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OVER 50% OF PROJECTS FAIL HSE ‘HEALTH CHECK’

hselogo1Chief Inspector condemns ‘unacceptable toll of ill-health’

A national targeted inspection focussing on health risks for construction workers saw enforcement action taken at one in six of hundreds of sites visited.

During a concentrated two-week period of proactive inspections, HSE demanded improvements, and in some cases put an immediate stop to work activities, where they fell short of expected standards.

Inspectors focussed on significant health risk issues, such as respiratory risks from dusts containing silica materials, exposure to other hazardous substances such as cement and lead paint, manual handling, noise and vibration.

Projects pay the price for non-compliance

Final figures have yet to be confirmed, but interim results indicate:

  • Projects inspected: 560 sites were visited;
  • Work stopped: on at least 13 occasions;
  • Enforcement notices: issued at 85 sites (13 Prohibition 107 Improvement Notices); and
  • Notices of contravention: 239 health-related were served at 201 sites; and
  • Fee for intervention: 85+201 = 51% of sites visited.

A Notification of Contravention, Improvement or Prohibition notice or a Prosecution will result in fee payable to HSE – Fee for Intervention.

mewp7The fee is based on the amount of time the inspector spent identifying the material breach, helping businesses to put it right, investigating and taking enforcement action.

HSE’s Chief Inspector, Heather Bryant, said:

“We recognise the construction sector’s progress in reducing the number of people killed and injured by its activities. But it is clear from these figures that there is an unacceptable toll of ill-health and fatal disease in the industry.

So, to encourage the industry to treat health issues in the same way as safety, HSE’s inspectors will consolidate the efforts of this initiative throughout the rest of the year by looking at the prevention and control of health risks in construction, alongside their continued assessment of the management of safety risk issues.

We will make sure the construction industry ‘Thinks health’ as well as safety.”

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