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

Brandon Hire provides free advice on a range of health and safety issues, including working at height, Hand Arm Vibration, welfare and dust. For more information email: targetrisk@brandonhire.co.uk or call 01179 719119

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.”

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.”

To view Brandon Hire’s range of dust extraction equipment simply follow this link: http://www.brandontoolhire.co.uk/en/126-dust-extraction-vacuum-h-rated-vacuum-hire