CIF calls for 2017 to be the Safest Year in Construction

CIF Director General, Tom Parlon, has asked construction companies to redouble their efforts to reduce accidents on site for 2017 at a meeting of leading industry members today.

“Construction companies have worked tirelessly with their industry partners to reduce workplace accidents and fatalities. The industry employs over 140,000 people directly and continues to strive to improve safety management and awareness in the sector. Health and Safety Authority statistics show that tragic accidents are much more likely to occur within the micro-enterprise and self-employed sectors of the industry. It is vital that we redouble our efforts to get the safety message to smaller companies and sole traders, to reduce accidents and always strive towards a zero-fatality industry.”

According to DKM consultants, construction activity is anticipated to grow by 9% per year up to 2020. This growth will be driven by ambitious government targets in housebuilding and infrastructure development as well as commercial growth. DKM estimates that 112,000 new jobs will be created by the sector by 2020 to deliver on these targets. This year, Construction Information Services estimates that almost €19billion in construction projects will be completed.

“With a strong increase in activity, there will be a subsequent need to expand the workforce and we expect a strong growth of new employees coming onsite, along with those returning to Ireland for work. We are asking construction companies, particularly smaller companies and the self-employed to refocus on Health and Safety for 2017. Now is the time to reflect on our current Health and Safety procedures so you can be busy and safe. We must ensure that the industry maintains its strong record on the management and awareness of safety and health issues.”

For decades, employers and workers within the construction industry have been investing time and money to drive improvements and ensure that all workers can work safely on construction projects in Ireland. Approximately 90,000 workers complete the Safe Pass Programme every year. However, progress and innovation are constant requirements in an ever-evolving working environment.

“The safety and health of workers is paramount and many employers in the construction sector have been leading the field in this area for years. We point to last the 2016 NISO safety awards where construction companies demonstrated that they have safety regimes in place comparable with multinational companies in hi tech industry. However, we can never become complacent. The industry looks set to grow considerably over the next number of years and with that comes an increased risk. We need to constantly strive for better health and safety standards and increase awareness on the subject and we encourage construction clients to reward those companies who invest in better health and safety performance. Health and safety should be to the fore when planning every project – regardless of size- and on workers’ minds at all times. This year, the CIF will deliver a sustained campaign on safety to keep the message at the forefront of industry. We will continue to work with the HSA and our partners in the Construction Safety Partnership Advisory Committee to highlight safety during Construction Safety Week in late October.”

The Construction Industry Federation (CIF) provides a wide range of construction related health and safety management training programmes and services to meet the needs of the sector. Programmes are highly regarded by regulatory bodies, local authorities and all of those involved in the procurement of construction services. These health and safety courses are fully accredited by IOSH and QQI and designed to provide additional support to construction professionals, who need to be fully aware of their legal roles and responsibilities while on site.

Read an in-depth focus on Safety in Construction in the latest edition of Irish building magazine

For more information see: