The recent figures, covering 2009, show a massive 70 per cent reduction in the number of major accidents reported by member firms. An equally impressive 53 per cent drop in RIDDOR-reportable accidents is the lowest accident frequency rate achieved since the ZAP scheme was launched, as part of a steady fall in electrical contracting accidents over the last nine years.
The ECA’s ZAP initiative was introduced in 2001 to encourage member firms to implement effective safety management and improve safety performance. The figures, the penultimate in the ECA’s 10 year initiative, emphasise the electrical contracting industry’s ongoing commitment to workplace safety.
David Pollock ECA Group CEO comments: “We are extremely pleased with the latest ZAP results; the best to date. They show continued success in reducing accidents over the last nine years. I commend ECA members who have engaged successfully with ZAP and achieved such considerable improvements to their safety performance. As a result, many will also have benefitted from improved workplace productivity and morale.”
The ECA supports members’ health and safety efforts by providing free information and telephone advice, publications, presentations, and best practice workshops. In the last year, further support has been added - eligible members now have free access to assessment by the Contractor’s Health and Safety Assessment Scheme (CHAS). CHAS helps to confirm compliance with essential health and safety measures, widely known as ‘core criteria’.
According to Paul Reeve, Head of Safety and Environment at the ECA and co-ordinator of the ZAP programme “We have seen a massive cultural shift in the membership, and indeed the industry itself, in the last nine years. ZAP has not only responded, but has contributed, to this shift in safety performance. What started out mainly as an ‘awareness and safety targets’ campaign has steadily evolved into one that provides ECA members with management support, and that now allows our members to show their health and safety credentials through a widely recognised third party assessment”.