On 2 October 2017, the HSE launched the second phase of its targeted inspection campaign, with the aim of reducing the level of harm caused by the construction industry’s management of risks. Injuries were mainly found to be caused due to cost cutting and inappropriate protection initiatives for workers.
In 2015/2016 43 workers were fatally injured according to the HSE. In addition it is estimated that 430 workers passed away from construction related ill-health, and 65.000 self-reported non-fatal injuries. These figures were termed “unacceptable” by the HSE.
The HSE urged construction projects across Britain to protect the health and safety of their workers.
In the first phase of the initiative earlier this year, the HSE carried out over 2000 inspections resulting in action being taken at almost half the visits, to address these issues. For construction companies running afoul this could result in a costly warning as the average invoice amounts to £953, arising out of the Fee for Intervention (FFI), which is currently set at £129 per hour.
The campaign ran until 9 October 2017 and focused on control of harmful dusts like respirable silica from concrete, asbestos, brick, stone and wood dust as well as structural safety, work at height, especially falls from height, materials handling, welfare provision and good order.
Inspectors focused their visits on refurbishment projects as these account for 52% of all construction reportable injuries and deaths.
HSE’s Chief inspector of construction and director of construction division Peter Baker, found many good examples of how small sites could effectively use health and safety measures to protect the health of their workers from exposure to harmful dusts. Baker based these findings on phase 1 of the campaign, proving that effective health and safety measures can be achieved. He urged smaller business to not, “wait for an accident or a visit from an HSE inspector – learn from the success of others and act now.”