Highways England has set every supplier the target of halving their accident frequency rate (AFR) over the next 12 months.
The news was announced in the regular circular from procurement director, Malcolm Dare, and follows a meeting of Highways England's Engagement Council, which brings a range of suppliers together.
Mr Dare said: 'Please ensure that you have plans to achieve this and that these plans also cover your lower-tier suppliers in order to embed the required cultural, leadership and physical changes. Due to C-19 many suppliers are seeing improved safety performance, we must look to build on this and improve on where we are today.'
He went on to say a key focus was utility strikes, which 'are happening far too frequently across the Highways England network'.
'As an industry we must improve via the robust adoption of the hierarchy of controls in all of our decision-making and applying more stringent governance and approvals.'
Mr Dare highlighted that the Supply Chain Safety Leadership Group have launched the first 'Common Intent' document for Utility Strike Avoidance.
The document defines expectations for best practice and common standards for safety.
'Please read the document and fully support this initiative – we all owe it to everyone to stop this happening,' Mr Dare said.
The Supply Chain Safety Leadership Group was formed to give focus to improving safety performance across the Highways England road network.
It is responsible for support dialogue between Highways England and the entire supply chain to improve supply chain safety through collaborative working, and agreeing key priorities to deliver change at pace and reduce inefficiencies.
The Construction Leadership Council have also released its Site Operation Procedures v4: Version 4.
There are 'minimal changes and it has simply been updated to reflect latest government guidance', Mr Dare noted.