Working Well Together (WWT) was set up in 1998 by the Construction Industry Advisory Committee (CONIAC) and the WWT Steering Group managing all WWT activity is one of the subgroups of this committee which advises the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on the protection of people at work (and others) from hazards to health and safety within the building, civil engineering and engineering construction industry.
WWT was set up following the recognition within the construction industry that the industry itself needed to do more to help improve its health and safety performance (the WWT motto is ‘help from the industry for the industry’).
WWT has always been a joint industry/HSE initiative and the key purpose remains to get the health and safety message across to the workforce directly. In the early days, this was typically done through a double-decker bus tour around the country’s larger building sites to allow the workers to visit the bus, see its displays and talk to the organisers without leaving their site. The need to access smaller sites and the difficulties associated with this led to the introduction of the smaller WWT White Van.
The most far-reaching idea to come out of WWT is the construction Safety and Health Awareness Day (SHAD); the first SHAD event was held in 2002 and focused on general site safety. Since then, WWT have also developed SHADs for specific topics and audiences. WWT SHADs continue to have great impact with 81% of people attending a SHAD reporting intentions to implement a positive change on returning to work. Our follow up procedures show that changes are actually being implemented following attendance at WWT events and these changes are in many cases, leading to noticeable improvement in health and safety among the smaller construction businesses.
Other innovations of WWT include
· The first workers pocket books.
· The ‘High 5’ leaflet outlining the five main causes of problems on sites (untidy sites (good order), manual handling, work at height, asbestos and transport).
Since being set up in 1998, WWT has developed into the most successful, health and safety initiative within the construction industry. The WWT groups usually hold more than 60 events across England Scotland and Wales each year (i.e. one WWT event each week somewhere across the country) and the total attendance typically exceeding 4000 people.
WWT has helped make construction workers more aware of health and safety and what constitutes safe working practices. As a result, welfare on site has definitely improved and relations between industry and HSE are much improved.