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HSE Update

HSE Update

Martin Temple has been appointed as the new chair of the HSE with effect from 1 May 2016.

The HSE is the national regulator for workplace health and safety.  It aims to prevent death, injury and ill health in Great Britain’s workplaces. It does so:

  • Through research
  • By providing information and advice
  • By promoting training
  • By producing new or revised regulations and codes of practice
  • By working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement

Recent enforcement action taken by the HSE reported this month has included:


A client was fined £30,000 in October 2015 under the CDM Regs 2007 for demolition works carried on site of Chesham Community Hospital in Buckinghamshire.  A site visit from HSE found presence of asbestos containing materials among debris, demolition arrangements not recorded in writing and witness accounts of dangerous practices including unsafe work at height and use of construction machinery, poor site security and a lack of welfare facilities.  There was a serious risk of injury from collapse of partially demolished buildings in the HSE’s opinion.

The same contractor was found on another site in Stevenage, Hertfordshire in June 2015 in control of workers unsafely dismantling parts of the building to recover recyclables, such as metal.  No risk assessment had been done regarding respiratory exposure to asbestos containing materials.  The client told the HSE the contractor was working without their knowledge on the site and had alerted the police.

At the trial the Contractor was found guilty of breach of the CDM Regs 07, Control of Asbestos Regs 2012, Health and Safety at Work Act etc. 1974 and was sentenced to four months suspended custodial sentence and 200 hours community service order.  He was also ordered to pay costs of £1,200.

Fragile Roofs

A self-employed builder was fined £16,000 with £3,330.80 under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 after his employee fell through a fragile sky light on a farm building.  The employee was replacing broken roof tiles and stepped onto an adjacent fragile roof to remove debris when he fell through the fragile skylight into a tractor scraper parked below breaking his collar bone, ribs, chipped his spine and head injuries was unable to work for six months.  The HSE found that there was no suitable and sufficient risk assessment of the job, no information or instruction has been given or specific working at height training.

Working at Height

A construction company were fined £6,600 under the Work at Height Regs 2005 after a worker fell through a void sustaining serious injuries to his back as well as a broken foot.  The company were contracted to pour concrete onto the first floor of a building under construction and an employee caught his boot and tripped whilst walking across a floor under construction dislodging an unsecured wooden board placed over the void falling 4.5 through the void.

A company have been fined £20,000 with costs of £1,776 for beaching Work at Height Regs 2005 after a worker from Romania dismantling falsework (at form of temporary structure) fell thirteen metres down a service riser shaft on a building that was under construction.  The HSE found there was an unsafe system of work and inadequate supervision of workers.