HSE Safer Sites Initiative sees 40% of sites fail to meet standards.

Results from the HSE Safer Sites Initiative, which ran from 22 September to 17 October this year, reveal that of the 1,748 sites visited, dangerous practices or poor standards were discovered at 40% of refurbishment and repair sites visited, with 1 in 5 sites so poor, formal enforcement action was required.

A total of 691 of the sites targeted failed to meet current standards with 360 needing formal enforcement action, as practices were so poor. In total, the HSE issued 313 prohibition notices and 235 improvement notices.

Dust suppression solutions - simple and effective.

Dust suppression solutions – simple and effective.

Dust is still a major problem

Dust is still a major problem

 

The HSE initiative was focussed on health risks, and 35% of the notices served were for issues such as management of asbestos, failure to control exposure to harmful dusts, noise and vibration, and insufficient welfare. However, the most common issue identified by HSE inspectors was unsafe working at height, which accounted for 42% of notices.

Following the results of the campaign, HSE is urging the construction industry to ensure basic health and safety measures are in place on all sites. Detailed statistics from the initiative as well as images of both good and bad practice can be found on the HSE website.

Reactec Vibration monitoring

Reactec Vibration monitoring

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HSE – Targets respiratory dust

Proactive inspections of construction sites by HSE have found that many are failing to prevent health risks.

A national targeted inspection focusing on health risks for construction workers saw enforcement action taken at one-in-six of 560 sites visited.

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

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

Final figures have yet to be confirmed by inspectors found that conditions were so poor in some situations that the work had to be stopped on at least 13 occasions.

Of the 560 sites visited, inspectors served enforcement notices on 85 of them. Thirteen prohibition notices were served (where certain work or practices had to be stopped until improvements were made) and 107 improvement notices. A total of 239 health-related notices of contravention were served at 201 of the sites.

“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,” said HSE’s chief inspector Heather Bryant.

“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.”

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