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Health and Safety Test ten years old

Training body CITB-ConstructionSkills celebrated the tenth anniversary of its Health and Safety Test with over 4M booked since its launch.

Introduced in 2001, the test has become a standard for employees working in construction and the built environment to show minimum level of health and safety knowledge and awareness.

It has grown in popularity, rising from 50,000 taking the test in 2001 to over 500,000 last year. This has coincided with a fall in fatalities from 4.7 deaths per 100,000 in 1999/2000 down to 2.0 in 2010 - a reduction of 58%.

“The steady reduction of fatalities in the construction industry over the last 10 years is certainly attributable to an increased awareness of on-site health and safety issues,” said CITB-ConstructionSkills head of health, safety and environment strategy Kevin Fear.

The test has been backed by industry such as major consultant Atkins and the Construction Plant Hire Association.

“The CITB-ConstructionSkills Health and Safety Test is an excellent baseline for our industry,” said Atkins group director for quality, safety and environment Richard Hulland.

“It has helped to create a greater awareness of Health and Safety on site and has given all those working in the industry a better understanding to challenge practices that don’t meet expected standards.”

“Working with the CITB and other industry partners, Atkins has now also helped to extend the test to cover worldwide operations which is raising standards across the board.”


Readers' comments (1)

  • Barry Walton

    We should perhaps be fearful of Mr Fear's certainty and the endorsement from Richard Hullard. Ten years seems to be a tidy anniversary period but it hardly casts in stone the impact of the 'Test'; H&S annual naratives do not paint a rosy picture for the decade. Further figures from 1992/93 indicate a 'steadyish downward trend in deaths per number of workers except for the spike years of 1996/97 and, significantly, 2000/01 the handy start point for the causal claim. While we might reasonably hope that education would inprove performance, including attitude to safety and application of measures, any claims should be set against fluctuating numbers enployed and the lack of skill peak demand sucks in, the nature of work being done and types of accident.

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