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Architecture students get a lesson in safety

UNIVERSITY NEWS LAST UPDATED : 11 MARCH 2014

Architecture students from Birmingham City University are building up their skills and knowledge in the area of health and safety, thanks to the support of award-winning property and construction company GB Group.

In a recent visit, Ian Kilvington and Kelly Heselton from GB Group handed over the latest in personal protective equipment (PPE) to students from the University’s School of Architecture to mark their first steps into the industry.

Ian Kilvington, Business Development Manager for the GB Group, said: “We welcome the opportunity to share our vision with these young people at the start of their careers in the industry.

“Our WIPE Out Accidents initiative is designed to provide a simple structure which if followed will improve health and safety performance by making it personal, relevant and important to everyone on a project, so that it influences everyone’s choices and actions. We hope that by sharing our experience we can help students recognise and understand that everyone has an important part to play in the creation of a safe working environment.”

The visit comes at a time when the Government has called for poor standards of welfare and unsafe work on building sites to be targeted. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will be making unannounced visits to construction sites across the West Midlands this month, making checks on workers’ protective equipment to ensure that it is in good working order.

Latest figures show construction workers are nearly four times as likely to be killed at work compared to the average worker, and an estimated 70,000 in the industry will today be suffering ill health as a result of their work. The Government hope that this campaign will help to drive home the message to those working in the industry that poor risk management and a lack of awareness of responsibilities are not only unacceptable, but can cost lives.

Birmingham City University’s Professor Kevin Singh, Head of School of Architecture, said: "Thanks to the GB Group, our students will have their own Protective Equipment for visiting construction sites, including personal lace up site boots, hi visibility jackets and hard hats promoting health and safety at the forefront of minds".  

GB Group’s award-winning safety initiative, WIPE Out Accidents has been instrumental in creating an incident free culture across the group, which employs 250 people and works with an extensive supply chain.

The Birmingham School of Architecture is the only RIBA accredited School of Architecture in the West Midlands. The School is a mirror of the rich diversity of the region and as well as attracting students from the locale, are joined by students from all across the UK, Europe and the World.

The school is renowned for its graduates being employable, with the current employability rate at 90 per cent. This success is partly due to close links with numerous practices, principally locally but also further afield.

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