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New ODA chief executive launches health and safety campaign

On his first official day as chief executive of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) on 1 February, Dennis Hone today met with members of the Olympic Park workforce to launch a new safety campaign for the site.

Hone replaces David Higgins who has left the ODA to take up his new post as chief executive of Network Rail. He had previously been director of finance and corporate services at the ODA for over 4 years.

The safety push is designed to encourage workers to remain focused on their personal safety and that of their colleagues as the number of workers peaks and the type of work changes from heavy construction to fitting-out the venues.

He said: “The change in leadership at the ODA does not mean there is any change in direction. In 2011 we will continue to focus on hitting our milestones, bearing down on costs and completing the venue construction on time. We will also continue to prioritise the health and safety of the 12,000-strong workforce who are building world-class sporting venues, new bridges, roads and infrastructure, parklands and housing.

“David Higgins has done an inspirational job over the last 5 years and we are on track. I am determined to carry on the ODA’s relentless emphasis on delivering the biggest construction project in Europe, on time, on budget and to the highest safety standards.”

With the tag-line, ‘the countdown is on’, the new safety campaign promotes health, safety and environment messages as the ‘Big Build’ nears completion. The campaign is being rolled out to all workers on site through site posters, special safety briefings and new branded Oyster card holders with safety messages and scratch cards which reward with London 2012 merchandise.

The Olympic Park has achieved 17 sets of a million hours worked without a reportable incident since 2006 and has a safety record far better than the industry average.

The ODA’s commitment to health and safety has been recognised by the British Safety Council with its 5-star award, following an independent audit of the ODA’s health and safety systems and processes, in which the ODA scored 98%. The ODA was also awarded the Sword of Honour, one of the most prestigious international health and safety accolades, designed to encourage and reward organisations that work to best practice.

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