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    HSE ‘CLAMPDOWN’ ON SITE SAFETY AND HEALTH RISKS

    Initiative underway to raise refurb project risk management standards

    From 2nd to 27th September 2013 HSE Construction Inspectors are carrying out a major inspection and enforcement initiative involving unannounced checks at sites where refurbishment projects or repair works are underway.

    During the inspections HSE inspectors expect to find: 

    • Work at height – jobs identified and planned with precautions in place;
    • Equipment – correctly installed/assembled, inspected etc and used properly;
    • Silica and other dusts – controlled to prevent unnecessary exposure;
    • Site order – organised to avoid trips etc with walkways free from obstructions;
    • Waste and welfare – work areas clear of waste and welfare facilities in place.

    Construction Head of Operations Mike Cross will take part in a live ‘twitter chat’ on Wednesday 4th September. Questions about the Initiative can be asked during an hour-long session starting at 3pm under the hashtag #askHSE. 

    Harmful dust can have fatal or debilitating consequences

    The inspection initiatives aims to reinforce the HSE message to the construction industry that poor standards, particularly regarding the above issues, are unacceptable and liable to result in HSE taking enforcement action.

    Heather Bryant, HSE Chief Inspector of Construction, said:

     “Too many people die or are seriously injured every year on Britain’s construction sites as a result of entirely avoidable incidents.

     Just as importantly, workers are unnecessarily being exposed to serious health risks, such as asbestos or silica dust, which can have fatal or debilitating consequences.

     Often we find it is smaller companies working on refurbishment and repair work who are failing to protect their workers through a lack of awareness and poor control of risks.

     This initiative provides a chance to engage with these firms to help them understand what they need to do, so they can put in place the practical measures needed to keep people safe.

     However, let me be clear – 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 can expect to feel the full weight of the law.”

     

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