Health and safety must be taken seriously on construction sites

construction-1181982_1920

At Acorn Safety Services we spend a great deal of time working with construction firms.

Our experienced team can act as CDM (Construction, Design and Management) Consultants and Advisors on building projects so that our clients – whether they’re a principal designer, principal contractor or construction client – can relax in the knowledge that they’re meeting all the requirements of CDM regulations.

There are 39 different elements to the CDM regulations and a further five schedules so it’s no wonder that sometimes designers, contractors and clients can feel overwhelmed by the amount of regulations they must follow. For lots of clients desperate to see their job completed and designers and contractors under pressure to get their projects finished on time and in budget they must look at the regulations and feel like they’re drowning in red tape.

The reason the regulations exist is to improve health and safety in the industry because Construction – along with Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing – accounts for the greatest number of workplace fatalities in the UK each year.

In 2020-2021, 39 people lost their lives working in construction – which is broadly consistent with the five-year average for fatal injuries in this sector of 36.

The CDM Regulations are designed to encourage clients, designers and contractors to sensibly plan their work so the risks involved are managed from start to finish. They require those responsible to have the right people in place for the right job at the right time and to make sure that different trades cooperate and coordinate their work with each other. Under the regulations you must ensure you have the right information about any risks and how they are being managed and communicate this information effectively to those who need to know.

We completely understand why it may feel like a trial for people who are just trying to get their projects completed but these rules are in place to keep people safe.

At Acorn, we also provide Construction Safety Inspections and Audits for all types of constructions site across the UK and because we are an independent and certified Health and Safety company, our clients can be confident our advice and recommendations are always in their best interests.

Our inspections and audits highlight where things are going well on site and if improvements need to be made, thereby helping our clients to complete their projects without incident or injury. This can save clients a huge amount of time and money because if an HSE inspector visits their site and finds contraventions or breaches of legislation they could be taken to court and face significant fines as well as damage to their reputation.

When problems do happen on a construction site those responsible can find themselves facing fines in the tens of thousands pounds.

Earlier this month, a construction company was fined more than £30,000 after a worker suffered life-changing injuries.

Hovington Limited was sentenced for safety breaches after a worker was struck by a falling piece of plant machinery while working on a construction site in Rotherham.

Sheffield Magistrates’ Court heard that, on 4 February 2019, groundworkers, including the injured person, were breaking out ground using a 13 tonne 360 excavator with a hydraulic breaker attached to an automatic quick hitch, as part of trench work to install new drainage of the site at Arconic Forging and Extrusions, Sheffield Road, Ickles, Rotherham. The breaker became detached from the quick hitch on the excavator. The breaker fell, narrowly missing one ground worker, and landed on the injured worker’s right foot. He sustained injuries which led to the amputation of his right leg below the knee.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company failed to ensure that a safe method of work was in place when working in the vicinity of an excavator, there was no defined segregation between people and plant, and no use of a vehicle plant marshal to ensure the machine was isolated before pedestrians enter the working zone of the excavator. The company also failed to implement a dedicated bucket changing area for the changing of attachments to minimise the risk of attachments falling onto pedestrians.

Hovington Limited of Chichester Street, Rochdale, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was fined £34,000 and ordered to pay £1,935.84 in costs.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Trisha Elvy commented: “This incident could have easily resulted in a fatality and could have been avoided by simply carrying out correct control measures and safe working practices.

“There should be suitable, defined safe systems of work so that persons who need to work in close proximity to excavators can do so safely.”

If you need help to protect workers and visitors on your construction site contact us so we can help you manage your project safely, allowing you to get on with what you do best.For all your health and safety needs visit https://acornhealthandsafety.co.uk/ today or contact us at info@acornhealthandsafety.co.uk or on 01604 930380

Need help with Health and Safety? Request a call back!

Request a call back from one of our expert Health and Safety Consultants who can help you whatever your health and safety, CDM or fire risk needs.

More Health and Safety Articles & News

Holidays are perfect time for schools to get on top of health and safety

By Ian Stone | 14th September 2021

Many people will assume that our schools have sprung back to life during the past few weeks after lying dormant for the summer. Whilst it’s true that for the first time in weeks they are now filled with students again, many schools will have had an equally busy time over the holidays. The holidays offer …

Read more

Fatal case shows the importance of workplace health and safety

By Neil Munro | 7th September 2021

We recently read about a very sad case which once more brought home how vitally important health and safety is in the workplace. A couple of weeks ago Liverpool Magistrates Court fined a Merseyside shipbuilding and repair company after an employee was fatally injured when struck by a 31-foot steel post. The court heard how …

Read more

Health and safety must be taken seriously on construction sites

By Neil Munro | 31st August 2021

At Acorn Safety Services we spend a great deal of time working with construction firms. Our experienced team can act as CDM (Construction, Design and Management) Consultants and Advisors on building projects so that our clients – whether they’re a principal designer, principal contractor or construction client – can relax in the knowledge that they’re …

Read more

Agriculture has worst fatal injuries rate of all the major industrial sectors

By Ian Stone | 24th August 2021

It won’t come as a surprise to many people that working in agriculture, forestry and fishing can be a dangerous occupation but sadly we’ve seen a particularly high number of deaths in the sector during the past year. During the latest Farm Safety Week, the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) issued its ‘Fatal injuries in …

Read more

Proud to be your health and safety expert

By Neil Munro | 17th August 2021

At Acorn Safety Services our clients put their trust in us every single day. We provide Health and Safety, CDM, Fire and Training services across the UK and as a fully independent and impartial company, our clients can always be confident that the advice and guidance they receive from Acorn will always be in their …

Read more

Helping you safely manage fire risks

By Ian Stone | 10th August 2021

There have been quite a few developments in the world of health and safety recently. This month, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has become the new statutory consultee for building safety on planning applications and in May the 2021 London Plan Policy was introduced which includes new advice to developers about fire safety and …

Read more

British firms fined over £1.5m so far this year for incidents involving falls

By Neil Munro | 3rd August 2021

A couple of weeks ago we shared the sad news that 142 workers have died doing their job during the past year. Yet again, the highest cause of deaths continues to be workers falling from height which claimed the lives of 35 workers. So far this year, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has successfully …

Read more

HSE has launched an inspection focus on occupational lung disease

By Ian Stone | 27th July 2021

You may not be aware but during the past few months the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has been inspecting metal fabrication businesses across Great Britain to check they are managing the respiratory risks of welding fumes and metalworking fluids. Since World Asthma Day 2021, which was held in May, health and safety inspectors have …

Read more

Nearly 150 workers killed doing their job in past year

By Neil Munro | 21st July 2021

Health and Safety doesn’t always get the best press in this country. We’ve all heard talk about red tape strangling businesses and bureaucracy gone mad but there’s a simple reason why we have Health and Safety rules in this country – they save lives. Earlier this month, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) released provisional …

Read more

Who is at risk from health and safety breaches?

By Ian Stone | 13th July 2021

There are so many reasons why company bosses and managers should take health and safety seriously. It goes without saying the main reason is to protect people from harm. No one wants a health and safety oversight to lead to someone being injured or killed. Another key reason is that health and safety breaches can …

Read more