London Olympics Construction Is Safest in Recent Times

As the Olympic torch arrived to light the cauldron at Olympic Stadium on July 27, it was greeted by an honor guard of 500 hardhat-wearing construction workers, many of whom had helped to build Olympic Park on a derelict industrial site in East London.

   Those workers participated in the safest Olympics construction program in recent memory, said Alistair G. Gibb, professor of complex project management at Loughborough University in England. Gibb spoke to more than 600 attendees at the Construction Industry Institute conference in Baltimore on July 23. Gibb showed a photo of the words “Olympics are painted in workers’ blood,” written by disgruntled construction workers on a concrete wall at an Olympic venue. He said official statistics show two fatalities during the 1996 Barcelona Olympics construction, one fatality during the 2000 Sydney Olympics construction, 14 killed during the 2004 Greece Olympics construction and 10 killed during construction for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. But in addition to completing work on budget and ahead of schedule, the London Olympics construction program had no fatalities. Further, the overall accident frequency record was substantially below the U.K average.

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