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HSE TARGETS PREVENTION OF BASEMENT PROJECT DEATHS

Blitz of capital basement projects launched to improve safety standards

A two-day inspection initiative has been announced by HSE aimed at improving working practices on basement construction projects in four London boroughs. There have been two death in the last year resulting from basement construction pojects in London. 

The work is technically-challenging and carries substantial risk. Key safety issues include:

Other issues such as poor welfare facilities and lack of training are common to those found on other small refurbishment projects.

Inspections backed up by awareness event

The inspection initiative – on 15 and 16 November 2011 – is targeting basement construction in the London boroughs: Kensington & Chelsea, Hammersmith & Fulham, Wandsworth and Westminster.

HSE will also be holding an awareness event on 19 January 2012, aimed at getting key health and safety messages across to those involved. Firms from the industry who wish to attend the proposed HSE event should contact: pauline.storey@hse.gsi.gov.uk.

Andrew Beal, HSE Principal Inspector, for City and South West London Construction said:

“Each year workers are needlessly injured or killed while working on basement conversions. While some sectors of the construction industry have made real improvements in recent years, we are still concerned about standards in basement construction.

“We will be on the look out for companies who are getting it right, adopting good practice or developing innovative solutions. However, where we find poor practice that is putting the lives at risk we will take action; this could include closing sites and prosecuting those responsible.”

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