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‘Institute of Clerk of Works (IOM) – Health and Safety’ 2 May 2007

The Island’s Chapter of the Institute of Clerk of Works held its 3rd meeting with a safety briefing from Steve Bentham of the Health & Safety at Work Inspectorate and Dr Peter Slinger of SafetyNet Ltd.

Chris Mullen who is Secretary for the Islands Chapter said, ‘On the Island we are relatively new but as an Institute we were formed in 1882. Originally, Clerk of Works is believed to derive from the thirteenth century when they supervised the works associated with the erection of churches and other religious property.

We asked the Health & Safety at Work Inspectorate and Peter Slinger of Safety Net Ltd if they could undertake a safety briefing for our local members. We work on the major construction projects on behalf of the Client. In effect we act as “eyes and ears” for the Client on-site.

Health and safety has become much more prominent in the last few years and we are keen to achieve a greater understanding of Construction Safety to help our Members undertake their key roles in achieving safety on-site. We were very pleased with the safety briefing which covered some of the serious issues that can go wrong in the construction industry and help clarify what Clerk of Works can do to assist”.

Steve Bentham said,

“It was a pleasure to be part of the safety briefing of these professionals and to work with Peter Slinger. I emphasised the main risks in construction which continue to be: work at heights, work near plant & machinery, dangerous structures, excavations and electricity. I also took the opportunity to show some photographs of extremely dangerous work situations which we have come across in recent years. Occasionally things are not safe in construction and in the Inspectorate we are keen to push the reducing risk and protecting people safety message. I enjoyed undertaking safety briefings with other professionals in the construction industry. Anything which improves safety on site makes all our work a lot easier”.

Dr Peter Slinger of SafetyNet Ltd highlighted a number of safety issues in construction and briefly outlined where the Clerk of Works sits in relation to the safety legislation. Peter said,

“We run a number of safety training sessions for organisations and we are keen to work with the Inspectorate to develop health and safety with clients, developers and contractors”.

Yvette Mellor, Deputy Chief Executive of DLGE said,

“We are always happy to discuss safety issues as part of our education role. It will be essential to maintain this dialogue throughout the year, as further consultation with the construction industry will be necessary in relation to safety legislation applicable on the Island”.

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