Lifting operations on site: what you need to know

BSG reports a 13% increase in the number of non-compliant lifting operations in the first six months of 2017

Any lifting equipment used at work – including employees’ own equipment – for lifting or lowering loads is subject to the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER).

LOLER covers a wide range of equipment, including: cranes; fork-lift trucks; lifts; hoists; mobile elevating work platforms; and vehicle inspection platform hoists.

The regulations also cover lifting accessories, such as chains, slings, eyebolts etc. However, they do not extend to fixed anchor points that form part of a building or structure. And LOLER does not apply to escalators, which are covered by the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations.

Machinery and accessories for lifting loads must be clearly marked to indicate their safe working loads (SWL). Where the SWL depends on the configuration of the machinery for lifting loads, the machinery must be marked to indicate its SWL for each configuration, or provided with such information which is kept with the machinery.

On chain and wire slings, the SWL should be marked legibly and indelibly on a durable tag or label attached to the sling, or marked on the ferrule or master link.

Where it may not be possible for the marking to show the SWL, there are other ways of indicating the safe working criteria for the equipment. In some cases, a ‘surrogate’ marking may be acceptable, such as a capacity indicator on an excavator.

However, colour coding alone to denote SWL is not normally acceptable, but can be a useful additional feature (for example for textile slings) and may be a key element in the marking of some equipment, such as access and rescue ropes.

Individual lifting accessories forming part of a specific item of lifting equipment (that is not disassembled after use and so remains part of that equipment), do not need to be marked.

However, the lifting equipment must be marked with a SWL rating that is suitable for all items in its assembly. Further information is given in: Safe use of lifting equipment. ACOP and Guidance (see regulation 7 and paragraph 186 onwards).

Two South West-based companies were fined in June after a worker was struck by scaffolding. Weymouth Magistrates’ Court heard how employees of Carter Training Ltd were using a mobile crane on the building project in Queen Mothers Square, Poundbury, Dorchester, when the attachment holding 500 scaffolding fittings weighing 2kg each was turned on its side, emptying all contents onto workers and the concrete flooring 10.5 metres below.

The worker suffered two fractures to her left shoulder blade, a fracture to her left collar bone, a cut to her head and bruising.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the stillage attachment used on the crane was not suitable for lifting heavy and large amounts of scaffolding. Lifting the scaffolding directly above a number of contractors working below also put them at risk of harm.

It was also found that principal contractor Zero C Holdings failed to carry out an audit of all lifting plans and as a result failed to manage the risks associated with this lifting activity. Zero C Holdings did not have clear lines of communication between the lifting company Carter Training Ltd and contractors working on the site below.

Zero C Holdings Ltd of Armitage House, Poundbury, Dorchester, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 13 (1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 and was fined £145,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,500.

Carter Training (Services) Ltd of Budleigh Hill, East Budleigh, Devon has pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 8 (1) Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998, and has been fined £18,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3500.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Nicole Buchanan said: “The worker is very lucky that her injuries were not life threatening. Both Zero C Holdings and Carter Training put a number of workers at risk of harm when they failed to plan or identify the risks of heavy lifting.

This case highlights the need for duty holders to properly plan all lifting operations before work is carried out to manage the risk of injury to workers. Lifting directly above workers is inherently unsafe and should be avoided wherever possible.”

Chris Chapman, technical support manager for the Building Safety Group, said: “The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 require all lifting operations to be properly planned by a competent person, appropriately supervised and carried out safely.

Any lifting equipment must be sufficiently strong, stable and suitable for the proposed use. Similarly, the load and anything attached (eg timber pallets, lifting points) must be suitable and positioned or installed to prevent the risk of injury from the equipment or the load falling and striking people.

It should be visibly marked with any appropriate information to be taken into account for its safe use, eg safe working loads. Accessories, for example slings and clamps, should be similarly marked.”

About BSG’s Non-Compliance Reporting Index (NCRI)

Non-compliance data is extracted from BSG’s ‘Non-compliance Reporting Index’ (NCRI). The index is used to support the only known real-time, reporting service which compiles high volume health & safety non-compliance data, collected for and on behalf of the construction industry through site inspections. More than 20,000 site inspections were conducted in 2016. Approximately 25,000 non-compliances were recorded in total.

This article has also been published in Construction Manager

BSG Autumn Training Newsletter

Download the latest issue
Released October 2017

BSG Autumn Training News 2017

This month’s issue includes:

  • Health and safety boring? Far from it mate! – Nebosh case study on Mark Stevens
  • EN131 ladder standards are being revised
  • Not enough being done to tackle work-related ill-health
  • New access scaffold and loading bay built for BSG training course
  • BSG achieves 83% pass rate for Nebosh course

HSE launches second phase of construction inspection campaign

Construction projects across Britain are being urged to act now to ensure the health and safety of their workers is protected as the second phase of a targeted inspection initiative gets underway from Monday 02 October 2017.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) says 43 workers were fatally injured in 2015/16, and an estimated ten times that number died from construction related ill-health, with a further 65,000 self-reported non-fatal injuries.

HSE is now asking every construction contractor, client and designer to ensure they are not adding to this unacceptable toll of harm by failing to manage well-known risks.

In addition to things such as falls from height, the campaign will focus on control of harmful dusts including respirable silica from concrete, brick and stone, asbestos and wood dust, as well as work at height, structural safety, materials handling, good order and welfare provision.

HSE points to the mis-conception that health issues cannot be controlled in construction. It says harmful dust, whether silica or wood, is a serious issue and can be managed effectively with the right design, equipment and training. Health effects may not be immediate, but the ultimate impact on workers and their families can be devastating.

HSE carried out over 2000 inspections during the first phase of the initiative earlier this year with action being taken to address these issues in almost half of visits.

HSE’s Chief Inspector of Construction and Director of Construction Division Peter Baker commented: “In phase 1 of this campaign HSE’s inspectors found lots of good examples of small sites working safely and protecting workers health from exposure to harmful dusts, proving it can be done. My message to smaller businesses is don’t wait for an accident or a visit from an HSE inspector – learn from the success of others and act now.

“Nearly half of construction fatal accidents and injuries reported to HSE involved refurbishment work.

“Some small refurbishment sites continue to cut corners and not properly protect their workers resulting in an unacceptable number of deaths and injuries each year.”

Big Ben Silenced

BSG Comment piece by Chris Chapman, Technical Support Manager

On Monday 21 August 2017 following the 12 noon chimes Big Ben was silenced.

The Great Bell’s striking and chiming will be paused until 2021 to ensure the prolonged safety of those working on the project.

Parliament’s specialist clock mechanics will ensure that Big Ben can still bong for important national events such as New Year’s Eve and Remembrance Sunday.

The move is part of a £29m three-year programme of essential works to conserve the Elizabeth Tower, the Great Clock and the Great Bell known as Big Ben.

As the Tower is 96 metres tall, scaffolding is needed to enable workers to reach high levels safely. Scaffolding will be dismantled as the work is completed from the top, and at least one clock face will be on show at all times.

The work to be carried out includes repairing problems which cannot be rectified whilst the clock is in action, conserving significant elements of the Tower, repairing and redecorating the interior, renewing the building services and carrying out work to improve health and safety and fire prevention and increasing the Tower’s energy efficiency to reduce environmental impact.

The most famous clock bell in the world stopped chiming to protect workers from its loud noise during the work. This is not the first time the bells have fallen silent, it happens quite often due to birds, faults and other issues and workers need to get it going again.

In 1976 the bell fell silent for a period of around nine months whilst the clock underwent a major overhaul. There was a major conservation project between 1983 and 1985, and it was silenced for a time during this period.

More recently in 2007 the bells were stopped for a period of 6 weeks, while essential maintenance works. These previous periods of silence were not to protect workers’ hearing though which makes the current restoration project unique. Big Ben’s chimes have been measured at 118 decibels. This makes it louder than most of the regularly used construction equipment.

Regulation 6 of The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 states “The employer shall ensure that risk from the exposure of his employees to noise is either eliminated at source or, where this is not reasonably practicable, reduced to as low a level as is reasonably practicable.

The “Elf n Safety gone mad” brigade will inevitably say ‘Why not just buy some wear ear defenders for the people working on site?’

The answer is simple

Clock mechanics who work on Big Ben currently get ear defenders, but are exposed to the ringing bells for only short periods of time each week but regular exposure of more than a minute to sounds in excess of 110 decibels would cause permanent hearing loss. Big Ben easily falls into this category.

People will be working on the scaffolding day-in day-out throughout the works and it is not a good idea for people working at height to have their hearing obscured as there is concern the ability to hear each other and any alarms could be affected.

BSG now accepts card payments

At BSG, we are always striving to make business as easy as possible for our members; therefore, we are pleased to announce that we now offer card payment facilities with most of the major card providers.

We regret that we are unable to accept payments made by American Express.

We will of course continue to accept payments by bank transfer and cheques. However, depending on your banks T&C’s, paying by card could also be cheaper than paying by BACS or cheque.

Please contact our accounts department if you would like more details about this service T: 0300 304 9060 E: CatherineB@BSGltd.co.uk

New Access scaffold and loading bay built for BSG training course

A new access scaffold and loading bay has been built by one of BSG’s members, Bryant Scaffolding Services. The scaffold will be used for our two day Scaffold Inspection and Appreciation (BSI) course at BSG’s training centre in Bristol.

The next course is running on 7th & 8th September with only three spaces remaining. For more information please visit our training page – Scaffold Inspection and Appreciation (BSI) course

Balfour Beatty fined £500,000 due to asbestos exposure in London school

A former trading division of contractor Balfour Beatty the client and demolition contractor have been fined £1.27m after exposing workers to asbestos during a project to create a new home for an expanding primary school.

The exposure happened in July 2012 at the site of the former Warwick School in Walthamstow, east London, which was being converted for St Mary’s Primary School in a £3m project. The school was partially occupied at the time, with pupils later having to be bussed to another site during remedial works. However, it’s said that no pupils were exposed to asbestos fibres.

Balfour Beatty was fined £500,000, while its client for the project, NPS London, was fined £370,000. The demolition contractor on the project was fined £400,000, plus another £175,000 in costs.

As Southwark Crown Court heard, the London Borough of Waltham Forest had a contract with NPS London, a property and development management company owned by Norfolk County Council, to oversee the works. NPS then appointed Mansell Construction Services – a former trading name for part of Balfour Beatty – as principal contractor. Demolition specialist Squibb Group was acting as Mansell’s subcontractor. On 24 July 2012, a worker removed part of a suspended ceiling in one of the ground floor class rooms and identified suspected asbestos containing materials.

Asbestos fibres were subsequently found in many areas in the school.

An HSE investigation found that although an asbestos survey had been completed, the document included multiple caveats and disclaimers, and Mansell had not appropriately checked or assessed it.

As a result, insufficient measures were taken to protect workers at risk of exposure.

The incident in 2012 came two years after the HSE had investigated failure to properly monitor or manage asbestos in several other Walthamstow schools, according to the East London and West Essex Guardian.

In June 2015, the London Borough of Waltham Forest was also fined £66,000 for failing to control employees’ exposure to asbestos in the basement of the town hall.

Balfour Beatty Regional Construction (previously Mansell Construction Services) of Canary Wharf, London was fined £500,000 and ordered to pay costs of £32,364 after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act.

NPS London, of Business Park Norwich, Norfolk was fined £370,000 and ordered to pay £32,364 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act.

Squibb Group, of Stanford Le Hope, Essex was fined £400,000 and ordered to pay costs of £175,000 after being found guilty after a trial of a breach of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act.

HSE inspector Sarah Robinson said: “The principal contractor and contractors on site did not review the survey report in detail, and did not take into consideration the multitude of caveats.

“Therefore the work undertaken did not adopt the high standards of control expected for working where there was the potential to expose workers to asbestos.”

The Building Safety Group are aiming to bring the discussion of health and safety in the construction industry to the top of the agenda by working in partnership with construction firms to help them better manage all aspects of health and safety in the workplace.

Resource: Health and Safety at Work

Hinkley Point C Project

Construction has now begun on the Hinkley Point C Project, the biggest construction project in Europe. The project aims to be completed in 2027. Member companies who are involved in this project and require BSG site inspections may incur additional charges due to the extra time spent complying with security and accessing the site.

For more information about the additional charge, please contact our membership team E: info@bsgltd.co.uk T: 0300 304 9070

John Puck appointed as BSG’s new Membership Development Officer

The Building Safety Group (BSG) is pleased to announce the appointment of John Puck as its new Membership Development Officer. John will be responsible for formulating and implementing a new sales strategy that will help the company to achieve its aspirations for growth in the Midlands and Northern regions of the UK.

Commenting on the new appointment, Managing Director Paul Kimpton said: “John has joined us at an exciting time at BSG as we continue to grow the business and strengthen our position as a first class Health and Safety partner for hundreds of construction companies throughout the country.” Paul added; “John brings a wealth of experience having spent fifteen years working in the Health and Safety consultancy sector for Croner and EEF, as well as other membership based organisations.” “So we are of course delighted to have John on-board at BSG and extend him a warm welcome.”

John also remarked: “As the UK’s largest construction safety group I believe that BSG is unrivalled in its ability to offer a national health and safety service, provided by our locally based safety advisors .” John added: “I am therefore greatly looking forward to fresh challenges at BSG that will help the company to extend its reach into new territories.”

BSG recently reached a milestone in its history by becoming the first construction safety group to support over 800 companies across 3500 workplaces, employing over 25,000 operatives. BSG is a ‘not for profit organisation’ with over fifty years’ experience of providing specialist health and safety consultancy services for the construction industry.

Building Safety Group reports 18% increase in Occupational Health breaches

24/05/2017 The Building Safety Group (BSG), has reported an 18% increase in the number of Occupational Health breaches recorded during site inspections. The increase is based on over 10,000 independent inspections conducted for the construction industry over a six-month period which compares quarter four 2016 with the first quarter of 2017.

Key contributors to the rise in Occupational Health non-compliances were Dust Fume infringements (up 43%), breaches in Noise (up 23%) and COSHH violations (up 17%). Recent HSE blitzes have concentrated on violations in Occupational Health, frequently leading to FFI (Fees for Intervention) penalties being imposed. BSG’s announcement also coincides with the introduction of the HSE’s construction sector plan, which aims to reduce incidents of ill health with particular focus on occupational lung disease.

Noise at work can cause hearing damage that is permanent and disabling. This can be hearing loss that is gradual because of exposure to noise over time, but also damage caused by sudden, extremely loud noises. Of greater concern is the large rise in Dust Fume non-compliances, which can have a marked detrimental impact on health. Regularly breathing construction dust can cause diseases like lung cancer, asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and silicosis. Construction workers have a high risk of developing these diseases because many common construction tasks can create high dust levels. These diseases cause permanent disability and early death. Over 500 construction workers are believed to die from exposure to silica dust every year.

“Anyone who could potentially breathe in these dusts should know the health effects and damage they can do to the lungs and airways. Construction dust is not just a nuisance. It can seriously damage health and cause life changing lung diseases, which is why everyone involved in the industry has a responsibility for managing risks to health, and all parties must take ownership of their part of the process.” commented BSG’s Managing Director, Paul Kimpton.

Kimpton added: “A written health and safety policy is not enough. There must be efficient and effective implementation procedures for occupational health and safety programmes to be successful.”

BSG’s latest non-compliance statistics have been generated from the organisation’s ‘Non-Compliance Reporting Index (NCRI) and relates to the period 1st October 2016 to 31st March 2017.  For more information about how to reduce the risk of Occupational Health disorders, please visit the BSG website www.bsgltd.co.uk.

You can follow BSG on Twitter via @BSGLtd

www.bsgltd.co.uk

‘Working at Height’ remains the biggest danger for construction workers

Working at Height remains the biggest danger for construction workers according to the Building Safety Group (BSG).

The finding was based on a report which combined the results of over 20,000 site inspections conducted during 2016. Working at Height was found to be the most significant hazard identified during site visits, accounting for 19% of all breaches recorded. The second highest significant non-compliance was Dust/Fumes which accounted for 5%. A total of 24,634 non-compliances were logged by safety advisors throughout 2016.

BSG’s figures echo the latest construction sector statistics published by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE). Despite an overall drop in fatalities, falls from height still remain the single biggest cause of fatalities on construction sites and in the workplace. Over the last five years they have killed 97 construction workers, accounting for 45% of all fatal injuries. They are also the largest single cause of non-fatal accident related injury, responsible for 33% all non-fatal injuries, including 11% of the injuries resulting in an absence of more than seven days.

The three main sources of falls from height injuries and fatalities are fragile roof lights, scaffolding and ladders, which are accidents that can be easily prevented according the Building Safety Group’s Technical Manager, Chris Chapman:

“Working at Height is clearly the most dangerous activity carried out in the construction sector. Everyone can do more to ensure that work is properly planned, supervised and conducted by qualified workers who have the required skills for the task in hand.” Chris added: “To significantly reduce the dangers of working at height, construction companies should always try to complete as much work as possible from the ground, ensure safe access and egress and importantly, make certain that any equipment used is suitable, stable and strong enough for the job.”

For further information about the risks of working at height and how to limit risk exposure, please visit the BSG website www.bsgltd.co.uk.
You can follow BSG on Twitter via @BSGLtd

www.bsgltd.co.uk

Should construction firms be fined for contributing to poor air quality?

New research reveals that cancer risks are now 10% higher in areas with poor air quality.  Chris Chapman, Technical Support Manager for the BSG (Building Safety Group), the UK’s largest construction safety group explores further suggestions for construction firms to start treating diesel emissions in the same way as asbestos.

Air pollution contributes to a 10 per cent rise in people being diagnosed with cancer, a study has found. Authors of the recent report have said that developing the disease is 50 per cent due to genetics, however the environment also damages our DNA, changes the way genes work and can even alter important hormones.

Poor air quality, with diesel the biggest culprit, is now thought to be the cause of 40,000 deaths in the UK each year. But while cars and lorries have attracted most attention, less reported is the contribution of other polluters to the problem, particularly construction sites.

According to the most detailed air-quality study in the UK, the London Atmospheric Emissions Inventory, construction sites are responsible for approximately 7.5% of damaging nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, 8% of large particle emissions (PM10) and 14.5% of emissions of the most dangerous fine particles (PM2.5). While a small amount of this (about 1%) is dust from site activities like demolition, the majority comes from the thousands of diesel diggers, generators and other machines operating on sites. Yet this machinery is not held to the same emissions standards as on-road vehicles. What’s more, its proportionate impact will only get higher as on-road emissions drop.

Given the construction industry’s questionable history with asbestos, which wasn’t regulated until 1983 or completely banned until 1999 – almost 40 years after the cancer link was proven – some are sceptical that the industry will start to look at air pollution in the same way. In 2015, the Health and Safety Executive found that each year more than 230 construction workers die from cancers caused by exposure to diesel fumes, a figure it hasn’t since updated, even though more is now known about diesel’s noxious effects.

Despite this general failure to act, there are innovative firms in the industry trying to help clean up. The Greater London Authority is also attempting to clamp down on the problem. In January, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he intends to bring in a fine like the congestion charge to be paid by firms using polluting machines, beefing up ground breaking emissions rules on central London building sites introduced under his predecessor Boris Johnson.

These reports provide some crucial insight into workforce wellbeing in the construction sector. As an industry, we need to take the issue of exposure to air pollution seriously in order to ensure a safe working environment.  Employees working in construction need to be aware of the dangers of exposure to poor air quality and how they can ensure that their employers are taking care of their physical wellbeing. With that in mind, Building Safety Group are aiming to bring the discussion of poor air quality in the construction industry to the top of the agenda by working in partnership with construction firms to help them better manage the use of pollution and working in polluted areas.  In order to ensure that those working within the construction industry are aware of the harmful side effects of air pollution, this issue needs to be urgently addressed – for everyone’s health and safety.

[ENDS]

About BSG

The Building Safety Group (BSG) is the UK’s largest construction safety group offering consultancy, training and non-compliance reporting services.  They are a ‘not for profit’ organisation which has been in business for over 50 years.

BSG COSTS

To support the continuing investment in services as well as to reflect rising industry costs, the Board of the Building Safety Group (which is made up of representatives of 10 member companies) has increased subscription costs by £1 per person for Membership Plus and Minimum Membership has increased from £295 to £305 for the period 01 Jun to 30 November 2017.

Work-related stress and mental illness is worse in construction

New research reveals that almost half of construction workers lose sleep from workplace stress with budget concerns, workload and client demands cited as the biggest worries.  Chris Chapman, Technical Support Manager for the BSG (Building Safety Group), the UK’s largest construction safety group looks at the need for an industry-wide mind shift when it comes to stress and mental health issues.

According to a poll by safety barrier manufacturer, A-SAFE, 48% of construction workers are kept awake as a result of workplace stress with some losing more than 10 hours of sleep a week.  Almost 70% in the sector suffer from Sunday night blues, with the data also showing that 16% of workers regularly lose sleep, with a further 32% experiencing occasional loss of sleep.

In addition, the poll of 1,000 people working in the construction industry highlighted: Workload (35%), client demands (25%) and budget concerns (24%) as people’s biggest worries at work. Line management (25%), workplace politics (18%) and salary (14%) were also revealed as factors contributing to loss of sleep.

Last year, a survey amongst construction worker members of UCATT also revealed very real concerns about the prevalence of mental health problems in the construction industry.  The results of that survey found that 64% said they are suffering from stress and a huge 76% said they had at some point suffered stress in the workplace. 30% of respondents have taken time off work due to stress.

With regards to mental health, 35% of respondents said that they were suffering from a mental illness or had suffered from a mental illness. Of these members, 44% had time off due to mental health issues but a staggering 75% had not raised their problems with management. In total 57% of respondents said their workplace had no interest in their mental health. The two main mental health areas that caused the most pain, were depression and anxiety. 75% had experienced depression and 58% anxiety. These are both common throughout society – and are treatable, however shockingly, 72% of respondents said they mentioned absolutely nothing to anyone at work about their problems.

These reports provide some crucial insight into workforce wellbeing in the construction sector. As an industry, we need to take the issues of workplace stress and mental health seriously.  Employees working in construction need to know that their mental health is just as important to us as their physical wellbeing. Workplace stresses can have a huge impact on Health & Safety.  These results suggest that worries at work can have a negative impact on life outside work, leading to actions that could affect work performance.  With that in mind, Building Safety Group are aiming to bring the discussion of mental health in the construction industry to the top of the agenda by working in partnership with construction firms to help them better manage workplace stress and mental health issues.  Talking to someone can begin the healing process and not talking about depression and anxiety in this industry needs to be urgently addressed – for everyone’s health and safety.

http://www.builderandengineer.co.uk/news/half-construction-workers-lose-sleep-due-work-related-stress

https://www.ucatt.org.uk/ucatt-finds-high-levels-stress-and-mental-illness-among-construction-workers

BSG March Training Newsletter

Download the latest issue
Released March 2017

BSG Training News March 2017

This month’s issue includes:

  • Guidance on Temporary Works Responsibilities
  • Information about two new courses: CITB Temporary Works Supervisor training course and BSG Temporary Works Awareness training course
  • ‘Last Resort’ Mesothelioma Fund Pays Out £84 Million to Sufferers
  • Occupational Health training course coming soon
  • BSG’s Pass Rate for NEBOSH course

BSG reports 42% increase in Hand Arm Vibration non-compliances

BSG has reported a 42% rise in the number of ‘Hand Arm Vibration’ non-compliances recorded through site inspections. The increase is based on over 20,000 independent inspections conducted during 2016, which compares the first six months with the second six months of the year.

Exposing workers to the risks of ‘Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome’ or HAVS can result in symptoms such as such as tingling, pins and needles, numbness and pain in the affected persons’ hands. The condition can affect sleep when it occurs at night and cause difficulties in gripping and holding things. In 2015 there were 635 new HAVS related claims compared to 610 and 580 in 2014 and 2013 respectively. A recent case saw a local District Council fined £250,000 for not protecting workers’ health when a worker was left with permanent injuries after being diagnosed with the illness.

The number of ‘Noise’ related non-compliances has also increased, with a 33% rise in the number of infringements recorded. Noise at work can cause hearing damage that is permanent and disabling. This can be hearing loss that is gradual because of exposure to noise over time, but also damage caused by sudden, extremely loud noises. There were encouragingly however large drops for Dust and Fume (down 20%) and Manual Handling (down 11%) non-compliances, which both saw significant falls.

BSG’s announcement coincides with a series of recent HSE blitzes which have focused on these areas, frequently leading to FFI (Fees for intervention) penalties being imposed.

“Everyone controlling construction site work has ‘health’ and not just ‘safety’ responsibilities” commented Paul Kimpton, Managing Director at the Building Safety Group. “Checking that working conditions are healthy before work begins is essential for safeguarding against the too often devastating impact of illnesses related to Occupational Health. This of course requires careful planning and organisation beginning with the implementation of ‘Health Surveillance’ to monitor workers who are exposed to risks such as HAVS and Noise. So it is critical that companies regularly review their systems and procedures to ensure they are compliant with UK legislation and that their workforces are protected.”

About BSG

The Building Safety Group (BSG) is the UK’s largest construction safety group offering consultancy, training and non-compliance reporting services. We are a ‘not for profit’ organisation which has been in business for over 50 years.

About BSG’s Non-Compliance Reporting Index (NCRI)

Non-compliance data is extracted from BSG’s ‘Non-compliance Reporting Index’ (NCRI). The index is used to support the only known real-time, reporting service which compiles high volume health & safety non-compliance data, collected for and on behalf of the construction industry through site inspections. Over 20,000 site inspections were conducted in 2016.