It has been widely reported that HSE inspectors are upping their visibility on development and construction sites in and around Birmingham as regeneration within the city continues.
As construction sites continue to gear up to deliver projects and meet deadlines across the city, we are now seeing construction sites working normal site hours, utilising full site teams with the usual contractors and sub-contractors.
The construction sector is notorious for working to tight timetables and schedules, it is therefore important that whilst work pushes forwards on sites across the city, priority and resource is given to health, safety and compliance procedures on site. When Covid restrictions fell away and social distancing was not required, it became good practice to re-induct operatives to remind everyone of the site rules, policies, procedures, risk assessments, method statements and safe systems of work. As we know, should there be a health and safety incident on site, one of the first questions the Police or HSE will ask is ‘where are the RAMS, sign in sheets, inductions and training records”.
The construction sector consistently remains within the top three sectors across the UK that has the most fatal and non-fatal accidents each year; one of the common themes that we see when dealing with the accidents from a regulatory investigations point of view is that these accidents happen due to an over familiarity of the site, and a lack of engagement and supervision of operatives who are experienced in carrying out their day-to-day activities.
We expect the HSE to continue its spot checks across the city to check that all sites are being run in accordance with the Construction Design and Management Regulations 2015, the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 and all other associated legislation and regulation that construction sites are subject to. Sites should continue to prioritise health & safety and it should remain top of the agenda to ensure that everyone returns home safely after a day’s work.