Warbud News

Report 'Polish Construction in 2009-2019. Safety Levels and Activities of the Agreement on Construction Safety'

The number of accidents and victims on Polish construction sites has decreased. The report by the Agreement in Construction Safety demonstrated that the number of people injured in accidents on construction sites in Poland has decreased almost by half over the 10 years of the organization's operation, from 8,684 to 4,743. There are four times fewer fatalities per 100,000 people employed in the construction industry today than a decade ago. This is largely due to the activities of the association of the largest construction companies in Poland which works to improve work safety.

In the years 2009-2019 in Poland the number of people injured in accidents on construction sites has decreased by 45 percent. At that time, the number of accidents at work decreased nationwide by only 4%. The largest decrease was recorded in the number of severe accidents (by 75%) and in fatal accidents (by 63%). According to Eurostat, in 2009-2018, among all European Union countries, Poland improved safety on construction sites the most. From the country with the highest number of fatalities per 100,000 employees (21.49) Poland has become one of countries with the lowest rate of the most serious incidents (5.18).

The Agreement on Construction Safety, after 10 years of operation on the market, has become a leader in the field of safety. It has created the foundations for systemic changes and changes in habits. One general contractor is unable to carry out corrective actions on the market scale. But together in the group of 13 largest companies, it is realistic and, as the report shows, effective,’  said Jerzy Werle, President of Warbud SA’s Management Board.

The most important achievement is the decrease in the number of accidents on Polish construction sites, despite the doubling of the number of construction companies and employees in that sector. Acting as the Agreement, we have developed and implemented uniform standards not only for employees of our signatories but also subcontractors, suppliers and operators of construction machinery. We have raised the level of supervision culture and we constantly improve health and safety trainings. We share our knowledge and good practices. All this is done to protect the lives and health of employees on Polish construction sites,’ added President J. Werle.

Safety has improved the most in the largest companies - the number of victims fell from 2,490 in 2009 to 1,311 in 2018. For a number of years, the highest percentage of accident victims (about 60%) are employees with no more than one year of work experience and those who have worked for 2-3 years. At the same time, in the years 2009-2018, the largest decrease in the number of victims was recorded in those two groups. Most often, construction site accidents involve the least qualified auxiliary workers, some of whom are foreigners. According to the National Labour Inspectorate, foreign workers on construction sites often do not have experience, construction qualifications and knowledge of Polish, which has a negative impact on work safety.

The Agreement on Construction Safety has a key impact on the operation of the construction industry in Poland. According to revenues for 2019, nine members of the Agreement in the top ten largest construction companies. The revenues of the companies belonging to the organization constitute 56% of all revenues of the 50 largest companies in Poland. The mission of the largest general contractors associated in the Agreement is to reduce the number of accidents on construction sites by promoting a safety culture, raising awareness of the dangers of working on a construction site and preventing risks and accidents.

A business partner cooperating with the signatories of the Agreement meets the same health and safety requirements in all contracts. There is one system of mandatory OHS trainings throughout the Agreement. An effective tool for popularizing the health and safety culture throughout the industry is Safety Week organized by the Agreement. Honorary patronage over the event is exercised by Chief Labour Inspector. It is the largest initiative in Poland to promote health and safety culture which attracts thousands of participants every year. Report "Polish Construction in 2009-2019. Construction safety and the activity of the Agreement on Construction Safety is a summary of the activities of general contractors’ organization which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year.

‘The Agreement Initiative would not have been finalised without the involvement of visionaries such as Mr. Wiktor Piwkowski, chairman of the Polish Association of Construction Engineers and Technicians. He was the originator of the entire project. In turn, Mr. Tadeusz Zając, Chief Labour Inspector, was actively looking for ways to solve the problem of accidents in the construction industry. He personally paid visits to presidents of the largest construction companies and offered to cooperate. Mr. Zbigniew Janowski, Chairman of the Construction Trade Union, who is known for his actions to improve safety in construction in the Labour Protection Council in Polish Parliament, also made a great contribution to the formation of the Agreement,’  said Mr. Jacek Leczkowski, Vice President of the Management Board of Erbud SA, who has been the president of the Agreement on Construction Safety since the beginning of this year.

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