HSE inspectors blitz on refurbishment and repair sites

HSE inspectors have kicked-off a month long blitz checking on health standards on refurbishment and repair sites. Health as well as safety is the message being taken to contractors as inspectors stage a series of unannounced visits across the country. Inspections will pay particular attention to the threats posed by harmful dusts such as silica and asbestos and other hazardous substances. Philip White, HSE Chief Inspector of Construction, said: “Industry has made much progress in reducing the number of people killed and injured in its activities, but for every fatal accident, approximately 100 construction workers die from a work-related cancer.” During the last health initiative action was taken on one in six sites. White said: “Time and again we find smaller contractors working on refurbishment and repair work failing to protect their workers through a lack of awareness and poor control of risks. “This isn’t acceptable – it costs lives, and we will take strong and robust action where we find poor practice and risky behaviour. “Through campaigns like this we aim to ensure contractors take all risks to their workers seriously, and not just focus on immediate safety implications. They need to put in place practical measures to keep workers both safe and well”

Brandon Tool Hire specialise in dust extraction vacuum hire and the delivery of on-site support, toolbox talks and practicable advice on refurbishment and repair sites.

Don’t Bite the Dust

DON’T BITE THE DUST Helping to reduce the risks of working with dust has become a top priority for the industry – not least because there are more than 500 deaths every year due to silica exposure. Brandon Hire is playing a key role in educating construction workers about the dangers and the steps they can take to ensure a dust-free environment. A combination of regular workshops, information booklets and on-site support for customers is making an impact. National Technical Manager Dave Arscott said: “There’s no doubt that dust is a big issue and anything we can do to spread the word is important. The response we get is very positive – it’s amazing how many people simply don’t know about the dangers and the equipment that’s available to help them work safely.” Not surprisingly the company is backing the HSE’s ‘Think Heath’ campaign, which is focusing on the respiratory risks from dust, as well as manual handling, noise and vibration. HSE inspectors have been making unannounced visits to sites to identify areas where workers are being exposed to unnecessary risks. As part of this, Brandon Hire has produced a ‘brooms don’t work’ poster for branches. The posters highlight the fact that it’s dangerous to clean up with a broom and that dust extraction vacuums are the only safe option. Ian Strudley, Head of Health Risk Management Unit at the HSE, said: “It’s great to see companies like Brandon Hire supporting our efforts and doing what they can to educate their customers. The construction industry has made great strides in recent years but it needs to do more and put practical measures in place to keep people safe.”