17 August 2015

HSE Focus on Refurbishment

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will be running its annual refurbishment initiative between 14 September and 9 October 2015 which will see construction inspectors carrying out unannounced visits to sites where refurbishment works are being carried out.

During last year’s campaign, 35% of all enforcement notices served were for health issues, and HSE inspectors will again be focusing on the control of health risks.

They will specifically be looking to see that high-risk activities are being properly managed including:

• Exposure to construction dust such as silica
• Awareness of asbestos and its possible location by workers on site
• Health risks, such as exposure to noise, vibration manual handling and other hazardous substances
• Working at height activities
• Site organisation and welfare facilities.

If during a site visit an inspector finds a ‘material breach’, they will be obligated to charge the contractor a Fee for Intervention (FFI). FFI costs £124 per hour and the total cost will be based on the amount of time it takes the HSE to identify and conclude its action in relation to the breach. This includes any associated office work.

Inspectors will also be taking steps to secure a positive change in behaviour to ensure on-going compliance. They will follow up health and safety breaches with clients and designers to reinforce their duties under the CDM Regulations 2015 and to ensure that all duty-holders with on-site health and safety responsibilities understand and fulfil them.