The HSE have begun to make a series of surprise inspections this week. The spot checks are planned for a month with the inspectors checking sites up and down the country without any announcement. The inspectors are believed to be focusing on the repair, maintenance and refurbishment activities in particular. The reason for focusing on these activities is due to 70% of the 42 construction deaths were in this sector between 2010 and 2011. The mores specific issues that are concerning the inspections include working at height and the asbestos risk management.
Spot Site Inspections
During the inspections the HSE will be paying close attention to the following areas:
- Making sure that all of the work areas are clear from waste materials and non-essential items
- Making sure the construction sites are organised to reduce trip and fall hazards
- All jobs at height have been planned and the necessary precautions that are considered appropriate are in place
- All equipment is correctly installed, inspected, maintained and being used correctly
The crackdown is now in its fifth year and the inspectors are expecting to find both good and bad examples of site safety. Good sites are the ones where the employers are making sure they are doing everything possible to keep their employees safe and bad sites are those who have failed to make safety one of their top priorities.
Paying Attention to Asbestos
The HSE chief inspector, Philip White, said that asbestos surveys will be checked as they will be focusing on work where asbestos is present on the site. He also said that having a slack attitude to health and safety just isn’t acceptable. The HSE will not fail to take action against any firm or employer who is found to be putting lives at risk.
During the swoop of inspections to construction sites during 2011 the inspectors visited 2014 construction sites. They also visited 2414 contractors and during the month they handed out more than 350 Prohibition Notices, many of which were served due to unsafe work at height conditions.
If you have any concerns over the health and safety management on site speak to your health and safety consultants. By sorting out any areas of concern you can avoid being served with Prohibition Notices demanding you cease work immediately, plus you can avoid legal action being taken against you. Take control of the safety on your site with the health and safety services that are available by calling 0800 1488 677.