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Safety inspectors to raid 1500 refurb sites in March

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is to inspect 1500 refurbishment sites in the UK to weed out poor health and safety standards.
HSE’s inspectors will be targeting main contactors to see whether they:

-Work at height safely;

-Maintain good order on site to avoid trips and falls (equipment correctly installed / assembled, inspected and maintained and used properly);

-Ensure asbestos exposure risks are managed according to law;

-Walkways/stairs are free from obstructions;

-Work areas are clear of unnecessary materials and waste;

-The work force is aware of risk control measures.

HSE has warned that contractors can expect strong enforcement action if they fail to measure up. In the last two years, during similar inspection initiatives, the HSE’s inspectors carried out more than 2,400 refurbishment site inspections nationally, resulting in enforcement action being taken on one in three 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”.

Last year (2007/08) more than 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).

Reducing the number of injuries and deaths is a priority for HSE to help the construction industry meet its accident targets by 2010. The HSE inspections will go ahead in support of its Shattered Lives and Hidden Killer campaigns.

For details on previous inspection initiatives in February 2008 and summer 2007 clickhere
2 March 2009


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