From the 22 September until 17 October, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Construction Inspectors will carry out unannounced visits to sites where refurbishment projects or repair works are underway. This is the ninth annual Construction Initiative aimed at reducing unsafe practices, ill health, death and injury on Britain’s building sites.
The main aims of the initiative are:
- to improve industry standards, in particular at small sites;
- to increase awareness of HSE’s expectations of the industry; and,
- to demonstrate HSE’s use of enforcement tools, where necessary, to prevent immediate risk and bring about improvements.
During inspections, HSE inspectors will consider whether:
- risks to health from exposure to dust such as silica are being controlled;
- workers are aware of where they may find asbestos, and what to do if they find it;
- other health risks, such as exposure to noise and vibration, manual handling, hazardous substances are being properly managed;
- jobs that involve working at height have been identified and properly planned to ensure that appropriate precautions, such as proper support of structures, are in place;
- equipment is correctly installed/assembled, inspected and maintained and used properly; and,
- sites are well organised, to avoid trips and falls, walkways and stairs are free from obstructions and welfare facilities are adequate.
The inspection initiative should alert the construction industry that poor standards are unacceptable and liable to result in HSE taking enforcement action. Earlier this year a safety focussed initiative resulted in enforcement action taken at one in six sites visited.
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