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Construction site visits

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are advising that they are currently carrying out a series of inspection visits of construction sites. The visits, which are unannounced, form part of an 'intensive inspection initiative aimed at reducing death and injury in one of Britain's most dangerous industries'.

According to the HSE, during 2009/10 42 workers died while working in construction. They intend to target the key areas which lead to deaths in 2009/10 which were refurbishment, repair and maintenance activities. Other areas subject to review include ensuring that sites are managing work at height safely, the risk of exposure to asbestos and that sites are generally in good order.

Philip White, HSE's Chief Inspector of Construction, said:

'This will be the fifth year that we have run the inspection initiative across Britain and we anticipate that that there will be examples of both good and bad practice - those where employers are taking all the measures they can to protect their workers and those where safety is way down the list of priorities.

A lax attitude to health and safety in one of the more dangerous industries is not acceptable, especially when many of the incidents are completely avoidable by taking commonsense actions and precautions. As we've demonstrated in previous years, we will not hesitate to take action if we find poor practice that is putting the lives of workers at risk.

This year, as part of ensuring risks from asbestos are properly managed, we will also be checking that, where appropriate, asbestos surveys have been carried out prior to any refurbishment work. Many workers believe that, because asbestos has been banned as a building material, it's no longer a threat to them. But that simply isn't true. Any premises built or refurbished before 2000 could contain asbestos.'

Internet link: HSE press release



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