Construction is one of the most dangerous industries. HSE inspectors have the right to enter worksites without prior notice, although many will give notice where appropriate. When inspectors come, it is your responsibility to make sure that you are prepared.
What to Expect During a Construction Site Safety Inspection
Generally, inspectors will inspect the worksite and its activities, how you manage health and safety, and whether you are complying with the law. Inspectors may also talk to workers and take photographs or samples. Some may offer guidance. However, if there is a problem, inspectors may serve enforcement notices.
What Inspectors Look For
The following are examples of risk management that inspectors look for at construction sites.
General risk management
- Agree on risk control measures with contractors.
- Communicate the agreed-upon risk control measures to the workforce.
- Ensure equipment has been correctly installed and/or assembled.
- Inspect equipment regularly and arrange maintenance as necessary.
Working at height
- Follow the Work at Height Regulations hierarchy, which includes avoiding work at height where possible and using work equipment or other measures to minimise the distances and prevent negative results of a fall when work at height cannot be avoided.
- Take proper precautions, such as edge protection on scaffolding.
- Make sure ladders, if used, are the correct type, in good condition, set on firm, level ground, properly secured and set at the correct length and angle.
- Keep walkways, stairs and work areas clear of debris and other obstructions.
- Store materials safely in a place.
- Ensure walkways are even and gritted if icy.
- Keep facilities warm, well-lit and well-ventilated.
- Provide a place to change, dry and store clothing.
- Provide clean and working toilets, soap, towels and washbasins with hot and cold running water.
Personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Provide appropriate PPE to workers, such as hard hats, ear protectors, masks, and gloves.
- Ensure PPE is in good condition.
- Ensure that workers are using PPE correctly.