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Raynsford challenges industry on 'unacceptable' safety record

Construction minister Nick Raynsford slated the construction industry for its 'unacceptable' safety record at the launch of an initiative to improve the sector's approach to looking after its staff.

'Safety is one area all of us should be deeply ashamed of, ' Raynsford told construction chiefs. 'Last year 85 people died and in the first six months of this year 62 people have been killed. It is an unacceptable record.'

(NCE 16 November).

Raynsford challenged the industry to bring proposals to improve safety to next February's safety summit.

He said that the appalling safety statistics were damaging the industry's ability to recruit and retain staff.

Raynsford was speaking at the launch of a new report and tool kit produced by the organisations that make up the Rethinking Construction initiative.

The pack called 'A commitment to people - our biggest asset' sets out the business case for investing in staff health, welfare, training and for employing a more diverse workforce. It also includes a series of toolkit checklists that will allow companies to benchmark their performance in all fields.

Rethinking Construction is now looking for organisations willing to trial the toolkits in demonstration projects. Thirty are signed up but more are needed.

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