A lesson on safety from the London Olympics
When the United Kingdom began the construction work for London Olympics 2012, the accident rates then in the industry suggested that we would suffer three deaths and more than 500 serious injury accidents, with perhaps a hundred workers having their lives changed by the way they were hurt.
The Stratford Stadium’s four-year build was a massive project. More than 12,000 workers were to be involved in the construction of the 80,000-seater stadium and the 2,818 flats built for the Olympic Village.
As the construction client responsible for London 2012, the Olympics Development Authority (ODA) set out to create a legacy. We set a target to make London 2012 the safest and healthiest built on record.
Eventually, after 62 million hours of work, London 2012 was the first Olympic in the history of the Games to be completed without a fatality. The onsite accident frequency rate was 0.17 per 100,000 hours — far below the building industry average of 0.55, and less than the all industry average of 0.21.
From a worker’s safety perspective, working construction at the London Olympics was the equivalent of working in an office.
CAREFUL PLANNING AT EVERY STEP
This award-winning performance was based on simple foundations that, with sensible adaptation, can be applied to building projects of any size and in any place. Behind each and every completed building and facility lie careful design, construction and consistent planning in ensuring those involved are protected and accounted for.
• Clear commitments to safety, with measurable objectives and targets. Part of the reason we got everyone to work to prevent deaths on site is that we declared that we wanted to build without a fatality.