HSE launches safety initiative in North West

February 18th, 2013



Unsafe practices on construction sites across the North West are being targeted as part of a national initiative being launched today aimed at reducing death, injury and ill health.

To support a month-long drive to improve standards in one of Britain’s most dangerous industries, inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are visiting sites across the North West where refurbishment or repair works are taking place.

They will make unannounced visits to ensure companies are managing high-risk activity, such as working at height. They will also check for general good order, assess welfare facilities and check whether suitable Personal Protective Equipment, such as head protection, is being used appropriately.

During 2011/12, seven workers were killed while working in construction in the North West and a further 317 were seriously injured. Nationally there were 49 deaths and more than 2,800 major injuries.

The purpose of the initiative is to remind those working in the industry that poor standards are unacceptable and could result in enforcement action.

Neil Jamieson, HSE Principal Inspector for Construction, said:

“Death and injury continue to result from avoidable incidents and it is largely those engaged in refurbishment and repair work who are failing to step up to the mark. Poor management of risks and a lack of awareness of responsibilities are unacceptable.

“In many cases, simple changes to working practices can make all the difference and can even save lives. Therefore if we find evidence that workers are being unnecessarily put at risk we will take strong action.

“We are determined to drive the message home that site safety and worker welfare cannot be compromised.”

Further information:

Working safely in the construction industry can be found at www.hse.gov.uk/construction.

The Health and Safety Executive is Britain's national regulator for workplacehealth and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice; promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice; and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. www.hse.gov.uk

During inspections, HSE inspectors will consider whether:

  • jobs that involve working at height have been identified and properly planned to ensure that appropriate precautions 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
  • work areas are clear of unnecessary materials and waste
  • that suitable PPE, including head protection, is provided and worn at all times


The national refurbishment inspection initiative runs from 18 February to 15 March.

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