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Last updateThu, 17 Oct 2019 10am

Safety watchdog challenges construction industry to learn from London 2012

Britain’s safety watchdog is challenging the construction industry to learn from the London 2012 construction project and improve the safety record of one of the most dangerous occupations in Britain.


The Health and Safety Executive‘s Leadership and worker involvement on the Olympic Park research, published today, shows how the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) adopted an inclusive no scapegoating approach to managing risks that could be adapted to any project – irrespective of its size or budget. It is the first in a series of research reports that HSE will publish as part of the London 2012 Learning Legacy.

HSE started working with the ODA soon after London was awarded the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and set out very clear targets of what standards were expected, encouraging strong leadership and sharing of good practice. The ODA’s top level commitment to health and safety was made clear from the outset and helped create a safe working environment for the thousands of workers on site.

The London 2012 Games construction project has shown that building projects on time and within budget does not mean compromising on the health and safety of your workers.  HSE has received reports of only 114 injuries and eight dangerous occurrences that occurred during the 66 millions hours of work, as of October 2011.

Stephen Williams, HSE’s Director for London 2012, said:

“The report shows how strong leadership and worker involvement are key to a safer working environment. The ODA’s creation of a no scapegoating culture allowed workers to raise issues without fear of reprisal, learning lessons to apply across the site and reducing the risk in hazardous activities.

“The construction industry has for many years been one of the most dangerous in which to earn a living. London 2012 is important because it shows it doesn't have to be that way. No matter what size your organisation, no matter what size your project, small changes in the way you operate can have a huge impact on the health and safety of your workers. 

I want the rest of the construction industry to follow London’s lead.

"London 2012 is entering the final stages of preparation and it is important that all those involved continue to manage risks sensibly until the whole project is across the finishing line.”