Roundup of HSE enforcement activity

It would be easy for a builder or developer to look at the title ‘roundup of HSE enforcement activity’ and think that it is not something they would need to concern themselves with. You believe that you are safe on site and you always take every step to ensure you are covered against HSE Fees for Intervention. So you may think it’s not of any use to you hearing about other cases where the HSE have had to step in.

Well you may want to think again!

Taking a look at the HSE Public Register of Enforcement Notices, which a roundup of all the prosecution/enforcement notices issued for the past five years, you may be surprised. Many of the recent cases that have needed intervention and prohibition are for seemingly small things.

Frequent Notices

Some of the frequent notices include;

  • Failure to demonstrate Construction Phase Plan has been completed
  • Lack of adequate hand washing facilities for either food prep, toilet sanitation or in order to use a cement mixer
  • Lack of lighting to avoid trip hazards
  • Demonstrating consideration of separation of pedestrians and vehicles
  • A clear emergency exit route
  • Unsanitary toilets

Fees for Intervention

Not things that may have necessarily occurred to you as serious enough to warrant a fine I’m sure, but have led to intervention fees none the less. This is why Health & Safety Xpert 2016 (out now) is such a vital tool. Having confidence that all the appropriate health and safety considerations specific to your site have been laid out for you is an invaluable resource. Not to mention the time saving qualities.

Another (more expected) notice that kept popping up was due to unsafe practices when working at height. Here we can also see examples of the penalties faced when health and safety considerations aren’t completed properly in the form of fines, injuries and even fatalities.

In the past few months there have been several incidents across the UK including but not limited to Cornwall, Dorset, Scotland, Hertfordshire, Bedford and stoke on Trent. Some of which have ended in fatalities and all have received fines. Fees for intervention alone were £609,312 October 2015.

Sentencing Guidelines

Not to mention that from February 1st 2016 that definitive sentencing guideline for use in courts in England and Wales on health and safety offences, corporate manslaughter and food safety and hygiene offences were introduced. For the breach of duty of employer towards employees and non-employees or breach of duty of self-employed to others of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (section 33(1)(a) for breaches of sections 2 and 3) and Breach of Health and Safety regulations Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (section 33(1)(c))

Maximum:  when tried on indictment: unlimited fine / when tried summarily: unlimited fine

Offence range:  £50 fine – £10 million fine

Real builder’s experience

Speaking to our builder and developer users everyday means we often get to hear first-hand some of the uncomfortable stories or the instances of HSE inspectors arriving, unannounced on site. Only the other day a user of ours, who had decided to get Health & Safety Xpert as a result of what happened below, told us about an unexpected visit from the HSE.

It was as simple as a slight lack of communication and an error in purchase of one material. Accidently getting a different (and much heavier) block to the one intended by the designer, the guys on site were waddling around on site, not complaining. A HSE inspector just happened to be driving past and they all ended up with sanctions to deal with.

Something else to consider is the obligation on Local Authority building inspectors to inform the HSE of sites they believe need further investigation. This means that more eyes are on you at any one time.

Ultimately it breaks down to the fact that the HSE are not messing around with any infringements on the health and safety legislation in place, whether large or (seemingly) small breaches. This is why it is best to get software on your side to help ensure every aspect is considered and dealt with.

Health & Safety Xpert is updated regularly with any changes to the law. The latest upgrade is out now. It is the fast and easy way to ensure you and your colleagues are complying. Give it Health & Safety Xpert a trial today.