The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are the body responsible for maintaining the rules and regulations surrounding safety at work. They govern how and where fall arrest systems must be used and how often recertification must happen, and they’re also the ones responsible for prosecuting those who are found to be in breach of the regulations.
That doesn’t just mean investigating accidents although that’s certainly a part of the HSE’s job. Increasingly it’s about inspecting workplaces and sites to root out height safety and other occupational health problems before they turn into accidents. In February 2011 a major campaign of unannounced site inspections began. It’s expected that the coming months will see thousands of surprise inspections all over Britain.
During the last round of inspections, more than 350 stop-work notices were issued by the HSE in an effort to put an end to dangerous working practices. No doubt each business on the receiving end of one of these felt catastrophic effects- bad press, loss of revenue, dropping employee morale, and severe reputation damage. No matter how quickly the problem was fixed and work resumed those companies still have a black mark on their record.
Don’t let this happen to you. If the HSE are getting tough on safety problems, so should all businesses involved in construction and work at height. Make sure that you have the appropriate safety equipment and that it’s correctly deployed and installed. Walkways, stairs, and ladders must be clear of obstructions and worker safety ensured in every way.