Will the new construction boom lead to an evolution in safety?

As the recession is set to draw to a close the construction industry is on the rise. The increase in construction jobs and workers has led to a greater demand for health and safety professionals. With an increase in health and safety jobs comes a surge in fresh new ideas, to potentially create an evolution in the world of health and safety.

Recruitment Surge

With the increased demand for experts in safety comes the ability to train more people, and share knowledge about the inner workings of the industry. The candidates required need to have more than just professional qualifications and experience.

In this rapidly growing industry they must be visionaries; proactive and engaging.

To those already within the health and safety environment, it isn’t just a job or even an add-on to a job; it is an entire lifestyle. A great sign for the health and safety industry is the movement in recruitment, not just at a graduate level, but also at a senior level.

With these new people come new ideas, and the power to potentially change the world of health and safety for the better. To evolve with the workforce of Britain, health and safety professionals must help create the vision of an evolution in safety.

Across the Globe

In Hong Kong we are able to see the results of economic development and a boom in the construction industry. According to Labour commissioner Donald Tong, this rise in business opportunities has posed many challenges for health and safety. As the number of construction workers has risen from 50,000 to 80,000[1] in the last five years, many changes have had to be put in place to keep these workers safe.

Donald Tong has pledged to do this by increasing the number of unannounced inspections, improving training and education for those working in construction and enforcing the procedures more effectively. These codes of practice are set to be implemented over the next few months along with a large-scale campaign to promote health and safety to the public and workers.  

Closer to Home

Within the UK, it looks like we are set to experience a similar boom to that of Hong Kong. London and the South East have always been hot spots in most industries. However in the last 12 months construction in particular has begun to pick up across the nation. Caroline Binns, Hays’ head of health and safety recruitment [2], has said that their offices in The Midlands and the North West have experienced a surge in the demand for health and safety professionals over the last few months.

Look to the Future

In March 2013, Heather Bryant took over as chief inspector of construction, just as the economic boom was starting to come to light. With her she brought new ideas and better ways of thinking. Bryant plans to take health and safety back to the basics, ready to create a new, evolved safety scheme. Bryant posed the question “Why give someone a facemask when you could control the dust by wet cutting or on-tool extraction?”[3] For Bryant, she believes that we have all the ingredients for the evolution of health and safety; it’s just a matter of using them.

So what is the answer you might be saying? Will the rise in the construction industry cause an evolution in safety? Well, from the experience in Hong Kong we can certainly learn that a boom in construction has to cause some changes to the way health and safety works, and a lot of this responsibility must be taken on by the construction teams themselves.

From the increase in recruitment, we can predict that new ideas and better ways of working could start coming into effect soon, providing us with a glimpse of what the health and safety world could evolve into.

Over the last decade Airsweb has seen many changes in health and safety and reacted to them appropriately. We are experts in health, safety and environmental services on a global scale, constantly responding to advancements in the industry.

Our roots are in health and safety, however as health and safety looks to evolve, so will we, and so will your business.

For more information about what we can do for your business in a time when many industries are booming across the nation, call 0151 289 6811 or email info@airsweb.com.  

Glenn Hardy

Lee Davies

Sources:

[1] http://www.iosh.co.uk/News/Building-boom-highlights.aspx

[2] http://www.cnplus.co.uk/confirmation?rtn=%252fnews%252femployment%252fincrease-in-activity-driving-increase-in-hs-recruitment%252f8661648.article#.U4cTmvldXZh

[3] http://www.healthandsafetyatwork.com/hsw/construction/coshh-enforcement

Read More

0 Comments

Add a comment

Comments closed