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    HSE CONSTRUCTION SECTOR PRIORITIES 2011 AND BEYOND

    Helping smaller sites and engaging major company boardrooms are key  

    HSE has now published details of its programme of work in the construction sector for the next three years.

    The Plan spells out that the main operational activities HSE will target. These are: asbestos; small sites/projects; refurbishment; and major clients/projects. Five generic issues will be considered at all site visits: work at height; asbestos risks; provision of welfare facilities; good order; respiratory risks.

    Specific topics supplement general issues

    In addition to the five generic issues HSE will also tackle the following specific topics: 

    • Management of health risks – promoting awareness and knowledge of health risks in construction to achieve improved management and a corresponding reduction in occupational disease;
    • Leadership – examining how effective directors & other senior management are at leading health and safety;
    • Contractor Competence – raising awareness and promoting the key themes in CDM Regulations 2007, in particular competence of organisations and individuals;
    • Temporary Works – promoting awareness and knowledge of the importance of managing temporary works effectively and ensure that adequate management arrangements are in place;
    • Worker Involvement – encouraging effective worker involvement on site, so that workers play an active role in the identification and control of workplace hazards;
    • MEWPs – promoting knowledge of, and assessing the overall standard of adherence to industry guidance;
    • Emerging Energy TechnologiesOn-Shore Wind Farms: examining the standard of safety management during the construction of on-shore wind farms. Solar Capture Equipment: ensuring that the significant risks arising from the installation of photovoltaic and solar heating technology on small sites are properly controlled;
    • Temporary Demountable Structures – examining the standard of safety management during the erection and dismantling of temporary demountable structures in the events and entertainments industry;
    • Stonemasons and Renovation – raising awareness of respiratory disease risks from exposure to respirable crystalline silica; and
    • Employers Liability and Compulsory Insurance (ELCI) – raising the profile of ELCI compliance and enforce the law where necessary.
    More HSE time will be devoted to smaller sites

    HSE states that there will a continuing move towards focussing on smaller projects whilst HSE will be “challenging larger contractors at board level”.

    In his foreward to the Plan Philip White HSE Chief Inspector for Construction said:

    Some parts of the industry have made significant steps forward over recent years, this is particularly noticeable on larger projects. However, these improvements are not mirrored to anything like the same extent on smaller sites where we still find many instances of unacceptable standards.

    Over the next 12 months we will be devoting more of our time and effort to regulating smaller sites and businesses and at the same time evolving our approach to larger contractors. We want to utilise our resources more effectively so that we concentrate on helping small businesses (SMEs) and dealing with serious breaches of health and safety law. We need to find new ways to help SMEs understand and meet their obligations in a proportionate way.

    We will continue to visit larger projects to investigate accidents and complaints and undertake visits when there are good reasons to do so, this will result in fewer site visits. However, we will be placing more emphasis on challenging large contractors at Board level. We are committing time and effort to adapt and customise our approaches to both smaller and larger projects and businesses.

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