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Daily CSR

Daily CSR
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HSE Denies UCATT’s FOI Claims


HSE gives importance to its investigations for assessing health & safety measures.

Dailycsr.com – 20 May 2016 – The UCATT construction union’s claims of the authorities’ number who inspect construction sites being “derisory” has been rebuffed by HSE.
Following the submission of a FOI by UCATT which showed that in the fiscal year of 2015-2016, total “132 operational inspectors” were part of HSE’s “Construction Division” for conducting daily sites visits, including the ones who cover “the South East, London and the East of England”.
However, UCATT claims that in the last two sections mentioned here, there has been a drop of twenty five percent in the number inspecting personnel. As per the “FOI request”, another fifty inspectors were busy providing various services like “giving advice on complex or technical risks, or were line managers”. It failed to include the number of staff under the “Asbestos Licensing Unit”.
In reply, a spokesman of HSE said:
“We have a flexible and trained workforce capable of dealing with construction hazards. Field operations inspectors routinely inspect and investigate incidents in smaller scale construction activity, such as roof work, alongside their work in fixed premises, and we have created multi-sector teams to contribute to construction inspection initiatives.”
While, the Acting General Secretary at UCATT, Brian Rye, referring to the declining number of inspectors at site, stated:
“There are several conclusions that can be drawn from these shocking figures. Either, the HSE has managed to breed a super-human species of health and safety inspector with powers beyond the range of us normal human beings or this is just a pitiful number of individuals with an impossible job.
“Maybe the UK construction industry is really the safest industry on the planet and doesn’t need much monitoring? If this were so, how come 35 people died at work in the construction industry last year? Or maybe this government has little or no regard for the safety of the British construction worker, and has little or no interest in policing the working practises of the major constructors?”
Countering the argument, HSE’s spokesman informed:
“We fully recognise the important role that investigation, inspection and enforcement play in securing improvements in health and safety risk management. There have been significant reductions in fatal and non-fatal incident rates over the last 15 years –the rate of fatal injuries have fallen by almost three quarters and the rate of major injuries by approximately two thirds.
“The industry has worked hard to improve and is sharing lessons, but there is more to do. Businesses have a responsibility to protect their workers, it is not just about complying with their legal duties but more importantly ensuring they and their workers return home safely to their families.”