Contractors should look to improve site safety every day, Major Contractors Group chairman Keith Clarke told the conference.
He said that the MCG members aimed to have all staff fully qualified with an equal level of safety training by the end of 2003. All sites should also have a site specific induction programme for everyone involved.
Clarke said contractors were implementing good safety procedures on 'the best sites, with the best clients and the best site teams' but needed to do so on the worst sites with the worst clients.
All workers should be consulted on health and safety practice Clarke said. The industry should also establish a culture where workers can express safety worries without fear of reprisal.
'Policing is essential, ' Clarke said and a strong HSE, with the ability to impose large penalties, is essential. But he added that by the time the HSE gets involved it is too late - the accident has happened.
Stopping accidents should be the priority.