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News

Watch your step in construction

HSE InfoLine : 24 January, 2006  (Company News)
Over 1,000 construction workers fracture a bone or dislocate a bone every year. This February, as part of an initiative to reduce the number of slips and trips on construction sites, Health and Safety Executive inspectors will be carrying out a nationwide 'Watch Your Step' inspection programme.
Over 1,000 construction workers fracture a bone or dislocate a bone every year. This February, as part of an initiative to reduce the number of slips and trips on construction sites, Health and Safety Executive inspectors will be carrying out a nationwide 'Watch Your Step' inspection programme.

The construction industry reports in excess of 3,000 slip or trip incidents every year, the true figure could be higher.

Most, slip and trip incidents, are caused by corridors and stairways being obstructed with tools, materials and waste. Trip hazards may also be caused by footpaths which are not properly leveled, or cables trailing across pedestrian routes.

During a similar inspection initiative in October 2005, HSE inspectors took enforcement action at around 11% of sites they visited in respect of good order issues.

During February's site visits, inspectors will expect to find sites where:
deliveries have been planned to minimise the amount of materials being stored on site;
contractors have a system in place for managing waste materials;
footpaths are safe to use; and
walkways/stairways are kept clear of obstructions.
Site managers should discuss good order issues with their workers, encouraging them to report slip or trip hazards. Managers should also have in place systems ensuring that everyone on site complies with the arrangements for the removal of waste.

To support the initiative, organisations such as UCATT, TGWU, NASC, NCF and CECA will be distributing free good order 'toolbox talk' packs to their members. The packs contain a 5 minute DVD 'Watch your step, a toolbox talk for construction', a supporting Good Order On Site booklet and a Good Order poster. A limited supply of the packs are also available free from HSE Books, tel 01787 881165, or can be downloaded from www.hse.gov.uk/construction/slips/index.htm
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