Everyone controlling a construction site work has health & safety responsibilities. Checking that working conditions are healthy and safe before work begins and ensuring that the proposed work is not going to put others at risk require planning and organisation. This applies whatever the size of the project. CDM regulations 2007 will help you to:
Almost half of the small refurbishment construction projects in and around Stamford Hill in North East London have failed health and safety spot checks.
A day-long inspection initiative by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) last week (3 July) saw a small team of Inspectors visit 22 construction sites across North Hackney and South Tottenham.
Enforcement action had to be taken at nine of those sites, with six Prohibition Notices served requiring dangerous practices to stop immediately, and six Improvement Notices served requiring safety improvements to be made. One site was completely closed down due to exceptionally hazardous conditions.
Five of the Prohibition Notices served related to unsafe work at height. Training and welfare concerns accounted for the Improvement Notices.
Mike Williams, Principal Inspector for HSE's construction division in North and East London said:
"Construction remains one of Britain's most dangerous industries and fatal incidents across London have shown how devastating they can be.
"We are very concerned at the number of small sites that are failing to take the most basic precautions to protect workers and members of the public. Good health and safety on construction sites is a legal requirement and we will continue to clamp down on dangerous practices or poor standards until the message gets through.
"Contractors must properly plan their work and protect their workers from risks such as falls from height or structures collapsing."
Common issues found during the inspections were:
? Basic precautions were missing, such as edge protection to prevent falls from height
? Work was not properly planned
? Poorly trained site managers
? Inadequate welfare facilities for workers
For advice and more on our CDM services contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Hazards of snow & ice and employer responsibilities:
Our CDM-Coordinator Jim Slater will give help and advice particularly aimed at smaller contractors & businesses that may not have a lot of knowledge of the regulations.
When we find problems we will aim to deal with the issues in a reasonable and fair way. However, be aware that serious breaches of health & safety legislation on a construction project could result in construction work having to be stopped by the Health & Safety Executive or the local authority and additional work may be needed to rectify matters.
Check out our news section for regular updates from HSE.
Latest statistics for work related injuries & fatalities:
Statistics reveal a 9% increase in HSE prosecutions compared to 2010 with prosecutions brought by Local Authorities in England & Wales rising also from 549 to 604. In total, the HSE?s annual conviction rate stands at 94% with fines imposed over the course of 2010 totalling £18.6 million producing an average fine of £35,938 per case. Local Authorities? annual conviction rate is at 97% with fines imposed over the course of the year amounting to £2.2 million and an average fine of £17,612 per case.
Prevention is better than cure:
Avoiding some of the bigger problems that projects encounter is increasingly important as many project managers and their teams are so involved in daily activities that risks and issues go undetected at times. Project health checks can provide part of the solution, supplying independent and impartial guidance to identify obstacles that may prevent successful project delivery. The primary purpose of a project check is for a project manager to increase the level of confidence clients and the team have in the status of the project.
Set expectations with the client on what is required from a project review and the intended benefits. See how the project is performing in terms of scope, time, cost and risk. Then review relevant documentation to come up to speed quickly and identify any areas of focus for the review. The next step is to conduct interviews with key members of the project team to get their perspective on how the project is progressing and whether any areas of improvement exist. Discuss the health check?s findings with the client and project team to ensure there aren?t any surprises. Validate any findings that are not clear. Create a simple report that includes recommendations of practical, workable actions to improve project performance if necessary.
The health check can provide peace of mind if a project is going well or it can provide any relevant details to make informed decisions about the project?s future. The final step of a project health check is helping the team implement the recommendations. Begin this support as soon as the report is complete by developing an implementation ?roadmap? and monitoring progress toward achievement. The process is similar regardless of when the project life cycle a health check occurs. It provides a snapshot view at a point in time and should adhere to the general principles of being quick, accessible and valuable to a project. Health checks can assist in several ways beyond the primary purpose of providing the client and project team with confidence in the project?s status. They are a great way to capture best practices for future projects.