Health as well as safety’ is the message during this year’s Construction Initiative as poor standards and unsafe practices on Britain’s building sites are targeted during a nationwide drive aimed at reducing ill health, death and injury in the industry.
From 22 September until 17 October, HSE Construction Inspectors will carry out unannounced visits to sites where refurbishment projects or repair works are underway.
This is the ninth annual Initiative and building on previous campaigns, HSE Inspectors will ensure high-risk activities particularly those affecting the health of workers, are being properly managed.
What the initiative does
The main aims of the initiative are:
- to achieve an improvement in industry standards, in particular at small sites
- to increase awareness of HSE’s expectations of the industry
- to demonstrate that HSE will use the enforcement tools at its disposal to prevent immediate risk and bring about sustained improvements
What inspectors look for
During inspections, HSE inspectors will consider whether:
- risks to health from exposure to dust such as silica are being controlled
- workers are aware of where they may find asbestos, and what to do if they find it
- other health risks, such as exposure to noise and vibration, manual handling, hazardous substances are being properly managed
- jobs that involve working at height have been identified and properly planned to ensure that appropriate precautions, such as proper support of structures, 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 and welfare facilities are adequate
HSE uses the inspection initiatives to reinforce its message to the construction industry that poor standards are unacceptable and liable to result in HSE taking enforcement action.
Previous campaign results:
- the results from last September’s campaign where more than 1,100 construction sites failed safety checks
- earlier this year a Health focussed Initiative resulted in enforcement action taken at one in six sites visited