A new health and safety group has been formed by AIS FPDC to help drive further improvements in health and safety in the interior fit-out and finishing sector. Group members have been drawn from across the sector and include representatives from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), contractors and manufacturers.

“Safety remains a top priority and the new health and safety group is a forum for AIS FPDC members to be involved in open dialogue with the HSE and main contractors,” said Robert Barker, AIS FPDC membership manager.

“We covered a range of topics in the first meeting including the impact of Fee for Intervention, plans to improve the general health of construction workers by reducing the amount of dust generation, controlling asbestos exposure and better manual handling.

“The results of the NSCC annual safety survey for 2012/13 showed that injury rates for NSCC members were lower than those of the construction industry as a whole and that AIS FPDC members were below the specialist accident rate and HSE injury rates by a fair bit.”

In construction during 2012/13, there were 39 fatalities at a rate of 1.9 per 100,000 workers. NSCC members recorded one fatality during this period, giving an NSCC rate of 0.7 per 100,000 workers. The AIS FPDC major injury rate was 78.5 per 100,000 workers, compared to the average NSCC rate 150.1 per 100,000 workers and 156 per 100,000 workers for the wider industry. The AIS FPDC over seven-day injury rate was 161.9, the NSCC equivalent was 247.7 per 100,000 workers and 255.4 per 100,000 workers for the wider industry.

The HSE revealed that it would be starting a refurbishment initiative involving one month of intense activity aimed at the smaller sites where the highest risk lay. The start date is not yet known.

AIS FPDC’s health and safety group meets twice a year and its next meeting will be held in November.