What HSE inspectors are looking for in 2017!

Posted on by Thomas Carroll

In our latest brief Thomas Carroll Management Services highlight what HSE inspectors are looking for in 2017.

In order to improve work related injuries and fatalities, Local Authority and HSE inspectors have been tasked with focusing on the following priority areas in 2017:Health and Safety

1.Falls from height

2.Health risks

3.Asbestos management

4.Construction

What does this mean in practice for businesses?

An inspector may visit your premises if your work activities fall within any of these topics. A visit may focus solely on these four areas or form part of a routine inspection where all areas of risk are looked at, but with greater emphasis placed on these key issues.

What can the HSE inspector do?

The purpose of an inspection is to assess how well your business is managing health and safety and where it is failing to do so to an appropriate standard, to bring about improvements.

Inspectors have a range of enforcement tools they can use to achieve improvement but they must be proportionate to the level of risk and used in accordance with their enforcement policy. This can range from verbal and written advice, through to the issue of an Improvement Notice, Prohibition Notice and/or prosecution.

Under the Fees for Intervention (FFI) cost recovery scheme, the HSE can charge you £129.00 per hour for undertaking an inspection or investigation and taking enforcement action.

What do HSE inspectors look for?

1.Falls from height: work on/adjacent to fragile roofs/materials – fragile roofs/skylights etc. are common place in many workplaces. Inspectors will be looking at and questioning business owners on how repair and maintenance work (e.g. gutter cleaning) is performed.

2.Health risks: respirable silica dust – dust, containing harmful respirable crystalline silica can be generated during common operations such as block cutting, chasing brickwork and cutting concrete floors. Inspectors will be looking at whether there is any minor construction work being undertaken that could generate this dust and whether this is effectively controlled. This also applies to routine operations that create dust, such as granite cutting, where again, the focus will be checking controls are adequate.

3.Duty to manage asbestos: buildings built before 2000 may contain asbestos. Inspectors will be checking to see whether the risk of asbestos in the building has been assessed, whether an asbestos survey has been conducted and a management plan, with necessary monitoring put in place. They will also look for any minor construction work going on that breaches the fabric of the building without a proper asbestos survey and effective controls in place.

4.Construction: the construction sector includes building construction, trades and civil engineering and whilst improvements have been made in recent years to reduce the injury statistics, fatal and major injury statistics remain high. The key risk areas inspectors will focus on in this sector are exposure to asbestos, silica dust, and paint and diesel exhaust fumes. Furthermore, exposure to dust, fume, vapour or gas, and dermatitis risk, along with manual handling, noise and vibration are all focus areas in this sector.

For further information, please contact Lauren Dickinson at lauren.dickinson@thomas-carroll.co.uk or call on 02920 853794.

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