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Sat 28 Apr 2007 12:00 AM

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H&S practice should come from above

Health and safety expert says that standards should be handed down from top-level management as ‘10 golden rules'.

Good health and safety practice should flow from a company's senior management to its labourers, according to Malcolm Wright, senior HSE trainer at Eurolink Safety.

Wright also said that construction companies ought to have ‘10 golden rules' that are fully understood by all employees in order to avoid potentially fatal accidents on site.

"Everybody needs to know what those golden rules are; this is what people have to strive for - they need to be proactive and ensure that the man on the ground understands the information, as he's the one in the line of fire.

"What tends to happen at the moment is that the duty of care is being shot down to the bottom levels of a company, and that's unfair. It's ok if proper training and information is provided, but sometimes this doesn't happen."

With the plethora of different languages spoken by construction workers across the region, Wright added that health and safety information must be conveyed in a language that all people understand.

Apart from having health and safety training programmes in place, this could be done on a daily basis through the ‘tool box' talk.

"During these talks, you should be able to convey the main hazards and emergency procedures in a language that all workers understand. If you cannot do this, you should then have them translated. You have to make sure that all workers understand the primary meaning."

Eurolink, which provides health and safety training programmes as well as carrying out on-site inspections, has seen a growth in contractors opting for its courses over the last year.

"Companies are realising that if they spend more on health and safety education, it will stop people from getting hurt, which is the main aim, but it will also stop them losing money, and their reputation will be better protected," he added.

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