With tickets now on sale, the London 2012 Olympics are very much becoming a reality.
The Olympic Stadium, the VeloPark, the Aquatics Centre and the various smaller sites around the southeast of England are nearing completion and what is classed as one of Europe’s most expansive building projects has become a model to follow where health and safety is concerned.
Working closely with the Olympic Delivery Authority, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) ensured key risks were identified and dealt with at the outset. Inspectors made sure that adequate risk assessments were being carried out even before the construction work commenced. Activities considered high risk, such as working at height, lifting and traffic movement were all subject to stringent management programmes.
Unfortunately, this level of safety management is not apparent across other construction sites in the UK. Falls, trips, crush, noise and manual handling related injuries, fire risks, asbestos and other hazardous substance dangers, lack of adequate training and supervision; all issues that are rife in the building and refurbishment industry.
Almost 20 per cent of South Yorks refurb sites considered high risk
According to HSE inspectors, when they visited 52 refurbishment sites in South Yorkshire and the Humber in February and March, ten were considered such a danger that lives were at risk and formal enforcement notices had to be issued for matters including unsafe working at height, inadequate asbestos management and unacceptable fire precautions.
According to the HSE, during 2009/2010 a total of 833 injuries were sustained on construction sites in the region, and six deaths.
Those responsible for health and safety on construction sites must follow several pieces of legislation, including the Construction (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1996 (CHSW) and the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 1994 (CDM). Failure to do so will lead to prosecution by the HSE and where this negligence leads to an accident, there will be liability for compensation.
Claiming compensation for construction site accidents
For those who have sustained injuries whilst working on a construction site, or for those who have lost loved ones in fatal accidents on a site, there is a right of redress in the form of a claim for compensation. Normally claims must be instigated within three years of the date of the accident, although in the case of occupational illnesses, such as those caused by exposure to asbestos, different rules apply.
The specialist injury claims solicitors at Stephensons have many years experience in handling construction site injury claims. For advice on pursuing a personal injury claim, call us on 01616 966 229.