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Shrinking safety is a deadly shortcut

13/09/2018 - 03:28PM

The Association for Project Safety demands a central role for health and safety.
Failure to take safety seriously or to invest time, money and manpower in proper risk assessment ultimately leads to deaths and serious injuries delegates at the annual conference of the Association for Project Safety heard today (Wednesday 12 September 2018).
An audience of professionals in design and construction health and safety risk management heard their president Bobby Chakravarthy say that it was time to shout out for safety and to move to get the Cinderella specialism off the back burner.
The APS annual conference heard from a high level line up of industry experts for sessions concentrating on:
  • the aftermath and consequences of the Grenfell Tower disaster;
  • issues around infrastructure design, build and management;
  • developments and use of new technology to cut the risk of death, injury and ill-health; and
  • the implications – particularly in the light of the collapse of Carillion - for small and medium sized enterprises in an industry where just under half of workers are sole proprietors, consultants or those working in small, local practices.
APS President, Bobby Chakravarthy said:
“Safety needs to take centre stage in the design, build, management and operation of Britain’s buildings and infrastructure. For too long - when time is short and budgets tight -  safety concerns get pushed to the back of the queue. But it is a false economy with potentially deadly consequences. We have all seen the tragic results at Grenfell, and recently over the Morandi Bridge in Genoa, and whatever the last straw in either case will be found to be the underlying truth is that cutting corners during the whole life of any project builds in flaws and weaknesses which can lead to catastrophic loss of life and injury at some later date.
“Professionals in design and construction health and safety risk management who make up the membership of the Association for Project Safety are at the forefront of developments in new technology and in the support and advice they provide clients and companies. They pioneer techniques and practices that help cut death and injury and the life changing illnesses that are associated with working in construction. But it is far too common for risk to be at the tail-end. As the UK needs to gear up to meet the needs of homebuyers and a push to replace and renew national infrastructure we must not take our eyes off the risks we can control – and the possible concerns if it goes wrong.
“I am coming to the end of my time as APS President and I see an industry coming to terms with many challenges.From Brexit and the need to attract, train and retrain to quality construction talent to the potential of new technology and computer modelling there is a great deal going on and a wealth of dedicated talent. But we must keep shouting out for Safety so progress is not bought in the lives and health of construction workers and those who live and work in the projects we design and build.”
The conference was held at the Stoller Hall of Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester.

Source: APS

APS National Conference 2018

Full programme and more about this year's conference.