O’Rourke defends safety policy from union attack

Grant Prior 2 years ago
Share

Laing O’Rourke has been left reeling by an attack on its new safety policy by construction union Ucatt.

Health and Safety Director John Green is leading the new approach

The firm’s “safety differently” policy focuses on preventing fatalities rather than all accidents however minor.

Ucatt believes the policy could “erode the very foundations of the UK’s health and safety culture.”

UCATT Midlands Regional Secretary, Shaun Lee, said: “Small injuries are not small concerns for workers.

“By neglecting basic safety, we put workers’ health and futures at risk.

“Small injuries can mean significant loss of pay and significant psychological stress for the worker and their family.

“If we don’t have zero tolerance in the work place, then standards will slip and the number of injuries will increase.”

An O’Rourke spokesperson said: “UCATT has not approached us with any concerns regarding “safety differently” and today’s press release is the first time we’ve heard of them.”

Safety differently is being driven by Group’s Health and Safety Director John Green who has seen the success it enjoyed in Australia.

The spokesperson said: “There’s a focus at many organisations on low-consequence events, like twisted ankles, in the belief that they prevented high-consequence events.

“In other words, the prevention of all harm means the prevention of serious harm. We do not believe that is true.

“There is no correlation between the number of times people twist their ankle and whether or not someone’s going to get killed by falling from height, for example.”

Former Vinci health and safety director Andy Sneddon is joining O’Rourke next month to head up safety across Europe.

The spokesperson added: “There’s also a new emphasis on seeing Laing O’Rourke’s own people as the solution to health and safety challenges by involving them in deciding how hazardous work should be approached.

“Instead of being all paperwork and process, we want health and safety to be at the very core of what we do – and how we do it. In other words, safety is an ethical responsibility not a bureaucratic activity.

“It’s not a question of saying everything we’ve done in the past was wrong – it absolutely isn’t. We wouldn’t be where we are now without it.

“It’s about building on that foundation with a new approach that will take us in the direction we want to go.”

 

Latest news

Shake-up for £2.9bn MoD hard FM contracts

Post-Carillion bid race for MoD estate and housing regional FM contracts
6 hours ago

Caddick takes workforce plastic-free

Workers given aluminium drinks bottles in bid to bin single-use plastics
3 hours ago

Wates wins 7th Leeds Wellington Place job

Work will start of £35m 4 Wellington Place project next month
13 hours ago

Kier targets £50m disposals to cut £375m debt

Firm sets out debt reduction plan in robust year-end results
18 hours ago

Betting Spy: Spurs to shrug off recent troubles

Tottenham can kick-start a win treble with Leicester and Crystal Palace
4 hours ago

Keltbray concrete structures boss exits

Keltbray Structures MD Gordon Dunne on gardening leave
1 day ago

141 jobs axed as M&E specialist George Birchall fails

Larger FM business George Birchall Service avoids administration
18 hours ago

Morgan Sindall bags £384m London scheme first phase

Hackney scheme includes an academy, leisure centre and six blocks of flats
18 hours ago

Mace confirms £180m Olympic Park East Village deal

Firm will fine-tune its 'rising factory' method on the No6 East Village project
18 hours ago

Contractor trials mixed reality headsets on school site

BIM and Microsoft HoloLens used to check M&E work
2 days ago

PM pledges extra £2bn for housing associations over 10 years

Longterm funding will be made available from 2022-2029
2 days ago

Jacobs to lead Edinburgh city centre transformation plan

Team will set out plan for historic overhaul of streets and public space
2 days ago

Costain and Galliford Try fined £2.8m after worker loses toes

Massive fine after accident at Cheshire water treatment works
2 days ago

Boost your online presence – join the new Enquirer Directory

New site for suppliers and buyers will showcase their products, services and latest stories
5 months ago

Van Elle shareholders stage AGM revolt

Shareholders block board's ability to issue new shares for acquisitions
2 days ago

£100m Bristol sports arena plan at Ashton Gate stadium

Sports and convention centre will be attached to Lansdown Stand
2 days ago

Balfour Beatty raises £43m from hospital stake sale

Balfour sells 50% stake in Fife Hospital PPP
2 days ago

Kier offloads pensions unit for £3.5m

Third party pension management business administers half of all police pension
3 days ago

Willmott Dixon clinches £38m Winchester sports centre

Work to start in Spring 2019 on major leisure and sports complex
2 days ago

Architect TP Bennett reaches record turnover

Manchester office grows on back of city building boom
2 days ago

Brexit migration plan would “cripple construction”

Industry pleas ignored over need for steady flow of low-skilled site workers
3 days ago

Wates wins £16m Stockport college revamp

Work is due to start in the early new year on Wellington Road Campus
2 days ago

Balfour Beatty pioneers plastic pylons in Scotland

140 composite poles installed by new helicopter crane in just five days
3 days ago

Plan for 55-storey Manchester student skyscraper

Plans submitted for 168m tall red brick tower at Hulme Street
3 days ago

Crossrail sparks threaten stoppages over lack of loos

Electricians threaten to down tools at Bond Street station site
3 days ago

37 firms to pitch innovations for Heathrow expansion

Search for Heathrow’s Innovation Partners progresses for 3rd runway
3 days ago

Engie lands £52m Newbury PRS deal from Grainger

Construction to start by end of year on new "urban village"
3 days ago

Former Severfield boss joins Billington as chairman

Ian Lawson returns to constructional steelwork after recovering from illness
3 days ago

Czech facade specialist wins second scheme in Manchester

Sipral wins facade package for twin tower flats
3 days ago

Keepmoat closes West Midlands office after £13m hit

House builder aims to build more than 4,000 homes this year
3 days ago

Contractor services