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    CONSTRUCTION HEALTH AND SAFETY NEWS: 19 MAY 2008

    Complete the News Desk Updates box to the right and we will alert you when the news changes. You can also Search past issues or browse the news Archives. Our Web Library contains a unique and easy to use database of links to construction health and safety information. Please do inform your colleagues and supply chain partners of these FREE services.   

    DESIGN FOR CONSTRUCTION SAFETY

    Database of construction hazards and controls to reduce or eliminate risk  

    The USA has no equivalent duty to that imposed on designers under CDM 2007. However, the belief that designers can make a significant contribution to construction phase health and safety is growing. The above developing website looks to have potential to assist UK designers in future.

    Comment: This website has limited content at present but should provide a useful source of ideas for designers in the coming months. In addition, papers from a conference in July 2007 and published in the Journal for Safety Research show the widespread interest in work being undertaken under the banner of Safety Through Design (StD). Watch this space!

    HSE PRIORITIES 2008-2009

    Publication of recording system gives clue to HSE priorities

    HSE has published how Construction Division inspectors will record their work during 2008/2009. The guide indicates the sectors that will be examined closely and the criteria used in assessing competence and management attitude. Refurbishment work and new homes will figure strongly and there will be a campaign aimed at property developers

    Comment: This document provides an insight into the priority construction topics and sectors for HSE in the absence of any published account of the full programme of work for 2008/2009. The inspector rating scales provide descriptors against which companies may wish to test their performance in order to gauge how well they might perform under HSE scrutiny.

    HOME BUILDING SECTOR

    House builder health and safety manual published

    CIP have published a health and safety manual for house builders. The manual is intended to provide a useful and pragmatic tool to help house builders comply with legal duties and to improve the way health and safety is managed. The 900 page paperback manual costs £220 and will be updated every year. 

    Comment: The home build sector is to come under greater attention from HSE in 2008/09.  See above. Inspectors will be looking closely at:

    • Competence – including training of managers and operatives;
    • Falls – adequacy of arrangements;
    • Good order – site organisation and housekeeping;
    • Transport – planning and management of vehicle risk
    • Excavations – appropriate protection;
    • Health risks – identification and effective management;
    • Fire – management and precautions;
    • Cranes – planning, training, pre-use & maintenance checks;
    • Electrical safety and;
    • Welfare provision.

    In addition, the timber frame sector can expect HSE to examine: build sequence to enable effective falls prevention, support panels, safe access and egress including fire emergency, controls on potential sources of ignition, control of manual handling issues.

    HSE ENFORCEMENT

    Two contractors and safety officer fined following fatal fall

    Fines of nearly £200k have been imposed following the death of a German worker who fell 8m. The company health and safety officer was also prosecuted and fined. Plastic tie-wraps were being used to secure guardrails.

    Prosecutions added to the HSE database in the last week  

    The above link finds prosecutions taken by HSE Construction Division that have been added to the database in the last week. The two cases added relate to a structural collapse and failure to manage asbestos.    

    Enforcement notices added to the HSE database in the last week

    The above link finds the 38 Prohibition and Improvement Notices issued by HSE Construction Division and added to the database in the last week.  

    ASBESTOS

    Failure to survey for asbestos lands surveyor in court

    A building surveyor has been required to pay over £8k in fines and costs after failing to meet his legal duties and carry out an asbestos survey during refurbishment work. HSE initiated proceedings because “as a building surveyor with many years experience (the defendant) should have been aware of his duty to manage the asbestos risk in a non-domestic property.”

    Comment: This case highlights the importance of the Pre Construction Information requirement concerning asbestos under CDM 2007 in addition to the individual responsibility of each professional to take reasonable care for the safety of others.

    CRANE SAFETY

    Tower crane guide launched SED

    The new best practice guide for the maintenance, inspection and thorough examination of tower cranes from the Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA) has been officially launched at the Site Equipment Demonstration (SED).

    Comment: This new guide is part of a suite of best practice advice developed by the CPA in association with HSE and others.  It is vital that all organisations involved with tower cranes now review the implications for their current practice.

    US crane death during derigging

    OTHER NEWS

    Working outdoors

    Dumper truck death Ireland

    AND FINALLY

    Bomb unearthed

    END

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