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Industry promise over work related deaths

The building sector is aiming to reduce work-related deaths by 10 per cent year-on-year after the launch of a joint industry-Government Strategy for Sustainable Construction

The strategy includes new targets to improve the productivity, efficiency and sustainability of the UK's construction sector.

Targets include:

Recruiting 230,000 additional trained construction workers by 2010

Cutting the number of work-related deaths by 10 per cent year on year

Supplying an extra 13,500 apprenticeship placements by 2010

Achieving a 50 per cent reduction in the amount of construction, demolition and excavation waste going to landfill

Ensuring 25 per cent of materials used in construction projects are responsibly sourced by 2012
This includes new steps to increase the number of trained workers being brought into the industry  and extending apprenticeship provision.

Ensuring all construction projects over £1 million have biodiversity surveys carried out and instigate the necessary actions by 2012

Business minister Shriti Vadera said: 'With the current pressures such as the cost of fuel presenting an extra challenge for the industry, it is even more important that we encourage the sector to perform as efficiently and sustainably as possible. Improvements in these areas will save costs and increase profitability in the long-term.

'This strategy, which has uniquely been developed jointly by Government and business, will provide greater certainty over what is expected from the sector in future, from training and developing skills to tackling the challenges of climate change.'

The Strategic Forum for Construction – which includes Construction Industry Council, Construction Clients Group, Construction Confederation, the Construction Products Association, NSCC/SEC Group and the TUC – has also published its 'Construction Commitments' to promote best practice across the industry, along with its latest four-year targets to ensure their delivery.

Key government departments have also signed up to the 'Construction Commitments', which include best practice on procurement such as collaborative working across the supply chain and whole life costing.

Mike Davies, forum chaiman, said: 'I have been really encouraged by the way that industry and Government have worked together to develop this strategy. It establishes a comprehensive agenda with clear outcomes that will help create the more sustainable built environment that we all want to see developed.

'The Construction Commitments set the framework within which we want to see the industry and its clients - including government - work in order to meet the targets that have been set.

“The Government has taken a lead with a number of key departments already announcing that they will adopt the Commitments, and I want to see every company in the industry demonstrate their support for this agenda by putting their name to the Commitments.'