Tuesday, July 19th, 2016
HSE enforcement notices database – Top 5 examples of penalties in 2016
If you are a builder or developer who feels like you have all your required health & safety covered then you may want to take a look at our summary of key HSE enforcement activity statistics 2016, just to see how easy it is to miss something you may not have thought of. Just reading the stats on last year’s HSE prosecutions is enough to alarm even the most vigilant building firm.
- Prosecuted cases at 650 with a conviction rate of 93%.
- Prosecuted offences at 1,058 and a conviction rate of 86%.
- Total fines of £16.5 million and average penalty of £18,198.
Scary isn’t it!? To help our users make sure they’re not making the same mistakes as other builders and developers we’ve created a top 5 list of the most common reasons building firms have been served with prohibition notices. Take a look. It may surprise you…
1) Lack of knowledge of regulations
There are countless cases of firms having work halted and fines served due to inability to prove that regulations had been taken into account and responsibilities relating to legislation had been fully understood. This was not only that the site managers at building firms weren’t able to tell HSE enforcement officers how they had considered all the requirements of CDM 2015 but that they couldn’t demonstrate that they had a company health and safety policy and a Construction Phase Plan in place. In some cases they simply didn’t have the documents on site and that was enough to warrant a fine and all the consequences that follow as added costs of poor health and safety.
This is where Health & Safety Xpert can help. Having entered your details (automatically drawn from EstimatorXpress if you have it) the intelligent software lines up all the required documentation and procedures so that you cannot miss a thing. Plus, you can ensure you’re never caught short on site with simple sharing (by email and saving to the cloud) and printing technology.
2) Lack of a Construction Phase Plan
Following on from the lack of documentation and ability to demonstrate consideration of regulations, a frequent reason of intervention was the lack of a Construction Phase Health and Safety Plan (CPP). Under CDM 2015, work cannot start on site until a CPP has been completed. This includes minor jobs like re-hanging doors. It’s no wonder then that the HSE have caught firms skipping past this and come down hard on them. With Health & Safety Xpert, Construction Phase Plans are a doddle and we even have a dedicated Simple Construction Phase Plan for those smaller jobs so that work can get under way even quicker.
3) Site set up
Once appropriate consideration of regulation and the documentation required before work can start has been completed, site set up can begin, and this is another key area where building firms have faced HSE fees for intervention. Two frequent ways in which companies were failing in this respect was with the lack of clear separation of pedestrians and vehicles/plant and scaffolding set up. Health & Safety Xpert has dedicated docs covering required site management of staff, pedestrians, vehicles and plant such as moving vehicles and designated routes on site to avoid pedestrians, traffic management, loading and transportation of materials from site, construction plant operators qualifications requirements and many more. This is the case as well for scaffolding and issues to do with working at height such as scaffolding handover, scaffolding inspection, sloping roofs, flat roofs, holes and edges, harness inspection, lifting equipment inspection and more.
4) Lack of adequate health and safety training
Another one of the top 5 reasons construction sites were being served prohibition notices was the lack of adequate health and safety training for employees and specifically site managers. Failings in these areas can result in severe penalties but can easily be avoided with Health & Safety Xpert and HBXL’s E-Learning health and safety courses (which actually come free when bought as part of the Ultimate Safeguard Kit).
Health & Safety Xpert includes a wide range of documents to brief staff on site such as Site Inductions and the Site Induction Register , to record you’ve done it plus Risk Assessments and COSHH to help staff and subbies work safely at every stage of the job.
As well as this, it is important to keep a record of you and your staffs training. This is as easy as said and done with the Toolbox Talks Register produced with Health & Safety Xpert which helps you to record you’ve done training.
5) Lack of appropriate measures to reduce the risk of falling from height
This was a very common way in which many building firms were having action taken against them by the HSE. A recurring cause was that openings in the floor and roof edges were not properly covered or railed. These demonstrate a wider issue of a lack of ongoing site inspections or failure to complete them correctly. With Health & Safety Xpert tasks like this are easy and impossible to forget as the software automatically recommends the required checks based on the type of work you are undergoing.
Sort yourself out before you’re caught out
Whether this article has given you cause for concern or you believe you’re building firm manages to get by, you can’t put a price on the safety of your site and colleagues. Nor on the ramifications of unlimited HSE fines and the wider costs that intervention has on small building firms that have all too often been the downfall of small building companies. Give us a call today on 0117 9167898 to discuss how Health & Safety Xpert can help your firm stay safe on site and avoid unwanted hassle from the HSE.