HSE surprise inspections: don’t get caught out!

by Alex on September 4, 2013

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Photo: Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Builders beware! HSE has announced a new initiative to reduce to death, injury and illness in the construction industry by clamping down on poor standards and unsafe work. In layman’s terms, this means that inspectors will be carrying out unannounced site checks over the next month.

Although the number of construction-related fatalities has decreased yet again over the past year, builders are still almost four times more likely to be killed on the job than in most other professions. Worse still, an estimated 700,000 construction workers suffer from work-related illnesses.

To combat this, HSE is attempting to ensure proper management of high-risk activities. This means surprise inspections of work at height, and work which could result in dust exposure. Basic welfare facilities, such as toilets and handwashing facilities, will also be checked when appropriate.

The aim of the initiative is to hammer home that poor risk management and insufficient awareness of responsibilities can cost lives, and are entirely unacceptable. Avoidable accidents and exposure to harmful substances like silica and asbestos are some of its main targets.

“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,” said Heather Bryant, HSE Chief Inspector of Construction.

“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.”

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