April 21, 2017

Construction and engineering workers down tools to support safety campaign

News Article

Around 60,000 workers in the construction and engineering sectors downed tools to show support for a national initiative aimed at encouraging better health, safety and wellbeing at work.

The ‘Stop. Make a Change’ campaign, which has been developed by some of the industry’s leading contractors and customers working with the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA), was launched at CECA’s 20th anniversary conference in November last year.

On 18 April, more than 1,000 sites, offices and production facilities across the country took part in the cross-industry event.

More than 30 organisations also used the day as a springboard to make specific commitments on the campaign’s four target areas: mental health, fatigue, plant safety and respiratory health.

CECA’s chief executive Alasdair Reisner said: “When we first started planning Stop. Make a Change we hoped that we might get up to 10 companies and a few thousand employers involved in this first year. The response from industry has been tremendous, with a real desire to use the event as an opportunity to deliver positive change across the sector.

Around 250 workers at Gatwick Airport were amongst those who joined in, with the backing of their employers, including Balfour Beatty, Marco Group, Jacobs and Galliford Try.

Raymond Melee, Gatwick Airport’s construction director, said: “We have an excellent health and safety record and we are proud to be taking part in this important national initiative which continues our ambition to safeguard the health and wellbeing of every worker at the airport.”

“The ‘Stop. Make a Change’ campaign is an excellent opportunity to review the progress that has been made in relation to key concerns for the construction industry, such as fatigue, mental health, respiratory illness and plant safety.”

Sarah Beale Chief Executive of the Construction Industry Training Board, said: “It’s great to see so many employers getting behind this important campaign. While we know that there has been sustained improvements in health and safety in recent years, there is much more to be done.

Lara Murray an Associate Solicitor with Palmers who specialises in health and safety legal matters, said: “Although much has already been done within both the construction and engineering sectors to improve their respective health and safety records, any initiative which promotes better safety and wellbeing at work, is to be welcomed.

“Although this initiative only took place on a single day, hopefully the improvements and opportunities that were identified during the event will last far longer.

“At Palmers we are able to assist with the drafting of robust risk assessments and method statements which not only ensure that firms are compliant with health and safety regulations but will help keep workers safe.”

For further information on Palmers employment and health and safety legal support, please contact us.