Construction is the only industry where death rates are rising, Health & Safety Commission chairman Bill Callaghan told the summit.
Despite accounting for just 6% of gross domestic product construction accidents were the cause of a third of all workrelated deaths. 'Does it have to be this way?' he asked.
Callaghan acknowledged that Construction Industry Advisory Committee and the Construction Industry Board had recently set the industry challenging safety improvement targets.
These include reducing the rate of fatalities and major injuries by 40% by 2005, and 66% by 2010. Other targets include reducing work-related ill health by 50% by 2010.
He said it was not just down to contractors to ensure these targets were met. He urged clients, designers and suppliers to play their part. 'We shall only succeed if we all co-operate.'