HSE Construction Division Plan ‘spotlights worker health’

The HSE Construction Division’s three-year plan aims to accelerate long-term improvements in the construction industry’s health and safety programme and ‘spotlights worker health’, according to Tim Hudson at Aegis.

The plan will make best use of the HSE’s limited resources and identifies the main operational activities the HSE will target and the issues inspectors will focus on.

In 2013/14 inspectors will continue to target:

• Asbestos removal work
• Small sites/projects
• Refurbishment
• Major projects / large contractors and clients
• Local priorities

As well as addressing any evident safety risks, inspectors will also consider five generic areas on most site visits:

• Work at height
• Asbestos risks
• Provision of welfare facilities
• Site conditions (good order)
• Respiratory risks and adequacy of PPE use

Tim Hudson, Technical Director at Aegis, comments: “The list of activities in the Construction Division’s plan shows a significant push by the HSE to promote the health of workers in the industry. It puts the spotlight firmly on workers’ health, alongside the more familiar emphasis on safety.

“Our colleagues in the industry need to pay attention to this and consider what processes and procedures they have in place to safeguard their workers’ health.”

Also in the inspectors’ sights are management arrangements for health and safety, specifically:

• The effectiveness of leadership by directors and senior managers
• The management of health and safety risks
• The encouragement of worker involvement in site safety
• The competence of organisations and individuals
• The management of temporary works
There are also a number of specific projects the HSE will be undertaking:

• Working on or near fragile roofs
• Dust suppression related to roof tile cutting
• Risks linked to paving and block work, particularly from Noise, Hand Arm Vibration and silica
• Safety during installation, maintenance and removal of lifts in buildings

If your organisation requires help or guidance in improving any aspect of your construction activities, Aegis has competent and experienced staff who are able to provide that assistance.