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September 20, 2013

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Safer sites’ initiative reveals good and bad practices

 

Dust work - example of good practice (taken by the HSE)

The HSE has revealed that material breaches have been found at nearly half of the sites visited in their month of unannounced site checks.

The ‘safer sites initiative’, which comes to an end next Friday (27 September), has been targeting poor standards and unsafe practices on Britain’s construction sites. (ABOVE: Dust work – example of good practice)
 
This week it was revealed that HSE inspectors have, so far, inspected 1,500 contractors and carried out over 1,000 site inspections.
 
The update stated that as well as issuing Notices of Contravention at almost half of the sites visited, a number of sites have also been served with enforcement notices. 
 
The initiative has been focusing on the main causes of accidents and ill-health in refurbishment including:
 
  • falls from height;
  • site organisation;
  • structural stability;
  • asbestos;
  • respirabile silica; and
  • welfare.
The final figures for the initiative will be published by the HSE once all the data has been compiled, however photographs taken by HSE inspectors during the first few weeks of the initiative show both good and bad practices.
 
Excavation - Unsafe excavation work, Prohibition Notice served for poor order across the whole site (taken by the HSE)
(LEFT: Excavation – Unsafe excavation work, Prohibition Notice served for poor order across the whole site)
 
The Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians (UCATT) has called for greater funding of construction inspections in response to these initial results. 
 
UCATT general secretary, Steve Murphy, said: “These figures demonstrate the dangers faced by construction workers on a daily basis. Failure to ensure a site’s safety could lead to the death or injury of a worker.
 
“While these initiatives by the HSE are very welcome, inspectors are only visiting a small percentage of all the construction sites in the country. These findings demonstrate why the HSE needs more resources to conduct this type of inspection in all parts of the country throughout the year.”
 
Results from a similar month-long initiative earlier this year showed HSE inspectors visited a total of 2,363 sites where refurbishment or repair work was underway and saw 2,976 contractors. 
 
Between 18 February and 15 March, 631 enforcement notices were served across 433 sites for poor practices that could put workers at risk, with 451 notices ordering that work stop immediately until the situation was put right. 

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Alex Howard
Alex Howard
8 years ago

I have also been carrying out disposable mask FFT’s using qualiatative methods with bitrex and have had very few issues with failures.

When the reasons for doing FFT’s (other than ‘it’s the law’) are explained to the workforce, they ‘buy’ into getting tested for each different kind of mask they wear, which means they always wear them properly too. However, when it comes to full-face and air-fed respirators, these are always FFT’d by properly trained personnel using the quantative method.

Bob Kennedy
Bob Kennedy
8 years ago

I have manged to get the IN reversed by arranging FFT for this coming Monday

We will still incur costs under FFI, but considerably less cost than for an IN.

It pays to fix things speedily where possible.

Bob Kennedy
Bob Kennedy
8 years ago

The PC we are working for were also targeted within 15 miles of us and were issued a PN for PUWER issues.

The PC thereafter sacked the SM.

Without going into too much detail, it was a common mistake of adopting the Client`s FLT that was not in good order.

Net result – PN and unemployment for the SM.

I wonder what was in the bill for FLT attendence?

Often seen plant adopted via the Client and or other, that fails good working order.

Beware of pressure to use poor plant.

Bob.kennedy
Bob.kennedy
8 years ago

We have been issued with an IN for non compliance with Face Fit Testing for FFP3 disposable face masks.

Our chaps were not in progress of cutting but when request was made via the PC for our RAMS the Inspector then raised issue with FFT even though we had not yet commenced this activity?

When I was with the HSE in 2009 you could not get to issue a PN or IN to stone masons let alone a kerb layer? and they claim it is not about the money? funny how it was not worthy of enforcement back then

John Albutt
John Albutt
8 years ago

I hope that the HSE’s report is published in a simple fashion. Pictures of good and bad practises may be pinned on site notice boards to get the message to the workforce and a few references to fines always focuses the contractors attention. Rules and Regulations are fine but the real task is getting the message over to the likes of a man stupid enough to stand on a box on on a mobile tower scaffold and use a power tool, at arms length! Many don’t read beyond page 3, so it’s got to be pictures

John Hill
John Hill
8 years ago

Safer sights initiative?

Is this legally binding as the H&S @Work act is?

Or is the “Initiative” just that, a PR initiative??

A H&S Manager has to work to legal limits. These are contaned within the above Act.

Unless people know the difference, they should not just follow an initiative until they have mastered the legalities!

John Sharp
John Sharp
8 years ago

I may be a cynical soul- how many FFI invoices will be going out in the coming weeks/ months?

Keith
Keith
8 years ago

The Dust work – example of good practice shown also reveals that poor housekeeping appears to be condoned. I suspect that someone is more likely to ncur a serious injury from a slip or trip over cables or even have the saw dragged out of their hand by someone working or passing by.

Is this a case of look at & promote the good (agreed) & disregard the bad!!

Paul
Paul
8 years ago

Good luck with FFT for disposable FFP3 masks, when we tried it on site only 30 % of operatives could acheive seal required to pass test. Acceptable results could only be achieved with rubber type respirators and then only if operative is freshly clean shaven, 4 hours after shaving some could not achieve seal. How is this practical in the real world ?

Steve Jones
Steve Jones
8 years ago

I have been carrying out FFT for a few years using the “Subjective” Bitrex method with fairly good results.

Maybe the quality of mask is the issue?