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HSE TO CONCENTRATE ON ‘SMALL SITES’

Focused, practical and robust plan to raise small site standards 

A meeting of the Construction Industry Advisory Committee (CONIAC) on 26th March 2009 will consider an HSE national strategy for improving health and safety on small building sites where less than five people work. The strategy proposes:

  • Targeted Topics – inspector visits will concentrate on positive messages of ‘what good practice looks like’. During 2009/2010 inspections will focus on three topics: domestic roof repair work; manual handling and welfare facilities;
  • Clarity of Information – clear, simple and practical information sheets on how small sites can improve will be prepared and the first will cover the above topics;
  • Suitable Communications – active promotion of key messages and information in ways suitable for the ‘small site’ audience. HSE will continue to work with Working Well Together groups and others to deliver small sites initiatives and;
  • Wider Engagement – improve and develop links with those who come into contact with small sites. Continue to engage the ‘interested and aware’ and draw in those ‘who are ignorant but who would be interested if informed’. Larger construction companies will be urged to influence small firms working as subcontractors on their sites.

Comment: Fatalities on smaller sites (domestic or commercial) account for over 50% of construction fatalities so this focussed approach with bespoke small site information sheets is good news. The three topics chosen will probably keep HSE inspectors busy on small sites for more than one year!

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