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HSE, HC 627
Improving Health and Safety in the construction industry.
Fifty-second report of session 2003-04
Report, together with formal minutes oral and written evidence
The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 imposed a general duty on employers and the self-employed to ensure the safety of workers, the general public and others affected by their work. Individual workers are required to take reasonable care of their own health and safety and that of their co-workers. Statutory responsibility for enforcing health and safety law rests with the Health and Safety Executive (the HSE). With a work force of around 4,000 staff, the HSE spent £111 million in 2002-03 out of a total budget of £202 million helping all sectors of industry improve compliance with the law through workplace inspections, conducting research, and investigating accidents and complaints. It also spent a further £26 million on awareness days, issuing guidance, and providing advice.
Nonetheless, death and serious injuries at work are still frequent, and amongst construction workers are unacceptably high and more frequent than in any other sector of the United Kingdom economy.
On the basis of a Report by the Comptroller and Auditor General the committee examined the HSE on the extent to which it had made a difference to health and safety in the construction industry; whether HSE’s current methods for measuring its performance were robust; whether HSE had adopted a strategic approach to use its resources to best effect; and whether, when developing its strategy, HSE had taken account of the underlying factors which affect the industry’s safety record.
As part of the Conclusions and recommendations section of this document the above examinations of the HSE are answered by using a series of questions including
Is the HSE making a difference to health and safety in the construction industry?
Is the HSE strategic enough in its approach?
Is the HSE tackling the risks caused by the structure of the industry?
Trends are set out throughout the document in the form of graphs displaying figures collected over a number of years. The numbers of Fatalities and Major injuries have been recorded back to 1971 and 1981 respectively.
Formal minutes from the Committee of Public Accounts meeting held on 8 November 2004 are included in full with a list of Reports from the Committee of Public Accounts session 2003-04.
House of Commons
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