Responsibility and Leadership in Safety & Health in Construction Works

Vitoria, Spain Construction and Development, Human Resources
Responsible Housing Award
“Significant reduction in work accidents rate, which means that construction workers’ awareness is effectively raised”



VISESA is a public company managed by the Basque Government that reports to the Department of Employment and Social Policies
for the development of territorial housing and land management policy, in collaboration with other institutions. VISESA works on the
continuous improvement of management processes and exercises a leading role in the important work of incorporating innovation into
the building sector in the Basque Country.
In order to do so and in line with the commitment to being a socially responsible company, in 2005 VISESA decided to go beyond the
regulated functions of the developer, serving as a driving force for other companies, earmarking the means and necessary resources,
in order to have the best work and safety conditions in their housing developments, promoting awareness among all responsible agents and boosting training for workers.

Issues tackled

The project would like to improve working and safety and health conditions in housing developments, raising awareness among agents participating in
the process in order to bring about a domino effect on other construction works developed by other public entities and/or private companies.

Actors involved

  • Vivienda y Suelo de Euskadi S.A.

Actions carried out

  • Periodical visits and meetings of the Heads of Safety and Health Agreements with social agents
  • Agreements with social agents
  • Procurement specifications for the coordination of safety and health
  • Procurement specifications for the execution of work
  • An Awareness campaign


  • Reduction in accidents: The construction works present an accident rate index in 2014 of -41.54% with regard to
    the national index and -51.56% with regard to autonomy data, while the data for 2015 were -81.63%, pending publication of the respective figure at national level.
  • Improvement in working conditions and reduction in disloyal competition: Since 2013 close to 100%
    compliance has been achieved with the application of agreements following the intervention by VISESA, reaching the highest percentage in 2015 for companies that
    comply with the sector and provincial agreements in our construction works. (+ 0.34% compared to 2014).
  • Limiting the subcontracting chain: a percentage of incompliance lower than 2.5% was achieved at all times and since 2013 there has been a progressive increase in the percentage of compliance in Visesa developments reaching the maximum value in 2015 (100%).
  • Contribute to the survival and stability of social housing companies: In a first analysis of the effectiveness of the introduction of the procedure to monitor payments
    to subcontractors carried out during the first quarter of 2015, general compliance for the periods of payment in the housing developments is to be observed.

Why it works

Current Spanish regulations in construction attribute to the developer a series of obligations with regard to safety, from a passive point
of view in safety at work, which after all do not guarantee optimum safety conditions in construction works.
VISESA supervises and supports the work on site of the coordinator through their own human resources, getting involved with the
workers through the protection of labour rights, contributing to the reduction of the accident rate in the sector, leading in this change of role of the developer in safety and labour rights.

This project is applicable by all construction developers that wish to take part in the change in preventive culture in the sector.