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Through late September and most of October the HSE carried out unannounced site visits to over 1,700 repair and refurbishment sites across the UK. The findings were quite frankly worrying with 691 sites out of 1,748 with poor standards and or dangerous practices, and 1 in 5 were so bad they required formal action.
The main issues were the lack of safety procedures for those working at heights which claimed over 40% of the notices for malpractice. 35% of notices were for poor management of noise and vibrations, failure to control exposure to harmful dusts, and management of Asbestos (roughly 10%).
It is worth noting that most of the sites are perfectly adequate in their safety measures and that is undoubtedly a good thing, 40% of sites failing what is often basic and easily implemented health and safety measures is concerning.
There are dangers everywhere in the trade industry from the obvious working at heights problem to asbestos which kills over 5,000 people a year (mostly those who work on sites like these and people who worked with it before it was made illegal) but these dangers are easily negated and as Philip White of the HSE said “It is just not acceptable that inspectors had to order work to stop immediately on over 200 occasions because of dangerous practices.”
It is the employer’s responsibility to make sure certain that employees working conditions are safe and that they have received adequate training for the equipment they use and potential hazard they may encounter.
For example if an employee may encounter Asbestos whilst working it is important that they have been given the correct training (such as Asbestos Awareness training if not outright removal training) which can be found here at Armco as well as face-fit testing of masks designed to keep you safe from dangerous inhalable substances.
We also provide management surveys and refurb/demolition surveys here which are essential If you want to know where Asbestos is in your building (chances are if the building was built before the year 2,000 it’s in there!) what type and whether or not it is dangerous (releasing the carcinogenic fibres) it’s worth taking a look.Published Nov 21, 2014