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HSE to focus on small work sites

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has said it will focus more closely on small construction sites and businesses in the coming year, because they are more likely to have “unacceptable standards”.

HSE chief construction inspector Philip White told NCE yesterday after the presentation of the 2011-2012 Construction Workplan to the board that small and medium businesses faced increased presence from the HSE in the coming year.

“We want to raise our game in dealing with smaller and medium size sites and we want to concentrate efforts to high risk environments,” he said.

Fatalities on sites rose last year and he said he hoped this new tactic would help decrease the numbers.

White said larger contractors would face board level challenges instead of many site inspections as the “culture” had changed dramatically over the past 10 years.

“You’ve got to look back over the last 10 years where there has been change in culture amongst health and safety” he said.

“10 years ago directors and boards were not that engaged in H&S, but they were challenged to raise their game and show leadership from the top…the industry doesn’t always get it right, but the industry has been managing H&S in a much more sophisticated way.”


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