Skimping On Safety Has A Cost
E VIDENCE of the economic recovery may now be beyond doubt, but focus on costs is as strong as ever. The ravages of the recession made everyone in construction even more price conscious, and as everyone knows, price has always been one of the first questions people ask about when discussing a product or project.
One practice sometimes seen as an easy target for cost cutting is health & safety, especially among smaller builders. It is an approach the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) knows only too well as shown by its procession of prosecutions exposing safety lapses.
Hence the recent HSE announcement that during the next 12 months over 70% of its inspection efforts will focus on sites where less than five people are working, particularly in refurbishment activities.
Cutting corners on health & safety is a false economy as your business can suffer additional costs through lost man hours and sick pay. For a flooring contractor, the sudden absence of a fitter through injury can leave them unable to finish a job on time, missing a deadline and incurring penalties. Aside from the possible loss of future work, it can mean higher insurance premiums and a bad reputation with clients.
While flooring is clearly not the most dangerous of the construction trades, that is no excuse for not exercising maximum vigilance and taking every normal precaution.
Flooring contractors who are members of the CFA, despite having a good safety record, are being reminded to respond to the 2013/14 NSCC accident survey this month.
The NSCC (National Specialist Contractors’ Council), to which the CFA is affiliated, conducts an annual survey as part of its commitment to reducing fatal and major injury rates within the construction industry. The NSCC accident survey is designed to show that specialist contractors are safer than the construction average.
For example, in its last survey that covered 2012/13, NSCC received responses from over 2,500 specialist contractors employing over 144,000 operatives. NSCC members recorded one fatality during this period giving an NSCC rate of 0.7 per 100,000 workers. In contrast the wider construction industry suffered 39 fatalities at a rate of 1.9 per 100,000 workers.
The NSCC major injury rate was 150.1 per 100,000 workers, the lowest ever recorded since NSCC started collecting this information 10 years ago, compared with 156 per 100,000 workers for the wider industry. The over seven day injury rate for the NSCC was 247.7 per 100,000 workers compared with 255.4 per 100,000 workers for the wider industry.
It will take CFA members only minutes to complete the NSCC accident survey. Doing so will help to strengthen the voices of both NSCC and the CFA.
This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal website. You can find them at www.contractflooringjournal.co.uk.