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B&K Structure's recent BSkyB building project

Playing it safe

Nick Milestone says offsite construction and good training can improve health and safety

Posted by Stephanie Broad | November 14, 2015 | Security & safety

Every year, many construction site workers are killed or injured as a result of their work. Others often suffer ill health, such as musculoskeletal disorders, dermatitis or asbestosis. The construction industry's performance has, however, shown a steady long-term improvement through new and innovative practices being introduced across a large number of companies.

The critical issue of health and safety has never been more apparent than when figures were released of the tragedies in Qatar, showing that more than 1,200 migrant workers had died in the country since it was awarded the World Cup in December 2010, and a projected 4,000 would die by the time the games took place in 2022.

These extreme cases are not seen here in the UK but demonstrate how important it is to carry out rigorous health and safety procedures in every company across the industry. Health and safety is at the heart of B&K Structure's corporate social responsibility. The offsite structural frame provider received a Gold RoSPA Occupational Health and Safety Award earlier this year and have achieved this award for the last 13 years. As the UK's family safety charity, Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) mission to save lives and reduce injuries covers all ages and stages of life.

Offsite construction solutions can fundamentally reduce health and safety risks across the construction industry. By working in factory controlled environments, maximising work offsite and avoiding work at height major injuries can, in a lot of cases, be reduced to zero. This is because offsite construction methods result in significantly improved safety for a permanent, highly trained labour force, as well as increased productivity. Taking the construction process away from muddy sites and into a clean, quality controlled manufacturing environment is much safer and more efficient and is not reliant on temporary labour.

When a large amount of the construction and assembly work is carried out offsite, building sites are safer, quieter, cleaner and generally less disruptive for the client - an important factor when building projects are located next to schools, on busy hospital sites and in residential areas.

By taking a responsible, structured and forward-thinking approach to health and safety management, companies are able to reduce the risk of accidents and injury even further. We demonstrate best practice though ensuring that employees at every level are involved in writing procedures, including production and site teams, to ensure the most effective systems are in place and that the whole team is fully engaged. Objectives and targets are then set and the results shared across the business, resulting in an overall vision for an accident and incident-free workplace. 

Nick Milestone, B&K Structures    

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