1500 Refurbishment Sites Targeted by Inspection Initiative

Thursday, 5th Mar '09 at 10:45

Last year (2007/08p) over half (52%) of the workers who died on construction sites worked in refurbishment, repair and maintenance, in line with a similar shocking statistic the previous year (2006/07).  Today, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) announced that throughout March it again aims to inspect 1500 refurbishment sites across Great Britain, to tackle poor health and safety standards.
In support of its Shattered Lives and Hidden Killer campaigns, HSE’s inspectors will be targeting principal contactors to see how they are managing:

  • Working at height safely;
  • Good order on site; and
  • The risks associated with exposure to asbestos

HSE has warned that contractors can once again expect strong enforcement action.  Indeed, in just the last two years, during similar inspection initiatives, HSE’s Construction Inspectors carried out over 2,400 refurbishment site inspections nationally, resulting in enforcement action being taken on around 1 in 3 of the sites visited.

HSE’s Chief Inspector of Construction Stephen Williams said,

"While workers in the refurbishment sector continue to be injured and killed, as we stated before our last inspection initiative, HSE will continue to target the contractors and principal contractors on those sites who flout health and safety law and come down hard on them where necessary".

During the inspection initiative, HSE inspectors will be looking at whether:

  • 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
  • The risks associated with exposure to asbestos are managed correctly and carried out in accordance with the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 where applicable
  • The work force is made aware of risk control measures
More information is available at http://www.hse.gov.uk/shatteredlives/construction/index.htm and http://www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos/index.htm
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