Professional Help & Advice

October Safety Roadshow in North East


North East deaths prompt safety roadshow

A white van with a difference will set off on week-long safety tour of major construction sites in the region on Monday 18 October.

The White Van Roadshow will highlight the potential dangers in the industry, after four construction workers were killed in the North East last year, and more than 500 were seriously injured.

The tour will visit sites in Middlesbrough, Newton Aycliffe and Sunderland, focussing on the risks from untidy sites, working at height, manual handling, transport, asbestos and other dust-related diseases.

Representatives from leading companies in the construction industry will be among those attending the events, which will include practical demonstrations on new safety equipment.

HSE Inspector Rob Hirst said:

"At each site, we'll be meeting as many construction workers as possible, and reminding them of the dangers they face every day.

"Good health and safety doesn't have to cost a lot of money. Simple steps can make a big difference which is then reflected in reduced sickness days, a significantly lower risk of enforcement from HSE, and better productivity.

"The White Van Roadshow will aim to raise awareness about the risks workers on construction sites face every day, to try and cut the number of deaths and injuries in the industry."

The van will spend two days in Middlesbrough and then head to Newton Aycliffe for two days and finally Sunderland on 22 October.

The White Van Roadshow has been organised as part of the Working Well Together initiative - a partnership between HSE and the construction industry - which aims to improve health and safety in the sector.

Construction firm Willmott Dixon is one of the members of the North East Working Well Together group, and will be hosting the roadshow at their sites in  Middlesbrough.

Nathan Preston, Willmott Dixon Safety Manager, said:

"Willmott Dixon is proud to be working with the Working Well Together North East group and to be hosting part of the Roadshow event.

"By meeting with construction workers directly on site the road show offers an excellent opportunity to share health and safety information directly with those working at the coal face."

Social housing repairs and maintenance company Mears Group, whose northern operation is based in County Durham, is also a member of the Working Well Together North East group, and will be supporting the event in Newton Aycliffe.

Kevin Holden, Head of Health and Safety (North) for Mears Group said:

"We are very keen to participate in what will be the very first "White Van Roadshow" to be held within the North East.

"Members of the Mears Group are currently supporting Working Well Together Regional Groups across the whole country. We see the roadshow format as an extremely effective way to directly involve both our own staff and subcontractors in health and safety.

"We also believe that this event will help to improve the awareness of health and safety across the business. This in turn will help the company promote a continuous improvement in health and safety performance, through worker involvement".

More information on the initiative is available at link to external website.