Safety – pass it on!

News date: April 24, 2017
Safety – pass it on!

Although in their day-to-day business they compete with each other to win contracts and clients, there is one issue that unites all the construction companies in Poland. This issue is safety. For years, the construction industry in Poland has been in the forefront of inglorious accident statistics. Therefore, general contractors decided to act together. Their common initiative – the Safety Week – is scheduled to begin on the 8th and will last till the 14th of May.


According to the Main Statistical Office’s data, the highest number of work accidents happens in the industrial and construction processing sector and the situation hasn’t changed for years. Last year, the Main Statistical Office recorded almost 5.5 thousand accidents in the construction industry, traditionally considered as one of the most dangerous, 51 of which were fatal. The data indicate that, with regard to last year, the number of accidents in Poland has unfortunately increased; still, every fifth fatal accident takes place at a construction site.

Safety Week
In order to reverse these horrifying statistics, in 2010 major general constructors founded a Safety in Construction Agreement. Currently, it counts 12 members, industry OSH leaders: Budimex, Erbud, Hochtief Polska, Karmar, Mostostal Warszawa, Mota-Engil, Polimex-Mostostal, PORR Polska Infrastructure, Skanska, Strabag, Unibep, Warbud. “The Safety Week is a great and important event in the Polish construction sector. In the previous editions, over 30 thousand of our and our contractors’ employees participated in it on construction sites all over Poland. This year’s motto is “Safety – Pass it on!” says Michał Wasilewski, Coordinator of the Safety in Construction Agreement. During these 7 days, the employees will participate in hundreds of trainings and demonstrations. Among very popular events are the protective equipment presentations, trainings with the fire brigade and the police, as well as meetings with representatives of the National Labour Inspectorate. The investors and administrators of the constructed facilities will also actively participate in the Safety Week. It is a perfect occasion for field workshops and trainings.
The Safety Week is organised by the companies belonging to the Agreement for the fourth time already. As every year, it is accompanied by numerous and various activities, such as equipment presentations, trainings, drills and lectures, for example evacuation of the site by the fire brigade, first aid trainings, trainings on safe unloading at the construction site.

Safety in Construction Agreement
Twelve construction companies belonging to the Safety in Construction Agreement introduced a series of systemic OSH solutions binding all its members. Among them are standard minimum requirements for subcontractors, Appendix to the subcontractor OSH agreement, guidelines to the Instruction of Safe Execution of Works, periodic employee trainings, obligation to use protective glasses at each construction site and the Safety Week – the largest annual initiative for the safety of work on the Polish market. The latest project initiated by the companies of the Agreement, implemented in cooperation with the Social Insurance Institution, were gratuitous OSH trainings for small and medium construction companies operating on the Polish market. The trainings, which lasted from September to November 2016, were elaborated based on the experience of general contractors – members of the Agreement. The training programme was adapted to the needs of the construction industry and the subject matter covered linear and building works. All trainings were financed entirely by the Social Insurance Institution with funds allocated for prevention.

The activity of the Agreement is supported by the National Labour Inspectorate, the Polish Association of Building Engineers and Technicians, the “Budowlani” Trade Union, the Polish Association of Construction Industry Employers and the Polish Chamber of Civil Engineers. The Agreement is open to new construction industry representatives wanting to act for the improvement of safety in the construction sector. Its works have been since 2016 presided over by Warbud, elected for a two years’ mandate after Skanska and Budimex.