As part of their annual ‘SaferSites’ initiative HSE Inspectors will be targeting visits to sites where refurbishment or repair work is being carried out, with a series of two week inspections across the country beginning 3 October and ending 4 November 2016.
These visits will focus on ensuring high-risk activities, particularly those affecting the health of workers are being properly managed.
They will be looking at 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 and 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.
Immediate enforcement action will be taken where serious breaches of legislation are found. However, Inspectors will also be taking steps to secure a positive change in behaviour to ensure ongoing compliance.
They will also follow up health and safety breaches with clients and designers to reinforce their duties under CDM2015 and to ensure that all duty holders with on-site health and safety responsibilities understand and fulfil these.
Should inspectors identify a material breach by a contractor they are likely to issue fees for intervention at a cost of £129 per hour.