Health & Safety Executive inspectors will be making surprise swoops to construction sites across the UK in February 2013

by Alex on February 27, 2013

Europe District conducts construction safety class in Turkey

Photo: USACE

A recent industry article reports HSE will be making suprise swoops on construction sites across the country targeting working from height!

Refurbishment, repair and maintenance activities will be particularly targeted, since more than 70% of the 42 construction fatalities in 2009/10 happened in that sector.

Issues that inspectors will be looking at most closely include height safety and asbestos risk management.

Last year HSE inspectors visited 2014 sites and 2414 contractors. They were forced to issue more than 350 prohibition notices to stop dangerous work, much of it relating to working from height.

Inspectors will be checking that:

  • Jobs that involve working at height have been identified and properly planned to ensure that appropriate precautions are in place
  • Equipment is correctly installed / assembled, inspected and maintained and used properly
  • Sites are well organised, to avoid trips and falls
  • Walkways and stairs are free from obstructions
  • Work areas are clear of unnecessary materials and waste

HSE chief inspector of construction Philip White said: “This will be the fifth year that we have run the inspection initiative across Britain and we anticipate that that there will be examples of both good and bad practice – those where employers are taking all the measures they can to protect their workers and those where safety is way down the list of priorities.

“A lax attitude to health and safety in one of the more dangerous industries is not acceptable, especially when many of the incidents are completely avoidable by taking common-sense actions and precautions. As we’ve demonstrated in previous years, we will not hesitate to take action if we find poor practice that is putting the lives of workers at risk.

“This year, as part of ensuring risks from asbestos are properly managed, we will also be checking that, where appropriate, asbestos surveys have been carried out prior to any refurbishment work. Many workers believe that, because asbestos has been banned as a building material, it’s no longer a threat to them. But that simply isn’t true. Any premises built or refurbished before 2000 could contain asbestos.”

Construction News 8th Feb 2013


Don’t get caught out when the inspectors arrive on your site, make sure you have the correct documentation on hand, use HANDS HQ to create your Risk Assessments and Method Statements today.

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