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HSC safety plans put firms under pressure

COMPANIES COULD be forced to carry out detailed investigations into workplace accidents if Health & Safety Commission (HSC) plans are approved by the next government.

The HSC has given the industry until 3 September to comment on its proposals which come after a surge in site deaths over the last two years.

Latest figures from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) reveal that deaths on site for the nine months to February stand at 92, up from 57 for the same period last year, a rise of 61%.

The HSC wants compulsory company investigations to follow reportable work related accidents, ill health or near misses which could have caused serious injury.

Firms would have to investigate how such incidents happened and change company procedures to avoid repeats. Under the proposals, records of investigations would have to be kept for three years and could be examined at any time by the HSE.

The HSC estimates that up to £1.8bn a year could be saved in preventable accidents, with £600M from businesses.

Civil Engineering Contractors' Association director Rosemary Beales said: 'We welcome the main aim which is to reduce accidents, but will be advocating that investigations are carried out by competent people.'

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