Risk broker reacts to news that HSE will make a series of construction site spot checks

A Suffolk risk broker has applauded a move for health and safety spot-checks to be carried out in the East of England.

Alliance Corporate Risk Management has reacted to the news that checks are to begin at refurbishment sites, following a dramatic rise in the number of construction worker deaths.

Alliance believes the Health and Safety Executive is right to announce this week that it will make a series of construction site inspections in this region, focusing specifically on refurbishment sites.

Last year, during a similar initiative, 200 contractors in the region were inspected and 30 prosecutions brought.

Martin Drury, risk services director for Alliance, said: “We actively assist a number of responsible construction companies in the region to comply with their health & safety obligations.

“They are keen for us to help them minimise the risks to their employees. Identifying and understanding all the statutory obligations relevant to construction can be a huge task for employers who don’t have access to competent assistance.”

Martin continued: “The coming of the Corporate Manslaughter Act has further underlined and re-focused the employer’s needs.

“However, as in any industry, there are always those employers who place insufficient emphasis on the protection of their staff.

“With refurbishment work not being as high profile as new construction work, it is an area where employers may be tempted to cut corners on safety, with obvious disastrous consequences.

“We support the Health and Safety Executive in embarking on these spot-checks and hope it results in a greater consistency of safety performance across the construction industry.”

The announcement by the Health and Safety Executive comes just days after it announced it would be launching an ‘occupational health management tool’ for the construction industry. This will equip all construction companies with information on how to tackle health issues typical in the sector and will alert them to their risks and responsibilities.