HSE has recently visited (03/07/2012) North East London construction sites to review health and safety and CDM provision and almost half of them have failed health and safety spot checks. This links with HSE’s aim to target refurbishment sites for the coming year.

The day-long inspection initiative by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) saw a small team of Inspectors visit 22 construction sites across North Hackney and South Tottenham, Haringey.

Common issues found during the inspection were: An example of a dangerous working platform several metres above ground

Basic precautions were missing, such as edge protection to prevent falls from height
Work was not properly planned
Poorly trained site managers
Inadequate welfare facilities for workers

Enforcement action had to be taken at nine of those sites, with a total of six Prohibition Notices served and six Improvement Notices served and one site was closed down immediately due to the exceptionally hazardous conditions found.

It is worthy of note that five of the Prohibition Notices served related to unsafe work at height – the biggest cause of workplace deaths in the UK – with training and welfare concerns accounting for all of the Improvement Notices.

Mike Williams, Principal Inspector for HSE’s construction division in North and East London said:

“Construction remains one of Britain’s most dangerous industries and fatal incidents across London have shown how devastating they can be.

“We are very concerned at the number of small sites that are failing to take the most basic precautions to protect workers and members of the public. Good health and safety on construction sites is a legal requirement and we will continue to clamp down on dangerous practices or poor standards until the message gets through.

“Contractors must properly plan their work and protect their workers from risks such as falls from height or structures collapsing.”

Provisional figures for 2011/12 published last week by HSE show the rate of fatal injuries in several key industrial sectors: There were 49 fatal injuries to construction workers recorded compared with 50 deaths in 2010/11

Ref: http://www.hse.gov.uk/press/2012/rnn-ldn-12912.htm

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