Safety officials hand out first notices under CDM 2015 rules
Inspectors from the HSE are urging the refurbishment industry to tighten up safety procedures following a series of visits to sites across the country.
The safety officials found that of the 1,908 refurbishment sites visited during their one-month push to improve safety, nearly half – 46% – were below standard.
The inspections also saw many refurbishment contractors receive improvement notices under the Construction (Design and Management) 2015 regulations, introduced in April this year.
As part of the checks, 983 notifications of contravention were served, indicating a “material breach” of HSE rules, while 432 prohibition notices were given in cases where certain activities had to be stopped.
A further 260 improvement notices were imposed, ordering site teams to put plans to improve safety procedures into action.
Breaches included those related to work at height safety - see our MEWPs user guide - a nd staff being exposed to harmful silica dust and asbestos, which can cause health problems.
The HSE is also encouraging smaller companies not to get left behind in the push make construction workplaces safer, saying they should act immediately to improve the situation.
Peter Baker, the HSE’s chief inspector of construction, said: “It is disappointing that some small refurbishment sites are still cutting corners and not properly protecting their workers.
“Larger construction sites accepted the challenge a few years ago and have made big improvements, which all of the industry can learn from.
“My message to smaller businesses is don’t wait for an accident or visit from an inspector before you make the change, but act now and learn from your colleagues’ example.”