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Geoffrey Podger, chief executive of the Health and Safety Executive, recently warned of increased Health and Safety inspection campaigns for 2007/08 to counter the estimated 10-15 per cent rise in the rate of fatal accidents. It is imperative for construction companies to keep abreast of the latest Health and Safety regulations and requirements, and to ensure that guidelines, records and policy information are communicated to all staff.

One of the major problems in the construction industry is that too many firms are relying on a manual paper-based system to meet their Health and Safety requirements. Yet this approach does not provide the level of sophistication needed if employers are to fulfil their legal obligations and protect their liability. A fully automated, centralised approach to Health and Safety information management is necessary, which enables company directors to stay up to date with all the latest regulations, and distribute the correct information to their staff via a knowledge portal.

As the number of Health and Safety inspections increases, construction firms must be able to show legislative compliance, a commitment to Health and Safety, improved standards in management and control of risk within their organisation.

Trevor Cole, director, Datum International

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