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    HSE INSPECTORS TO TARGET BUILDING MAINTENANCE

    Euro Campaign opportunity to test client building maintenance/repair

    HSE visits to factory premises during 2010/11 will include a focus on safety during building maintenance. Inspections will “test the dutyholder’s safety management arrangements and may lead to enforcement action”.

    The work coincides with a Europe wide campaign in 2010 and is in addition to that carried out by HSE Construction Inspectors.

    Up 30% fatalities on factory premises caused during maintenance

    This proactive work is being undertaken to coincide with a European Safe Maintenance Campaign (2010/12) and to address the 25 to 30% of factory premises deaths caused by maintenance activities.

    There will be dedicated pages on the HSE website with building maintenance inclded as a target including: 

    • work at height including roofwork;
    • asbestos risks and the duty to manage;
    • arrangements for selection of contractors;
    • access to items of plant for maintenance purposes;
    • rooflight and gutter cleaning, painting and bulb changing.

    Falls from Height Inspection Topic Pack provides guidance to Inspectors.

    Safe movement of ‘heavy items’ 

    Analysis of fatalities in the manufacturing industries shows that deaths during lifting or movement of ‘heavy items’ are more prevalent than is commonly appreciated.

    In the maintenance setting causes can include:

    • the failure of lifting equipment;
    • unsuitable lifting/slinging/moving practices;
    • inadequate temporary support or securing for heavy items;
    • supports not on level or firm ground;
    • under-estimation of the weight of the item or;
    • over-estimation of individual capability to support an item.
    Asbestos and the duty to manage

    Building maintenance tasks may well involve disturbing the building fabric and exposing maintenance and other workers to asbestos fibres.

    The duty to manage requirements are intended to cater for such situations, and Inspectors will looking at building maintenance activities to test their arrangements.

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