Following a month long inspection initiative, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has found that 40% of sites fail to properly protect workers.
1748 repair and refurbishment sites were visited by HSE inspectors with the following results:
- 50% having unacceptable conditions and dangerous practices. 20% of sites required formal enforcement
- 35% of notices server were for: management of asbestos failure to control exposure to harmful dusts noise and vibration insufficient welfare
- 42% of enforcement notices were due to failure to provide basic safety measures at height .
Many of the issues found could have been easily prevented with simple, straightforward management and planning.
HSE’s Chief of Construction Philip White said:
These results show that whilst the majority of employers in the refurbishment sector are getting it right, a significant part of the industry is seriously failing its workers.
The inability to properly plan working at height continues to be a major issue, despite well-known safety measures being straightforward to implement. It is just not acceptable that Inspectors had to order work to stop immediately on over 200 occasions because of dangerous practices.
We also find health is often overlooked as its implications are not immediately visible, however the effects of uncontrolled exposure to deadly dusts such as asbestos and silica can be irreversible. We urge industry to ensure the most basic of measures such as use of protective equipment and dust suppression methods are put in place to help protect the future health of workers.
We need to continue to educate industry through initiatives like this and encourage a change in behaviour on small projects where over half the industry’s fatal accidents still occur and many workers become seriously ill.
To read the full article from the HSE, click here… (http://press.hse.gov.uk/2014/forty-per-cent-of-construction-sites-fail-health-and-safety-spot-checks/)