Dermot Bannon and the construction industry team up for Construction Safety Week

Construction Safety Week kicks off from this Monday 22nd- Friday 26th October and will see construction workers all over Ireland ‘down tools’ to highlight safety on sites.

Dermot Carey, Director Safety and Training, Construction Industry Federation (CIF) said:

“As the level of activity in the construction sector increases we are ramping up our efforts to manage the health and safety risk that this brings. We are particularly conscious of the increased hazards on smaller sites as these sites feature inappropriately in accidents. This week, the industry will highlight health and safety to employees and the thousands of self-employed operating in construction. There’s about 150,000 people working in the industry with 1500 new workers entering every month.  As an industry, we are doing everything we can to achieve a zero-accident industry.  

The number of companies participating in Safety Week activities is very positive.  However, the challenge is improving safety awareness amongst SME companies where, unfortunately, the majority of incidents occur. That’s why we’ve teamed up with Dermot Bannon to help us get the message across to small construction companies and tradespeople.  We’re working with the Health and Safety Authority to drive safety and health throughout the industry, with Pieta House on mental health awareness, the Ervia family on utility safety and the RSA on safe driving throughout the campaign.

We’re starting on Monday when there will be a ‘stand-down’ for safety on sites all across Ireland. Workers will down tools at 9am across the industry for a moment to raise consciousness about safety on site. These reminders are really important because complacency is the enemy of safety.

Architect and RTE star Dermot Bannon, is lending his support this year to drive home the 2018 theme- ‘Better Safety for Smaller Contractors.’

Dermot Bannon said:

“Contractors working on domestic renovations face many difficult safety challenges. In addition to working within a tight site footprint, they have to ensure subcontractors and suppliers, who may only be on site temporarily, adhere to their rules. They also have to ensure that their clients- the homeowners- are safe when on site.”

“No matter what rules and processes are in place, construction sites are dangerous. If you are working on one, you are responsible for your personal safety and that of those around you. In turn, you should expect that those working around you are equally aware of your safety.”

“I see how high the standards are in Ireland, particularly when I get to work abroad. Our industry has a lot to be proud of, but as any Health and Safety Officer would advise, one should not get complacent and that is why Construction Safety Week is so important for the Irish construction industry.”

According to the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) 6 people have lost their lives in construction related activity over the last 12 months (October-October).

Michael McDonagh, Head of Construction Policy with the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) said:

“The construction industry is growing once again, and we are seeing many new projects at planning stage. In this context it is vital that we are proactive in raising awareness of the high levels of risk on construction sites and influencing attitudes and behaviours amongst construction workers.

The most common causes of injuries on sites in Ireland are manual handling related injuries, followed by falls on the same level and falls from heights. While the most common causes of fatalities in construction are working at height, vehicle related accidents, and being struck by falling or collapsing objects. The rate of fatalities in the construction sector fell sharply from 7.4 per 100,000 workers in 2004 to 4.1 in 2010, a period encompassing boom and bust. Despite a significant reduction in the construction fatality rate for 2017, to 3.1 per 100,000, we are concerned that the fatality rate overall in construction remains high and this concern is further compounded with the increased risks of new entrants to the sector. To date in 2018, 5 people have lost their lives on Irish construction sites.”

Construction Safety Week is an initiative of the Construction Safety Partnership Advisory Committee (CSPAC). This is a grouping of all the main stakeholders in the construction sector in Ireland – Employers, Unions, State Bodies (in conjunction with the Health & Safety Authority) and Professional Bodies.

Our collective objective is to continue to highlight the issues of health and safety in the Irish construction industry and to drive continual improvement.

Good health and safety depend on co-operation between all parties on a project – from client to designers and contractors – everyone’s safety depends on their co-workers or the person working beside you or above you.

The mission for this week is to re-focus on health and safety and it’s a call to action for companies of all sizes to run a safety event this week.

Construction Safety Week 2018 is sponsored by the Construction Workers Sick Pay Trust (CWPS), DRS Bond Management, Jacobs Engineering, Walls Construction, Glenveagh Properties, Collen Construction, Irish Water, Gas Networks Ireland and ESB Networks.

Stephen Garvey, Chief Operations Officer of Glenveagh Properties said :“Safety is a cornerstone of our operations at Glenveagh. We’re starting as we mean to go on, instilling a focus on safety amongst our employees in everything we do. We also want to contribute to the creation of a safety culture and the promotion of greater safety awareness in the wider industry. We are delighted to partner with the Construction Industry Federation on this initiative and we are looking forward to taking an active role in the week’s activities”

For more information see: www.cif.ie/safety-week , check out activity on @CIF_ireland or by using #CIFsafety18

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