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    HSE PUBLISH NEW PLAN OF WORK FOR 2013/14

    Construction remains cause for “significant concern” and action

    The HSE Plan of Work for 2013/14 has been published re-affirming HSE commitment to improving health and safety in the construction industry by “targeting high risk sectors and activities”.

    The construction sector fatality figures for 2011/2012 (provisional) record 49 deaths involving construction workers and 1 member of the public which represents a slight improvement on the recorded deaths of 50 construction workers and 2 members of the public in the previous year (2010/2011). However, the new HSE Construction Chief, Heather Bryant insists

    “this remains unacceptable and we must continue to reduce this burden of death as well as the associated injuries and incidences of ill health. Despite the economic downturn, the construction industry remains one of the largest in Great Britain, bringing employment to around 2 million people; it also remains extremely hazardous and a cause for significant concern. The characteristics of the industry and the challenges it creates for health and safety are well documented.”

    The HSE Construction Division key priorities are mainly unchanged although there are a few new elements of work in specific projects. Inspection of ‘small sites’ will rise to 35% (from 30%). Smaller sites are where 70% of fatal accidents occur and standards are often poor.

    Ms Bryant also points out that although Fee for Intervention has been a significant change for HSE the priorities in the construction sector remain unchanged.

    Revised CDM 2014 package guidance will be ‘simplified’

    Construction News has reported an interview with Heather Bryant in which she states HSE will “drive occupational health up the agenda and simplify guidance”. Simplifying guidance to contractors will form a key part of her work to make information more accessible, particularly to smaller contractors.

    “If you have a small business that has to read a 50-page document rather than a couple of pages – are you going to read it? It’s better to have a couple of pages that they’re going to understand, rather than 50 pages that they’re not even going to pick up.”

    The HSE is working on revisions to the CDM Regulations which are due to be finalised in October 2014. Ms Bryant said the “technical hardware” of the CDM regulations would not change, but that HSE will simplify the guidance that goes with the regulations.

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    HSE Construction Plan of Work 2013/2014

     

    Operational Activities

    Construction project interventions will target:

    • Asbestos removal work;
    • Small sites/projects;
    • Refurbishment;
    • Major projects/large contractors and clients;
    • Local Priorities; and
    • Matters of evident concern or with the potential to cause a catastrophic event identified during a site visit
    Generic issues 

    During site visits Inspectors will consider:

    Specific projects

    HSE will undertake the following projects

    • Fragile roofs – ensure risks associated with working on, or near, fragile materials are adequately planned and controlled.
    • Fireplaces – raise awareness of the causes of failure of modular fireplace surrounds and promote the Stone Federation of Great Britain’s guidance on this issue.
    • Roof tile cutting (roof-valley) – ensure that dust suppression methods are employed
    • Health risks in paving and block work – ensure that the risks i.e. Noise, Hand Arm Vibration (HAVs) and silica are controlled.
    • Lifts in buildings – assess the management of, and precautions taken, during lift engineering work on construction sites.
    • Temporary Demountable Structures – examine the standard of safety management in the events and entertainments industry.
    • Fire (timber frame structures) – ensure due regard to the UK Timber Frame Association (UKTFA) guidance where proximity to other structures is a factor.

    Enabling activities

    • Supporting the Working Well Together (WWT) Campaign
    • Work with the retail sector on the management of asbestos risk during refurbishment work.
    • The development of a revised regulatory package for the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007.

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