Improving safety standards on smaller sites

Improving safety standards on smaller sites

Posted on 23rd Nov, 2015 | By Lorretta Tatham

Last year 46% of construction sites in the UK failed health and safety checks. A high percentage of that figure came from smaller sites with a small work force present. However, just because a business is smaller, it doesn’t mean safety standards should drop, or become less of a priority. Whether you have a one-man business or lead a team of 50, the same health and safety precautions and practices need to apply.

Earlier this month the HSE chief inspector of construction challenged the industry to act now and protect their workers after standards visibly slipped during a recent safer sites initiative.

The initiative

HSE targeted small refurbishment sites during the month long drive and assessed their safety standards. During the month, 692 enforcement notices and 983 notifications of contravention had to be served where there was a material breach of health and/or safety. Inspectors had to deal with immediate risks, such as work at height, and also to deal with sites where workers were being exposed to silica dust and asbestos, which are known to cause long-term health problems. Despite these risks being well publicised, many smaller companies were failing to put the proper measures in place.

Some of the most common risks included:

  • Working from inappropriate access equipment or makeshift access solutions
  • Failing to wear PPE – including hard hats and safety harnesses
  • Exposure to asbestos
  • Failure to put safety measures into action – for example fall / edge protection

For more examples of day-to-day poor practice, visit the Safer Sites Facebook page.

Tips for improving safety standards at work

Improving safety standards on smaller sites hse

Keeping your workforce safe should always be your number one priority. It’s not only an employer that needs to be aware of safety standards though, employees need to be aware of the risks and precautions to take ahead of starting a job.

Safety training for key members of your workforce is a great way to instill good practice. At Browns Ladders we have offer a number of fantastic training courses under Browns Safety Training. Particularly relevant courses include:

To find out more about any of the courses mentioned above, visit the webpages. Alternatively, you can call our course enquiries team today on 01282 615517.

Ensuring equipment is in proper working order is also key to staying safe at work. Rusty, dented ladders, or damaged scaffolding carry a whole host of risks when used. At Browns Ladders we can carry out inspections to check all your access equipment. We provide on site ladder inspections on up to 50 items in one day and carry out repairs on any damaged items. To find out more about our inspection services visit our ladder inspection course page.

What measures have you put in place to improve your safety standards at work? Tell us in the comments below, or tweet your safety tips over to us @BrownsLadders

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