I read with interest the news story in last week's NCE entitled 'Accident rate fall raises HSE suspicions'.
Perhaps I am becoming cynical, but is it possible that the drop in accidents is being driven by client prequalification questionnaires which invariably require contractors to list their accident record for the last three or five years. Assuming that the better a contractor's accident record, the more chance they have of being on the tender list, there is an incentive to ensure that reported accidents are kept to a minimum.
One would hope that contractors would achieve this by better site safety but the simpler option may be to massage the figures. It is impossible to hide fatalities and difficult to hide the major injuries, but it is easy enough to omit a few 3-day absences from the records if one had the mind to do so.
I have no evidence to support these comments, but I strongly suspect it is happening and it will continue to happen as long as safety is measured by the number of failures a company has.
Michael Battman, 25 Deansgate Lane, Timperley, Altrincham, Cheshire, WA15 6SF