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Summing up


Safety caught my attention with the advent of the new CDM regulations and Antony Oliver's Comment thereon (NCE 16 November).

The initial question that crossed my mind was: on which statistics did Antony make his statement that the construction industry has a poor safety record? Conversely what would the statistics need to be for him to adjudge a good safety record, since if nothing else we know you cannot buy 100% safety.

Which all leads into taking a step backwards to look at the gross overall picture of safety in the construction industry.

There are two overriding aspects needing to be borne in mind. Firstly, as mentioned, you cannot buy 100% safety, so it is allied to how much there is to spend on it and/or what can be afforded.

Secondly there is society's level of acceptance of CDM as the best use of these funds.

Would we be better off targeting those most dangerous areas of construction, achieving most cost effective safety expenditure and reducing accidents by the largest amount?

Which brings us back to the question, after ruminating on the global picture, of what statistics would produce a good tag in Antony Oliver's column, and then what would be the price, and would clients pay?

John Franklin (F rtd), 11 The Ridings, East Horsley, Leatherhead, Surrey KT24 5BN

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