Safety initiative is welcomed

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has welcomed an initiative launched by the HVCA and the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA) to assist their contractor members in meeting health and safety competences.

Many contractors undergo pre-qualification assessment of their basic health and safety credentials by clients and main contractors, and are often required to prove their competence in respect of each tender.

To address this issue, the HSE commissioned a study from J Z Carpenter, which resulted in a report entitled Developing Guidelines for the Selection of Designers and Contractors under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 1994.

On the basis of the recommendations contained in the report, the HSE initiated a consultation exercise with industry bodies, including the Specialist Engineering Contractors’ (SEC) Group and the Major Contractors’ Group, in order to develop a set of core criteria for use in the assessment of contracting companies.

“I am pleased that we have been able to work with HVCA and ECA to launch this initiative,” commented the HSE’s Richard Boland. “This is a good example of the HSE working together with industry to deliver good health and safety practice.”

Bob Towse, HVCA Head of Technical and Safety, added that – along with all other interests within construction – the mechanical and electrical sectors had established stretching targets for improving their health and safety record.

“Anything that can help us meet – and, ideally, exceed – these targets is both welcome and valuable,” he insisted.

The HVCA/ECA’s Core Criteria for Assessing Contractor Safety state clearly what contractors should be doing to meet health and safety requirements, and are based on the key requirements in the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

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