be seen again, according to a senior HSE inspector.

Principal inspector of construction for London Mike Williams (right, in the picture) suggested that given the recent cuts to the regulator’s budget and the consequent impact on how it carries out its proactive work, the success of the 2012 project “was, perhaps, a one-off”.

Speaking at a health and safety forum held at the Olympics site in east London last week, Mr Williams described the level of health and safety achievement on the site as “fantastic”. He also explained that the regulator’s approach to the project was “to get involved early, checking that all the arrangements are there and looking to others in the chain to see what they plan to do”.

Overall, he said, this approach was “constructive” and, while there were lessons to be learnt, and some minor incidents did occur, “the statistics can’t be bettered”.

But although he emphasised that the HSE will learn from the project and aims to “take forward the best that has been achieved and ensure the legacy of the Games can stand up to that”, it will be more difficult now for the regulator to get involved in major projects such as this.

Mr Williams explained: “The HSE’s role is not what it has been. We are under much more scrutiny, and expected to remove burdens and simplify things. Our website, now, will be the main vehicle for ‘talking’ to people. Construction is high-risk and, as such, it is a sector we will continue to focus on, but our primary focus will be on smaller sites, not large projects, so we will just have to see how it goes.”

The comments were made as the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) announced that the Park and Village workforce had achieved 3 million hours worked without a single reportable injury. Despite being the largest construction site in Europe, with more than 12,000 workers, the reportable accident rate on the Olympic Park is around a third of the construction-industry average and below the national average for all workplaces.

Said the ODA’s head of health and safety, Lawrence Waterman (left, in the picture): “Health and safety has been our number-one priority from the clean-up of the Olympic Park through to the completion of the ‘big build’. We are not complacent and, as we approach the finish line, we will continue to work with our contractors and workforce to set new standards in health and safety construction.”

To read SHP’s full feature report on last week’s health and safety forum at the Olympics site, click here.

Discover media and sponsorship opportunities

Get your hands on the all-new SHP media pack to discover the exciting opportunities available to you, from sponsorship and contributing articles, webinars and white papers, to advertising to over 700,000 annual visitors.

Find the solution that meets your brand's needs today, and download for free.

office

Related Topics

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
5 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
David
David
10 years ago

This appears to be a magnificent achievement although I am not sure how this stacks up against a previous SHP article on the subject:
https://www.shponline.co.uk/news-content/full/lax-labour-rules-blamed-for-olympic-accidents

Kenpatrick
Kenpatrick
10 years ago

I doubt if the HSE had anything to do with this success and more importantly those really involved have I understand all vowed to take this level of excellence through to their future projects.

Mtlpgd
Mtlpgd
10 years ago

Much is said about the sporting legacy of the 2012 Olympics, I like to think that there will be a legacy of safe working practice, that those working on the numerous Olympic projects will take away and adopt as norm for the rest of their careers. Hopefully they will then promote these standards to future generations of young workers.

Along with a thousand years of accumulated experience the young also observe and learn a life time of bad habits from their elders and this chain must be broken

Shpeditor
Shpeditor
10 years ago

Hi BurySafetyBloke – the fact that the record on the village site was not as good as on the park site was also referred to during this event, and in our longer, feature report, which you are directed to at the end of this story.

Toonaroond
Toonaroond
10 years ago

I’m pretty dumbstruck by the comment “the statistics can’t be bettered” from the senior HSE guy. However the statistics stacked up against the averages, there were still plenty of injuries including RIDDORs. While injuries are still happening on that scale I think we’re a long way off not being able to better things.