The HSE Construction Site Inspection Initiative 2020 starts on October 5th.
It must be October – Pumpkin spiced lattes are at Starbucks, Hallowe’en is on the way and the HSE are targeting construction sites.
What will the HSE be looking at
Rather helpfully, the HSE make no secret of what they will be looking for. Press releases and email newsletters have been sent outlining what the Health and Safety Inspectors will be checking. These are:
- Respiratory Risks
The first hurdle of the HSE Construction Site Inspection Initiative 2020 is checking your site is Covid Secure.
The aim of “covid-secure” is to reduce the transmission of Covid-19 and to give people entering your site the confidence that they are not at an increased risk of contracting the virus. By following the steps below, your workplace can be considered Covid-Secure and meet the requirements of the HSE inspector.
- Display a signed the Covid-Secure statement at the point of entry
- If your site is open to the public ie. Sales centre, a NHS Track and Trace QR code is needed for visitors to Check In on the NHS Covid-19 app
- Handwashing/sanitising facilities should be available at the entry point before the visitor touches anything.
- A number should be displayed to gain entry if your gates are locked
- Site inductions must be socially distanced, in groups no more than 6 or an alternative is to deliver online via a QR code. You can find out how to do this by signing up to our newsletter
- Handwash/santiser stations across the site must be available.
- Indoor workplaces must be socially distanced or screened
- All indoor facilities such as canteens, drying rooms, offices and toilets must have a maximum permitted number of people displayed at the entry point
- Shared facilities such as fridges and kettles need to be wiped down regularly
- The workforce should be spread throughout plots. This could be by setting up bubbles
Controlling Respiratory Health Risks
The HSE have been targeting respiratory health for four years now during their Construction Site Inspection Initiatives and hopefully, the control measures in place are a great deal better than they were.
My action plan to ensure you meet the HSE Requirements on Respiratory Health are to:
- Educate the workforce with a toolbox talk on the health risks of working with dust
- Have a valid and signed risk assessment, method statement and coshh assessment for the works
- Are working to the risk assessment control measures
In addition to this
Ensure all trades producing wood dust:
- Have extractors fitted wherever possible and are using them.
- Have a face fitted FFP3 standard face mask on when cutting.
- Hoover up any residual dust, off the floor and the machine.
Ensure all trades producing silica dust are:
- Using wet brick cutters where available
- Using water suppression when cutting
- Wearing a Face fitted FFP3 face mask, eye and hearing protection when cutting
- Are cutting in an area which does not affect other trades
Ensure All Trades Working With Concrete:
- Are not wearing shorts. This includes landscapers, renderers, groundworkers and bricklayers
- Have their skin covered
- Are wearing waterproof footwear such as wellies
- Have the tops of their footwear covered over to prevent concrete getting in accidentally
- Are rinsing residue concrete off
- Are checking their skin for contact regularly
The HSE Construction Site Inspection Initiative 2020 will also look at Asbestos Risks
Premises need to have asbestos registers and sites need to have Asbestos Plans if there is asbestos on site.
If the job is a refurbishment job, all operatives will be expected to have a valid asbestos awareness certificate.
By double checking you have everything in place, you can avoid a fee for intervention from the Health and Safety Executive. The current rate is £154 per hour.
Personal fines can be issued to operatives who are failing to meet the requirements of their employer (for example, if an employee is insistent on wearing shorts).
Fines to subcontractors can be issued who are failing to meet the requirements of the principal contractor (for example, allowing employees to wear shorts)
and a Fine will be given to the Principal Contractor for failing to manage health and safety onsite (for example, not sending the short wearer off site)
So you can see, the HSE Construction Site Inspection Initiative can really be a cash cow!