New HSE initiative to clampdown on accidents in construction sector…
A recent initiative from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) which inspected construction sites across London has revealed that one in four of the working environments visited were not up to recommended safety standards.
The HSE sent inspectors to more than 400 sites across the capital as part of an initiative aimed at cutting down on the numbers of serious accidents and fatalities in the construction sector which is considered to be one of the most high-risk sectors to work in.
93 of the sites failed to even meet the minimum expected safety standards and the dangerous work practices witnessed by HSE staff led to the immediate issuing of Prohibion Notices requiring some of the companies to cease all work activities until the necessary safety protocols were implemented.
The HSE made a series of unannounced visits to companies undertaking refurbishment or repair work to check that construction companies were managing their safety risks appropriately for high-risk activities like working at heights. The Inspectors were looking out for general safety conditions on the sites as well assessing the quality of welfare activities and personal protective equipment.
HSE figures report that last year four workers lost their lives while working at construction sites in London while more than 471 were seriously injured while carrying out their work duties. Nationally the number of deaths in the sector last year was 49 with 2,800 cases of serious injury.
Anday Beal, a co-ordinator of the safety initiative said the purpose of the visits was to remind relevant industry stakeholders that poor standards were unacceptable, he commented:
“It’s good news that the majority of the construction sites we visited were obeying the law but sadly a sizeable minority sites are letting down the rest of the industry.
“Failures to properly protect workers during construction activities at height, inadequate site management, exposure to dangerous types of dust and inadequate washing facilities were among the dangers and low standards we found on some sites.
“The whole purpose of carrying out these spot checks is to raise awareness of the dangers and reduce the number of construction workers being killed or seriously injured at work.”
Author: Julian Roberts
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