complying with the law
The HSE recent increse inspection program of refurbishment sites has identified that 46% of them fall below the required standard.
Although HSE inspectors don’t visit sites as often as they used to, they are still targeting high-risk sectors. In autumn 2015 they visited 1,908 construction and refurbishment sites across the country. They checked all aspects of compliance, but in particular focused on:
welfare facilities;
exposure to silica and asbestos;
manual handling;
noise;
vibration;
exposure to hazardous substances;
work at height; and
good site order.

Although some sites were given a clean bill of health, many weren’t. Inspectors served 432 prohibition and 260 improvement notices. 58% of the improvement notices were given out because risks to health weren’t being managed properly. In addition to the formal notices, 983 notifications of contravention were served. These were used when a material breach of the law was identified – which, of course, allows the inspectors to charge for their time under the fee for intervention scheme.

Inspectors also followed up their visits with contact with the clients and designers. In the HSE’s words this was to “help them to understand their duties” under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015).