Nearly Half of Small Construction Projects Fail HSE Inspections

Two engineers shaking hands on a construction site

In 2016, HSE inspectors visited 1,840 small refurbishment sites and found 49% fell below standards, a 3% increase on the previous year.

The HSE conducted a series of inspections in 2016 at small refurbishment sites in order to encourage construction firms to adopt and enforce robust health and safety standards. Of the 1,840 sites that the HSE inspectors visited, 49 per cent fell below health and safety standards—an increase of 3 per cent from 2015. What’s more, the HSE served 8 per cent more enforcement notices and notifications of contravention than in the previous year. Consequently, your firm should expect that the HSE’s enforcement of health and safety standards will continue to increase.

The HSE investigators found these were the two most common violations amongst the sites:

  • Work at height
  • Exposure to asbestos and silica dust

These violations, along with others, contributed to the HSE’s Fee for Intervention (FFI) reaching a record high of more than £15 million in 2016. According to industry research, the average cost of an FFI invoice was £604, and while that may seem like a small price to pay, it does not include the potential loss of reputation, business interruptions, or increased insurance costs due to illnesses and injuries. That is why it is important that your firm completes thorough risk assessments before and during a job in order to identify any potential health and safety hazards and implement strategies to adequately address them.