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MIDLAND PROJECTS COME UNDER THE MICROSCOPE

HSE announce clampdown on poor site H&S management

Poor standards on construction sites in the West Midlands are being targeted during February as part of an annual push to reduce death, injury and ill-health in the industry.

HSE Construction Inspectors are checking that high-risk activities are being carried out safely and that welfare facilities on site are adequate

Personal protective equipment (PPE) will also be checked along with respiratory protection equipment (RPE) to ensure that the wearer has been face-fit tested.

HSE point out that construction workers are nearly four times as likely to die at work compared to the average worker. An estimated 70,000 in the industry will today be suffering ill-health as a result of their work.

Exposure to dust can have fatal or debilitating consequences

The purpose of the campaign is to drive home the message to those working in the industry that poor risk management and a lack of awareness of responsibilities are not only unacceptable, but can cost lives.

Jo Anderson, HSE Principal Inspector for the West Midlands Construction Division said:

“Too many people die every year on Britain’s construction sites as a result of entirely avoidable incidents but it is just as important to protect workers from the causes of ill-health, such as unnecessary exposure to asbestos or silica dust, which can have fatal or debilitating consequences.

This initiative provides a chance to engage with construction firms to help them understand what they need to do, so they can put in place the practical measures needed to keep people safe. In many cases, simple changes to working practices can make all the difference, and even save lives.

However, if we find evidence that workers are being unnecessarily and irresponsibly put at risk, we will not hesitate to take robust action. Companies who deliberately cut corners and put their workers or others at risk will feel the full weight of the law.

Given one in three sites failed a recent clampdown on refurbishment projects in the region, it’s important to keep up momentum and target problem areas such as not providing basic welfare facilities for workers.”

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