The HSE have issued draft figures based on early analysis of the 2018-19 Inspection Campaign. These figures have not yet been confirmed and are still subject to Caveat. Draft or not, they give a concerning picture of the current state of our industry and how we are still struggling to meet basic legislative requirements.
553 inspections were completed with an alarming 49% enforcement rate, meaning almost half of all HSE inspections resulted in enforcement action.
67 inspections were a follow-up visit from a 2016-17 inspection, which resulted in an enforcement rate of 36%. 18 of these inspections highlighted that no action had been taken to resolve previous outstanding enforcement actions.
Machinery (Guarding) and Transport (Site movement) resulted in a number (Still to be determined) of enforcement notices. The main concerns relate to machinery isolation and ‘Lock-Off’ procedures (Or lack of), which are fundamental to Safe Working Practices. The HSE already brought about two successful prosecutions earlier this year in relation to poor ‘Lock-Off’ processes.
Another concern relates to the 26 enforcement notices issued for inadequate Welfare provision including the lack of toilet facilities. We are still struggling to maintain the most basic of facilities to our workforce even in 2019.
10 enforcement notices were issued in relation to unsafe stacking and stability risks for stacked waste piles, which is becoming increasingly problematic, or perhaps it’s the HSE taking more action in these cases. We are already aware of a serious crushing injury and HSE prosecution in this area earlier in 2019.
In summary, Health & Safety Management is lacking across the industry with another 35-40 sites seeing enforcement action. There appears to be a specific lack of evidence to suggest the HSE’s HSG65 Plan, Do, Check and Act approach is being followed or maintained as best practice, however, it is clear that the HSE are taking action to address these shortfalls as part of a commitment to reinvigorate the industry and improve Health, Safety and Wellbeing across the board.
The HSE are now looking to Quarter 3 inspections where they appear to be concentrating on Bio-Aerosols. Information through the WISH platform suggests that the HSE may be visiting around 50 sites specifically targeting those with activities relating to the collection, processing and recycling of materials giving rise to Bio-Aerosols including Garden Waste, Batteries, Fluorescent Tubes and WEEE.