HSE have announced that construction inspectors will be carrying out unannounced visits to sites where refurbishment projects or repair works are underway.

This year, the initiative is being undertaken as a series of two-week inspections across the country, beginning 3 October 2016 ending 4 November 2016. During this period, Inspectors will ensure high-risk activities, particularly those affecting the health of workers, are being properly managed.

These include:

– risks to health from exposure to dust such as silica are being controlled

 – workers are aware of where they may find asbestos, and what to do if they find it

 – other health risks, such as exposure to noise and vibration, manual handling and hazardous substances are being properly managed

 – jobs that involve working at height have been identified and properly planned to ensure that appropriate precautions, such as support of structures, are in place

 – equipment is correctly installed / assembled, inspected and maintained and used properly

 – sites are well organised, to avoid trips and falls, walkways and stairs are free from obstructions and welfare facilities are adequate

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Where serious breaches of legislation are found then immediate enforcement action will be taken, but inspectors will also be taking steps to secure a positive change in behaviour to ensure on-going compliance.

Health and safety breaches with clients and designers will also be followed up to reinforce their duties under CDM 2015 and to ensure that all dutyholders with on site health and safety responsibilities understand and fulfil these.