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HSE REFURB BLITZ TO HIT ‘DOMESTICS’

Standards on ‘domestic’ refurbishment projects come under scrutiny

HSE inspectors are to target the town of Warrington as part of a campaign to improve standards on refurbishment projects. Small-scale projects will be visited to check that the work is properly planned and carried out safely.The inspectors focus on work at height, hazards that could cause slips, trips or falls, the tidiness of sites, welfare facilities including toilets, and suitability of equipment used.

Wayne Crumpton, HSE’s Principal Inspector said: “The recession has obviously affected the construction industry but we’ve seen an increase in small-scale refurbishment projects. Many people are deciding to make improvements to their homes rather than move. Putting in place simple measures can make a real difference to improving safety, not only for those working on a job, but also for homeowners and their families. I therefore hope people will understand why we need to carry out these checks, and will co-operate with us. We need to enter properties to ensure that both contractors and the public are kept safe.”

Comment: This initiative confirms the move by HSE towards inspecting work undertaken by smaller contractors on owner occupied domestic properties reflecting the disproportionate number of deaths that occur during such work. We are aware of four construction deaths since 1st April 2009 and two of these occurred during repair or refurbishment of domestic properties.

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