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20 August 2001

Following February's Revitalising Construction, Health and Safety Summit "Turning concern into action" chaired by John Prescott, which was attended by 500 industry leaders, where he demanded that the industry greatly improve its Health and Safety standards, Countryside Properties has become the first developer to achieve the British Safety Council's OHSAS 18001.

This summer, Countryside Properties underwent an OHSAS 18001 audit (Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Specification). This is awarded to companies who satisfy a fully comprehensive health and safety compliance audit, designed to measure an organisation's current Health and Safety practices against standards and help it move towards 'Best Practice'. OHSAS is the Health and Safety equivalent of the ISO standard.

Mark Foster, Countryside Properties' Head of Health and Safety, "We're delivering what we'd said we'd do in February. Health and Safety is a core value at Countryside Properties and we're aiming to improve all aspects of Health and Safety awareness and training, in addition to reducing our accident rates by 10% year on year. "

Director General of the British Safety Council, David Ballard, commented, "In achieving this award, Countryside Properties has shown a commitment to raising Health and Safety standards in the workplace. More construction companies should follow its lead in order to reduce the unacceptably high accident rate in the industry."

Countryside has a team of fourteen within its Health and Safety department who have resolved to lead by example in changing standards and reducing accident figures throughout the house building and construction industry.

Editor's note
The number of fatal accidents on UK construction sites increased by over 25% from 1999/2000 compared with figures from the year before, bringing the total death figures up to 85 with over 5,000 major injuries that year. The figures are set to rise this year, with almost 90 deaths in construction accidents already recorded.

For further information contact:
British Safety Council on telephone: 020 8741 1231
Mark Foster, Countryside Properties PLC: 01277 260 000
Julia Arnold, Sky Communications Ltd: 020 7731 6999

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Information correct as at 20/08/2001