Construction Industry Occupational Health & Safety.
We are really pleased to be closely involved in the Working Well Together initiative here in the South West. We’ll be at the half-day South West SHAD Event in Cinderford tomorrow, 14th November.
The construction industry is making great strides in terms of Health & Safety but there are always opportunities to make the industry safer. We need to keep driving down the rates of accidents and ill health linked to working in construction.
Working Well Together was set up as joint industry/HSE initiative to help do this. Its motto is – ‘help from the industry for the industry’.
Let’s look at exactly what it does and how it does it.
Working Well Together (WWT) was set up in 1998 by the Construction Industry Advisory Committee (CONIAC) which recognised the construction industry itself needed to do more to improve its health and safety performance. This was particularly needed among the smaller construction businesses.
The organisation provides relevant health and safety messages and information to the workforce directly. (Such as the WWT White Van Tours/Roadshows that visit building sites within a given area). These allow the workers to receive these messages and information without having leaving their site. Other means include our literature such as;
The ‘High 5’ leaflet outlining the five main causes of problems on sites and the WWT pocket book.
A WWT Pocket Book ‘The absolutely essential health and safety toolkit for the smaller construction contractor.
And the ‘Busy Builder Series of leaflets (see the downloads section).
However, the most far-reaching approach are our construction Safety and Health Awareness Days (SHADs). Since our first event on general site safety in 2002, we have gone on to develop SHADs for more specific topics and audiences. Our SHADs continue to have great impact with our follow up evaluations. These show that attendees to WWT events are actually implementing changes on returning to their work practices. Workplaces as a result of the information/messages from these events. These changes have in a number of cases, led to noticeable improvement in health and safety in these businesses.
Following the restructuring of CONIAC, WWT became part of the CONIAC Supporting Small Employers Working Group.
Since we were set up, more than 50,000 people have attended our events. Our groups usually groups typically hold more than 60 events, attended by more than 4,000 people each year across England, Scotland and Wales. There is likely to be a WWT event each week somewhere across the country.
The organisation has developed into the most successful, health and safety initiative within the construction industry. We help make construction workers more aware of health and safety and safe working practices. As a result, welfare on site and relations between industry and HSE has definitely improved.
WWT and the construction industry needs people, companies and organisations interested in sharing their knowledge and experience of good to improve health and safety in construction. Is your organisation already an active member of your regional WWT Group? If there is no active WWT group in your area/region you would like to discuss bringing WWT activity to it, contact Adebayo Ige on 0203 028 2852 for further information and assistance
There are currently 17 WWT Regional Groups operating across England, Scotland and Wales.
The regional groups have a deep understanding of their local environments. This allows the WWT groups to provide an effective regional and nationwide support for the all WWT members.
75% of all those injured or killed on building sites in the UK, work for companies employing fewer than 15 people. The WWT groups provide an effective, experienced information sharing and advice network. This means these small companies and the self-employed can get relevant health and safety advice from those in the industry at little or no cost.
Our regional group members come from all trades, sectors and specializations across the construction industry spectrum. By joining a WWT regional group you can benefit from this extensive knowledge and experience of managing health and safety in construction. You can also pass on your own skills; knowledge and experience in managing health and safety in construction to others. Through your contributions to our WWT College and apprenticeship events also help shape and influence the construction industry workforce of the future!!
Working for safety
Most people who attend WWT events go away saying that they have learnt something new and will be making changes. They leave WWT events with information and go on to make changes that may help protect them in future.
We know that changes are implemented following attendance at WWT events. In many cases, this leads to noticeable improvement in health and safety among the smaller construction businesses. With over 4000 people attending WWT events each year – as many as 70% for the first time – this has to be good news and a great opportunity to make an impact!”
George Efthymiou is Director of Shout Out Safety, and sits on the WWT South West Regional Committee. He says “This is such an important initiative for the industry as a whole, but particularly for the self-employed builder and the smaller construction companies. They don’t have the luxury of the sort of dedicated department that bigger companies do. Sometimes it’s difficult for them to deal with OH issues and demands. This is where WWT really helps.’