Construction Firm Uses Non-Standard Safety Metrics
A construction project by HS2 is using an unusual method of collection of accident data, and it claims its method is a better way to reflect what is happening on site.
Accident Frequency Rate (SFR) is the standard method for collecting accident statistics on construction sites. HS2 uses the Injury Weighted Index (IWI), which, like the SFR method, records the number of accidents, but additionally rates their severity. The SFR method simply reports the number of accidents, but additionally rates their severity. The SFR method simply reports the number of incidents, and this may not give a true picture of the health and safety of a site.
The IWI method, on the other hand, gives each accident a score based on the accident severity. For example, a simple fall that causes a minor injury is rated as "1", and an accident that causes an injury regarded as life changing is rated at around "1,000". Accurate accident data informs decisions about PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), training and other safety policies.
Speaking to Construction News, an HS2 spokesperson said:
"The IWI, which we introduced early in the construction programme, adds a weighting for each accident reported across the project, giving us a clear view of not simply the number of incidents, but also of how each month compares in terms of severity."
In 2021, there were concerns about the increase in the number of accidents on HS2 sites. The members of the project pointed out that while there had been a 200% rise in work done, the accident rate had not doubled. HS2 says that the health and safety of its workers are a priority.