The death of three demolition workers in the partial collapse of a warehouse in Hull is tragic. Our thoughts and sympathy are with the relatives and colleagues of these men. They will be stunned, desolate and the whole experience will seem to be 'unreal'. Coming to terms with what has happened will be difficult and will seem for a long time to be impossible.
This accident again emphasises that construction is dangerous. We must continue to make health and safety a priority in planning, design and construction. We must also make it a priority in the education of all involved - at professional, operative and undergraduate level. The CDM regulations highlight demolition as a high risk activity and they apply to any demolition work, regardless of the scale of the operation. Risk assessments must be made and safe working method statements prepared, adopted and followed by all involved.
The Approved Code of Practice is being reviewed by the Health & Safety Executive. The code should focus on the practical problems of managing work safely. One of the aims of the Health & Safety Board is to improve the 'awareness' of safety matters and to encourage a 'safety culture'. We are all part of the problem. Can we be part of the solution?
John Fisher (F) chairman, Health & Safety Board, JohnFisher@norwood75.freeserve.co.uk