02 Nov 2016

Please also read the New Construction Advisor post as well.

The CITB and the construction industry have been given a final chance to prove why the industry levy – and the organisation – must be retained.

The government has commissioned Paul Morrell to carry out a review of the organisation.

Mr Morrell is an excellent choice for the role, and though I do feel the industry spends too much time reviewing and reporting and not enough time actually being heard, this particular research is needed andcould ensure long-lasting change in the industry.

On the back of the Farmer Review, and with a new levy order due in 2018, the CITB’s status must now be determined once and for all.

The skills debate is too important and the clamour for change is now reaching a crescendo.

If the CITB is the right organisation to work with industry on rectifying its skills issues, great. If not, let’s figure out what works better.

The CITB is an organisation that divides opinion. It is doing much to reform internally, and certainly publicising that fact, but doesn’t appear to be winning hearts and minds on the ground.

When we publish the CITB’s view of how it can improve and contribute in a more productive manner to the skills debate, I inevitably get emails criticising our decision to publish them.

Shortly after publishing a piece on the government’s decision to task Paul Morrell with a review of the organisation, this arrived in my inbox: “It would be interesting to know what real reform the CITB can think of; they are currently presenting ideas for tweaking around the edges at employer forums, which are not well received or even understood by audiences – but CITB being CITB they put out PR pieces such as ‘choose change’ but seem to be plodding on regardless.”

The positive in this review is that Paul Morrell not only has the respect of Whitehall mandarins, but has led his own review leading to significant change before: the Innovation and Growth Team’s 2010 Low Carbon Construction report, not to mention the first government construction strategy.

His recommendation that the government mandate BIM led to a step-change in the way the public sector procured projects.

The motive at the time (given that BIM wasn’t ‘new’) was that it should help to drive down costs and improve collaboration, something Mr Morrell may feel has been lost slightly in the ensuing BIMwash.

But the report got the ear of government and led to an acknowledgement they could demand more of the industry. Businesses then started to change their attitudes pretty quickly (I say ‘start’, as the process is by no means complete).

The Farmer Review has led to criticism in parts, particularly from developers. But today the skills minister referenced it when he announced Mr Morrell’s appointment.

This could be a watershed moment for the 54-year-old CITB and, in turn, the future of the construction industry.

02 Nov 2016

The former construction advisor for the UK Government, Paul Morrell, has been selected to help undertaken a review of the industry’s training boards.

The recent publication of Mark Farmer’s ‘Modernise or Die’ study called into question the effectiveness and future role of the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB).

In his review, Mr Farmer stated the CITB was in need of wholesale reform along with its levy system, including a new mandate to properly fund and drive forward both appropriate skills development and innovation to suit a ‘modern progressive industry.’

With the new apprenticeship levy being introduced in April 2017, the new charge will impact larger construction companies currently in scope of the levies operated by the CITB and the Engineering Construction Industry Training Boards (ECITB). The report also asked whether market failures in construction still require a separate levy and grant system and if so, how this can operate alongside the apprenticeship levy

In addition, the ability of the UK construction sector to maintain and expand capacity was also questioned.

As an English chartered quantity surveyor and the former senior partner of Davis Langdon, Mr Morrell will use his expertise to help map out the future of industrial training boards.

Previously, from November 2009 to November 2012 he acted as the UK government’s first Chief Construction Adviser and helped produce the ‘Low Carbon Construction’ report in 2011.

Robert Halfon, Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills, said: “I am delighted Paul has agreed to lend his experience and advice to this important review. Paul is a highly respected figure both in the industry and in government and is known as a strong force for change and modernisation.

“The government’s ambitious infrastructure and housing plans require a step up in capability and capacity in the construction sector. Training boards can help deliver the skills we desperately need and I look forward to seeing some real recommendations from this review.”

Steve Radley, Director of Policy at CITB, said: “The Farmer report and this review raise a number of important questions about how to transform the performance and productivity of construction, and how CITB needs to reform to support this. It’s excellent news that Paul Morrell has been appointed to advise, as he knows the industry inside and out.

“We are working closely with government to ensure the review produces the right outcomes for industry, so that together we can help our sector modernise and grow.”

02 Nov 2016


Welcome to the latest edition of Construction infonet

Construction Infonet is a free eBulletin from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to provide a regular update on health and safety issues for all in the construction industry.




In a street near you

HSE construction inspectors are carrying out unannounced visits to sites where refurbishment projects or repair works are underway.

This year the Initiative began on 3 October 2016 and will end early November 2016.

Inspectors will be out and about ensuring high-risk activities, particularly those affecting the health of workers, are being properly managed.

These include

Where serious breaches of legislation are found then immediate enforcement action will be taken, but Inspectors will also be taking steps to secure a positive change in behaviour to ensure on-going compliance.

Health and safety breaches with clients and designers will also be followed up to reinforce their duties under CDM 2015 and to ensure that all dutyholders with on site health and safety responsibilities understand and fulfil these.

Take a look at the SaferSites Facebook page to see examples of what inspectors find on site – better still, like and share it with your colleagues!


Research has shown that just cutting two valley roof tiles in-situ in each daily shift (about fifteen minutes of work in eight hours) resulted in the operator being exposed to levels above the occupational exposure limit for respiratory crystalline silica (RCS). Colleagues working close by were also placed at risk.  The research findings led to a change in working practices in the construction sector.

Read the case study to find out what this means for you


To receive other updates like this, please subscribe to HSL’s eBulletin on Exposure Assessment and Control.


A round up of some recent HSE prosecutions and enforcement action in the construction sector and links to relevant advice.

Employer jailed for killing teen who fell from a ladder

The tragic consequences of cutting corners on cost when working at height – In this case a seventeen year old who fell to his death when working from a ladder.

 Read the full police press release


Fragile roofs

05/10/16: Worker suffers severe injuries in roof fall

Further information

Free leaflet – Fragile roofs

Busy Builder leaflet –Fragile roofs: What you need to know as a busy builder, contractor or maintenance worker

Busy Builder leaflet – Fragile roofs: What you need to know as a building owner, user or managing agent 

 Working at height

06/10/16: Building contractor prosecuted following worker’s fall

07/10/16: Council fined after employee was injured from fall 

Further information

Busy Builder leaflet – Construction Phase Plan

Construction Safety Topic – Assessing all work at height

Construction Safety Topic – Working at height

Construction Safety Topic – Using ladders safely

 Lifting operations

05/10/16: Worker injured after being struck by concrete skip

13/10/16: Building contractor in court after worker killed by falling load

Further information

Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER)

Construction Safety Topic – Lifting operations


20/10/16: Council and contractors fined more than £1.5 million after man dies and another seriously injured in roadworks 

Further information

Construction Information Sheet (CIS 53) – Reducing risk in temporary traffic management operations

 Carbon monoxide

21/10/16: Testing Services firm fined over worker’s CO death 

Further information

Construction Health Topic – Carbon monoxide

Struck by

07/10/16: Construction company fined after worker losses both legs

Further information

Construction Safety Topic – Dumpers


03/10/16: Bolton night club owner fined over asbestos exposure 

Further information

Asbestos survey

 Overhead power lines

24/10/16: Farming and drilling contractors fined after mast strikes power line

Further information

Construction Safety Topic – Overhead power lines


24/10/16: Worker seriously injured in mobile platform fall

Further information

Construction Safety Topic – MEWPS



Comment on our proposed changes to risk assessment guidance 

Take our survey about our ‘Regulation and enforcement’ web pages – share your views



APS Statement – CDM2015: One year on


WWT events

Improve the health and safety of your business by attending a health and safety event near you. Most of the Working Well Together (WWT) events we list are FREE and all provide an opportunity to meet like-minded people, see interesting new equipment and get confidential advice.

9 November 2016 – Guilty or Not Guilty – The verdict is your decision, Kidderminster

15 November 2016 – Work at height/Scaffolding SHAD, Cardiff

18 November 2016 – Service Strike Mock Trial – Guilty or Not Guilty? What’s your verdict? , Leeds 

24 November 2016 – Construction Occupational Health Awareness Event, Nottingham 

24 November 2016 – Back to Basics – Prevention and Innovation, Tamworth 

Find your nearest WWT Group and get involved.


Other events

Visit the HSE website to find more many national events, conferences and HSL training.


  View past eBulletins – http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/ebulletins/index.htm