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December 30, 2019

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Specialist insurer urges better safety standards in construction sector

A specialist insurer for electrical and mechanical contractors has urged insurers and brokers who service the UK’s construction industry to put greater focus on supporting health and safety practices among contractors.

According to specialist insurer ECIC, the latest HSE construction statistics revealed 30 fatal injuries to construction workers in 2018/19, which is only a small improvement on the annual average number of 36 fatalities over the last five years.

Additionally, instances in which the HSE had to stop work on construction sites due to unsafe practices accounted for 60% of all the prohibition notices issued between 2018 and 2019.

Richard Forrest Smith, Chief Executive Officer of ECIC, said that the statistics showed that, after years of “marked improvements in health and safety records,” safety standards in the construction sector seem to have reached a plateau.

“The increased penalties that contractors are facing may help to improve standards, but with 30 fatalities and the deaths of seven innocent members of the public, they are clearly not working to eradicate unsafe practices to the needed level,” said Smith.

“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. It is incumbent on all of us working in the building services sector to insist on standards of competence as a condition of cover and take every opportunity to help educate contractors on the value of creating a health and safety culture.”

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