HSE Target Contractors

The Story

At the latest meeting of the Temporary Works Forum held at the Transport for London offices in Blackfriars on 5th March 2012, Andrew Rattray from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) confirmed that the HSE are to specifically target small and medium sized contractors and builders in their work plan for 2012. This is a progression from their projects in 2011 which have focused on larger contractors.

Visits will be made by HSE inspectors to small and medium sized contractors and builders that are undertaking temporary works as part of their project. The inspectors will be looking to review their management and procurement of the temporary works and checking that contractors have formal procedures in place that are based on the principles of BS 5975. Contractors on smaller projects where temporary works are minimal or of a basic nature, will need to demonstrate procedures that are in line with the principles of BS 5975, contractors on larger projects with more significant or complicated temporary works will need to demonstrate that their procedures follow the requirements of BS 5975 more closely.

The target for the HSE is to find out exactly what is happening on sites of this size and are interested to see what kind of problems they encounter. They will also be concentrating on co-ordination, looking to see if design is in place where required and then what checks are in place to ensure that what is built on site is in accordance with the design. On projects of appropriate size, the HSE will also be checking to see if a CDM Co-ordinator has been appointed and a temporary works co-ordinator where necessary.

Andrew Rattray also confirmed an important point for designers of temporary works and scaffolding in particular, this was that the HSE had their own procedures for checking back through the project chain to ensure that permanent works designers were incorporating the requirements of temporary works in their permanent works designs, and these requirements would continue to be enforced in 2012.

The scaffold design engineers at 48.3 have found many times that the design of permanent works prohibit safe and/or cost effective scaffolding and temporary works solutions and we often find ourselves having to design overly complicated schemes to work around these problems. 48.3 Scaffold Design Ltd would like to encourage the HSE to follow through on this commitment and also encourage industry to develop CPD courses aimed at permanent works designers, covering the design requirements of temporary works including scaffolding so that they can be effectively considered during permanent works design.

Related Links:
Health and Safety Executive - Plan of Work 2011/2012 Health and Safety Executive - Construction Temporary Works Forum