Small scheme safety worries

The UK's leading voice on health and safety has praised contractors on some of Britain's biggest and best landscapes for minimising accidents, but warned of danger with smaller projects.

Health & Safety Executive chair Judith Hackitt said hard and soft landscapes at the Olympic Park, Heathrow Terminal 5 and Salford Media City were safety showcases.

"What is striking about these examples is not just the safety performance but the way it has been achieved. Health and safety is part of the culture and led from the top," she said.

"Workforce involvement and engagement at every level is clearly visible. Motivation, commitment and collaboration are in the supply chain. It's win-win, not a trade-off."

Hackitt, speaking at a conference last week hosted by Capita Symonds and ACE, said legacy played a huge part in the ethos of the Olympic Park.

"That legacy simply cannot and must not be tarnished by the knowledge that the construction of the 2012 site killed somebody. I can't be the only person who believes this legacy principle has to hold true for every project. No project of any size or type should be a memorial to those who built it."

But this would not be fully achieved through regulation and a compliance-driven approach, she added. It needed leadership and engagement up and down the supply chain.

Hackitt said evidence showed a two-tier industry developing in the built environment, with high accident rates on smaller sites, especially refurbishment work.

"Just as we have moved on from the generic mindset that construction is a dangerous industry, we must not fall into the trap of believing small-scale projects are different or that new and inexperienced workers are more prone to injury."

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next

Business planning - Managing price volatility

Business planning - Managing price volatility

There are options to help you manage the impact of exchange rate fluctuations when buying from abroad, Neville Stein advises.

Sargent's solutions - regulations and legislative requirements underline the professional status of landscape contractors and gardeners

Sargent's solutions - regulations and legislative requirements underline the professional status of landscape contractors and gardeners

Regulations benefit individual gardeners and landscapers as well as the wider industry, Alan Sargent explains.



Customers do not often know about the different leaf colours and shapes offered by hollies, Miranda Kimberley reports.

Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Horticulture Week Top 50 Landscape and maintenance contractors

See our exclusive ranking of landscape and maintenance contractors by annual turnover. 

Industry Data

An exclusive report for HW subscribers revealing the key development trends, clients and locations for 2017.


Free to subscribers, the essential guide for professional plant buyers

Download your copy

Products & Kit Resources