RR848 - Health and safety in public sector construction procurement - A follow-up study

This study was concerned with examining health and safety issues in public sector construction procurement. The broad aim of this research is to build on earlier research undertaken by Davis Langdon (2007), to provide a sound evidence base on which HSE can design targeted interventions to improve construction health and safety through improved public sector procurement practices.

The main data collection instrument was an interview questionnaire to allow issues to be explored qualitatively. Interviews were undertaken during the winter of 2009 with public sector construction clients both face-to-face and by telephone using a structured interview outline. Out of 411 potential respondents that were contacted 101 interviews were completed.

The results indicate that, in the intervening years between the initial survey and the current research there appears to be have been little significant improvement in terms of how public sector client's discharge their health and safety obligations during the procurement of construction projects.

The conclusions, drawn from the evidence of the research, suggest that while some public sector clients perform reasonably well in terms of meeting their health and safety obligations during the procurement of construction, there remains more that could be done.

This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.

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Updated 2021-04-23