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Construction sector the safest for workers, says Skanska

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The construction industry was the only sector of the economy in which occupational accidents decreased from 2015 to 2016 in Hungary, while health and safety at work is still under continuous improvement, according to Skanska Property Hungary’s Health and Safety Coordinator Timea Lipták. Such issues are at the heart of the companyʼs Safety Week program it has implemented for 12 years.

The number of occupational accidents grew in almost every sector of the economy last year. The total growth was 9.2%, which means 1,939 more accidents in 2016 compared to the preceding year, according to a report by the Ministry for National Economy. 

The only sector in which the number of accidents decreased was the construction industry, where the ministry registered 26 fewer incidents, totaling 782 compared to 808 in 2015, ministry data show. As Lipták explained, however, the domestic construction industry is still in need of further adopting the right mindset. 

“Altered state of mind” is the term that describes one side of the challenge the industry needs to tackle.

“When you hear the term ʼaltered state of mindʼ you might visualize some extreme examples such as drunkenness or drug consumption. But what everyone should also consider is that tiredness or even an exaggerated emotional state can result in symptoms similar to those of alcohol or drug consumption, so that is only the tip of the iceberg,” said Lipták. 

What could help, according to Skanska’s expert, is the PDCA (plan-do-check-act) management method used in business to control and improve certain processes and products.

“When you go to work at any given time, you should always focus on the four things of the PDCA method. First plan what you might be capable of, then do your task, then check your results, and finally modify your behavior according to the conclusion,” Lipták said.

The other side comes into the picture when we talk about how companies meet health and safety regulations in Hungary, as there are several areas in which we can develop, in Lipták’s view.

“When we start to work with a new subcontractor, we do not only require but we provide as well. We help them by preparing risk analysis together, we offer free health and safety training to them on a regular basis, and we also offer the opportunity for them to give feedback on our requirements in order for us to be on the same page,” she added.

As Skanska claims it considers safety as a “core principle,” its employees and partners are required to be up to date regarding health and safety. The company has been implementing its Safety Week program for 12 years, developing “interesting and inspiring” activities and events in all Skanska projects at the same time. This year, the Safety Week takes place from May 8 to 12 worldwide. 

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