IX Edition of the Week of Safety in Construction

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On May 23-29, the Safety Week takes place for the ninth time. This is the largest initiative in Poland to improve safety on construction sites in our country. The organizer of the action is the Agreement for Safety in Construction. To date, the initiative has covered construction sites in 400 different locations in Poland and has reached over 100,000 construction workers. This year’s edition is accompanied by the slogan “Construction is coming to an end. Safety NEVER!”.

The Agreement for Safety in Construction, which was established in 2010. is an association of leading general contracting companies on the Polish market. Currently, they are made up of 15 largest general construction contractors in Poland: Budimex, Eiffage, Erbud, Eurovia, Hochtief Polska, Karmar, Mostostal Warszawa, Mota-Engil, NDI, Polimex Mostostal, Porr, Skanska, Strabag, Unibep and Warbud.

The overarching goal of the Agreement remains unchanged: zero accidents on construction sites. Other  priorities include promoting a culture of safety, raising awareness of the dangers of construction work, and minimising risks and preventing accidents. The signatories want to achieve this through the implementation of safety standards, including the introduction of systemic solutions in the field of health and safety and educational and training activities. Within the framework of the alliance, a platform for the exchange of knowledge in the field of safety has been created, which allows for joint analysis of accidents. For nine years, the Covenant has also promoted safe work through the Safety Week, addressed to all signatory and subcontractor construction workers.

The leitmotif of this year’s Safety Week is safety culture, in a broader context as a process that should include values, specific attitudes, meeting standards, but also educating our environment. This was reflected in the slogan accompanying the ninth edition of the campaign “Construction is ending. Safety NEVER!”.

“Safety Week is the culmination of our year-long efforts. We all work hard to raise standards and safety on construction sites. This requires a change in the way of thinking and new skills related to the organization of work, because often the employee himself who has an accident could prevent this accident. Safety on Polish construction sites has changed a lot in recent years. Everyone puts a lot of effort into it, especially companies associated in the Safety Agreement for Construction, which implement common procedures and solutions – says Michał Wasilewski, Coordinating Director of the Agreement for Safety in the Construction Industry.

“During the Safety Week, Budimex carries out activities aimed at our staff. We make our employees aware of their responsibilities and remind them how to organize the construction site safely, for them and for our subcontractors. The most important rule on the construction site for every employee is to take care of their safety. We teach our employees and encourage them to organize their work safely. This is our shared responsibility – says Tomasz Janowiak, Director of the Occupational Safety Office at Budimex SA.

– This is the ninth edition of the Safety Week under the Agreement for Safety in Construction. We would like to draw the attention of our employees, but also employees of the Investor and our subcontractors, that safety is important not only in the workplace, but also outside of it. We should also remember about safety in our free time, when commuting to work and returning home. On our construction sites, we organize a number of activities for our employees and subcontractors. Our employees are most willing to take part in activities that are related to practice. It’s practice that makes perfect. – says Monika Misterska-Kowalska, Specialist for Environmental Protection. BHP Warbud SA.

As in previous years, the campaign will cover all construction sites of the members of the Agreement for Safety in Construction throughout Polish. Safety awareness among employees will be built through lectures, demonstrations and talks. The “Book of Ideas” prepared especially for the Safety Week includes proposals for activities that can be carried out on the construction sites of the signatories of the Agreement. Among the proposed  activities in the field of health and safety, we can find m.in. training and protection for work at height, on-the-job workshops to increase the level of knowledge about potential hazards, ways to eliminate them and the principles of proper behavior during work, as well as gymnastic exercises, tool inspection and first aid training.

According to the data from the report of the Agreement for Safety in the Construction Industry, the number of victims of accidents on construction sites in Poland has decreased almost twice, from 8684 to 4743. In the construction industry, there are four times fewer fatal accidents per 100,000 today. than a decade ago. Much of the credit for this goes to the association of the largest construction companies in Poland, which works to improve work safety.

The Agreement for Safety in Construction and the Safety Week are supported by the most important industry institutions: the Chief Labour Inspectorate, the Central Institute for Labour Protection – National Research Institute, the Social Insurance Institution, the Union of Engineers and Construction Technicians, Polish Chamber of Civil Engineers, Construction Trade Union, Polish Association of Construction Industry Employers, National Association of Employees of Health and Safety Services, Solidarity – National Secretariat of Construction. The partners of the Agreement are the Polish Association of Special Foundations Contractors, the Association of Ready-Mixed Concrete Producers and the Polish Chamber of Commerce for Scaffolding.

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