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News

Sorting slips and trips in construction

HSE InfoLine : 02 February, 2006  (Company News)
'If you see it, sort it' is the message from Stephen Williams, the Chief Inspector of Construction at the Health and Safety Executive, as construction inspectors begin a nationwide inspection programme targeting building sites with poor housekeeping.
'If you see it, sort it' is the message from Stephen Williams, the Chief Inspector of Construction at the Health and Safety Executive, as construction inspectors begin a nationwide inspection programme targeting building sites with poor housekeeping.

Starting yesterday, inspectors will visit approximately 1000 sites, of all sizes, as part of the 'Watch Your Step' good order initiative. The aim is to raise the industry's awareness of the potentially serious consequences of untidy sites and therefore to reduce the number of slips and trips in construction.

Every year the construction industry reports over 3,000 slip or trip incidents. In 2004/5(p) more than 1,000 of these resulted in a worker fracturing or dislocating a bone, two of these incidents resulted in fatalities.

Speaking from the St. Pancras station project, Channel Tunnel Rail Link, a site using best practice to manage good order issues through its Take 15 campaign, Stephen Williams, stressed to the industry; 'It is time to change. Most slip or trip incidents can be avoided if everyone on site does their bit to make the workplace safer, so if you see it, sort it.'

Mike Williams, the HSE Principal Inspector whose area includes the St. Pancras site, advised principal contractors to consider how they manage their sites to ensure that they are kept in good order. 'In London 409 slip and trip injuries were reported in 2004/05(p); however, due to under-reporting, HSE suspects the actual figure may be much higher. 'Walkways and storage areas should be designated and kept clear from obstructions. Pathways should be level and firm and arrangements should be made to remove waste from work areas. Employees have a role too, they should keep work areas as clear as possible of unnecessary materials and waste.'

A 'toolbox talk' pack featuring a 5 minute DVD 'Watch your step, a toolbox talk for construction', a supporting good order on site booklet and a poster, is available free from HSE Books, tel 01787 881165 or to download from www.hse.gov.uk/construction/slips/index.htm
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