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HSE calls for early education to reduce accidents

HEALTH AND safety education must be given a higher priority during the training of undergraduate civil engineers.

This is the message the Health & Safety Executive will present to academics at next February's Construction Industry Council annual conference for heads of university civil engineering departments. It aims to stem radically accidents in construction.

'Universities are aware of the need to teach students about health and safety, but often not how best to go about it,' said HSE's Trevor Allen.

'We want to ensure there is time in the curriculum to integrate the subject into courses rather than just tacking it on for a couple of weeks at the end.'

The conference will highlight to heads of department how health and safety training, particularly the requirements on designers under the new CDM regulations, can be brought into the teaching of existing courses. And with more four year courses now being run following the Engineering Council's SARTOR rules, the HSE feels more teaching time should be available.

'Employers are aware that graduates need to have this training, particularly since the CDM regulations came in,' said Allan.

'Design engineers had not had to deal with these issues before - it is now fundamental to what the work is all about.'

A date and venue for the conference will be finalised in the next few weeks.

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