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HSE LAUNCH MAJOR CRACKDOWN ON DANGEROUS SITES

Intensive inspection initiative launched across UK

HSE wants to raise awareness of construction site risks and prevent unnecessary injuries and deaths. The inspection initiative starts on 1 March 2010 and will focus on refurbishment or roofing work.

Inspectors will make unannounced visits to ensure that sites are managing work at height safely and are in good order.

Lax attitude is unacceptable

Richard Boland an HSE Head of Operations for Constuction said:

“Each year too many construction workers are needlessly injured or killed while working on site. While some sectors of the industry have made real improvements in recent years, we are really concerned about standards in the refurbishment sector, particularly on small projects.

“HSE does not think a lax attitude to health and safety in one of the more dangerous industries is acceptable, especially when many of the incidents are completely avoidable by taking commonsense actions and precautions.

“This is the third year running we have run initiatives like this and, after these latest inspections, we hope that we can report back that we have found good practice and safely operating sites.

“However, if we find poor practice that is putting the lives of workers and, in some cases the public, at risk we will take action; this could include closing sites and prosecuting those responsible.”

Key hazards will be targeted

During the inspection initiative HSE inspectors will be looking for:

  • Planning – jobs involving work at height identified and planned with appropriate precautions in place;
  • Equipment – correctly installed, assembled, inspected, maintained and properly used;
  • Organisation – sites well organised to avoid trips and falls;
  • Access – walkways and stairs free from obstructions; and
  • Work areas – clear of unnecessary materials and waste.

Falls from height remains one of the most common causes of fatalities and major injuries in the construction sector in Great Britain, with more than five incidents recorded every day.

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