The change from the Highways Agency to Highways England was ‘the big game changer’ in increasing the highways sector’s engagement with health and safety issues, the Road Safety Markings Association has told Transport Network.
George Lee, RSMA chief executive, was speaking at the organisation’s well-attended Highways Health and Safety 2016, for which Surveyor was media partner.
Mr Lee told delegates: ‘The pressure is on all of us to deliver…not just to deliver efficient outcomes but to deliver those safely.’
Referring to the collapse of a building on Tuesday at Didcot A power station he said: ‘What happened this week has put into sharp focus the enormity of getting health and safety wrong.’
Speaking to Transport Network, he stressed that he was not prejudging the outcome of any investigation.
Stewart Evans, programme lead at Highways England, told delegates that some of the biggest actions in the company’s health and safety plan are around leadership and culture.
He said: ‘And that’s created a real buzz in the business and with our supply chain as well.'
Mr Evans said that Highways England was also working with councils to improve their approach to health and safety.
He said: ‘We will build engagement with local authorities to share best practice and to influence the take up of that safe practice.
'We’ve achieved some success with Transport Scotland, with the Welsh Government, with Kent County Council and Devon County Council, but we want to do more.’
He added: ‘There’s wide benefits to local authorities for making things safer for their employees and for their customers.’