Health and safety watchdog targets North construction sector | 12 March 09
CONSTRUCTION companies across the region are being warned to ensure their health and safety procedures are up to scratch as the safety watchdog carries out a series of on-site inspections this month.
Law firm Ward Hadaway is reminding building businesses that the Health and Safety Executive is undergoing a raft of spot-checks at site across the North during March as part of its campaign to reduce accidents and fatalities in the construction sector.
James Thompson, partner in Ward Hadaway’s health and safety team, says that the HSE is particularly targeting sites where refurbishment work is going on.
James explained: “A lot of projects in the construction sector relate to refurbishment sites and last year they accounted for more than 30 deaths.
“This is why the HSE is launching this campaign, to make sure construction companies are aware that they should have suitable, competent advice and measures in place to make sure they comply with the law.”
The inspections will also look at what provisions construction companies are putting in place to ensure any foreign workers understand how health and safety operates in the workplace.
James Thompson said: “The HSE have said they are not concerned about the immigration status of any foreign workers and will not pass on information to the immigration authorities.
“What they are concerned about is ensuring that workers are well protected. This means overcoming language barriers to ensure all workers understand how health and safety operates in their particular workplace.
“What is clear from this is that construction companies of all kinds need to make sure they are fully up to date with all relevant health and safety legislation, especially since the penalties for non-compliance have increased significantly this year.”
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