Contractors this week expressed doubts about whether the goals of the See Me Save Me cycle safety campaign were best achieved by changing legislation.
See Me Save Me is calling on the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) to widen the scope of the Construction Design and Management Regulations to include reporting of all accidents on public roads involving cyclists and vehicles owned by construction firms to the HSE.
This would involve a change in existing construction safety legislation and would involve contractors and materials suppliers reporting accidents.
VolkerWessels UK head of corporate responsibility Adrian Shah-Cundy said he was unsure whether mandatory reporting would achieve the desired outcome of improving cycle safety.
“Reporting is only part of the picture - whether it is on or off site,” said Shah-Cundy. “What you do to prevent [accidents] is more important.” VolkerWessels internally investigates all off site cycling incidents related to its projects.
Shah-Cundy said if construction firms were forced to report all project related road traffic accidents then their statistics could be skewed through the inclusion of incidents which were not the fault of their drivers.
This could reflect badly on firms with fleets operating in large cities such as London where road traffic accidents are more common, he added.
Subsidiary VolkerHighways maintains highways in central London for Transport for London in joint venture with contractor Colas and consultant URS.
Skanska health and safety director Dylan Clark agreed with Shah-Cundy.
“I don’t believe that [accident reporting] will make any difference,” said Clark. “It’s about industry taking responsibility.”
Skanska also reports details to its board of all accidents and near misses between cyclists and construction vehicles off site.