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Clampdown On Construction Site Safety

As the HSE plans to clamp down on unsafe practices on construction sites, QSC Director, Ashley Moore, looks at what this means for organisations and what can be done to help sites improve safety and comply with legal requirements.

“I regularly monitor changes / updates in legislation as well as improvement and prohibition notices issued by the HSE. Sadly, an email alert I recently received made for very uncomfortable reading.

According to HSE figures, in the West and East Midlands last year 15 people were killed and a massive 2,872 suffered serious injuries whilst trying to earn a living and put food on the table for their families.

Overall 173 workers lost their lives in the UK whilst at work, at the alarming rate of 3.3 people a week.

At QSC, we work tirelessly with organisations to prevent the loss of innocent lives, but it’s a team effort so I urge you all from directors to site operatives to put safety at the forefront of everything you do no matter how large or small.

One sector in particular which has always recorded higher than average loss of life statistics is Construction. The HSE have announced recently that in the next few months they will be clamping down on unsafe practices on construction sites in the UK. Below is a guide of what the HSE will be looking at:

  • Ensuring that jobs that involve working at height are properly planned and the appropriate precautions are in place.
  • Equipment is correctly installed / assembled, inspected and maintained.
  • Sites are well organised to avoid slips, trips and falls.
  • Walkways and stairs are free from obstruction.
  • Work areas are clear of unnecessary materials and waste.
  • Suitable PPE, including head protection is provided and worn at all times.
Philip White, HSE chief inspector of construction said recently “In many cases simple changes to working practices can make all the difference, and can even save lives. Therefore if we find evidence that workers are being unnecessarily put at risk we will take strong action. We are determined to drive the message home that site safety and worker welfare cannot be comprised.”

As construction site safety is once again put under the spotlight, now is the time to ensure safe systems of work are part of our everyday routine not just words for the HSE Inspectors.

HSE can visit at any time, without warning, if it’s your site be prepared.

Ashley Moore
QSC Director

March 2013

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