London Olympic Park set to be blueprint for excellence in safety…
A new study has identified the key factors behind the impressive safety record at the Olympic Park that was constructed for the 2012 Olympics.
Thirteen different characteristics were highlighted in the study that reviewed the relationships between clients, contractors, construction workers, designers and regulators who all contributed to the excellent safety record at the park.
The study was conducted by researchers at Loughborough University who participated in meetings and interviewed various stakeholders while they were compiling their findings. Their recommendations are intended to be a blueprint for other construction projects as they were able to pinpoint what made the project so successful – something that effectively boiled down to the shared safety conscious mindset that the various interested parties engaged in.
Alistair Gibb, a Professor at Loughborough University commented:
“Successful safety management relies on systems and people working together in tandem – neither is sufficient on its own and they rely on each other to achieve the best outcomes.”
A leading researcher on the team Helen Bolt added:
“The most important thing we discovered in this research was the value of the relationships between individuals and organisations.
“Of all the characteristics of the relationships in evidence during Big Build, the most critical were respect and clarity – they underpin everything, are not costly or difficult to achieve and can have a significant impact on safety culture and standards.”
The HSE who helped to fund the research intend the study to set an example for other large scale construction projects to follow. HSE Board member Howard Shiplee who also acted as the Director of Construction for the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) said:
“Though London 2012 was a unique experience for everyone involved, fundamentally it was no different from other construction projects and there is no reason that what worked during the Olympic Park build cannot work elsewhere.
“Getting the right culture and relationships in place early pays dividends not just for health and safety but for so many of the benchmarks for success, like delivering the project on time and within budget with high productivity and sustainability.
“This doesn’t occur accidentally, providing clarity from the outset is essential and measures need to continue through all phases, not just construction but into fit-out. As we have all seen though, the results can be inspirational – a beacon to the rest of the world.”
The London Olympic Park was one of the largest construction projects in Europe in 2012 and on top of the excellent health and safety record on the site, it was also completed on time and didn’t go over budget. The statistics point to an accident frequency rate of 0.16 for every 100,000 hours worked which is more than three times better than the industry average of 0.55. There wasn’t a single casualty throughout the entire London 2012 construction programme.
Author: Julian Roberts
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