Health and safety blitz

HSE inspectors to target Yorkshire

A health and safety blitz targeting the horticulture sector gets under way this month, starting the Health & Safety Executive’s year-long programme aimed at reducing the number of accidents and the level of risk involved in working on horticultural sites. Firms and sites in Yorkshire can expect an HSE inspector to make an assessment, paying particular attention to the safety of workplace transport, the risk from falls from height and safe manual handling operations. Inspectors will also aim to ensure adequate welfare facilities are provided, along with provision of information and training for workers, particularly those engaged in seasonal harvesting. A phone advice line will be available, giving workers the chance to raise concerns about working practices. The HSE inspector spearheading the blitz, Rosemary Bricis, said: “Checks are being made to ensure that adequate precautions are taken by employers to protect the health and safety of all workers, including those employed for only a few months during the year.” The HSE hopes to raise awareness of safety issues at horticultural sites and prevent the risk of accidents. Inspectors will offer help and advice to firms to ensure proper procedures are undertaken, but will take a firm stance where severe risks are present. Bricis added: “We will not hesitate in taking enforcement action to deal with matters of evident concern that could affect the safety of workers or any other person.” The society went almost £500,000 into debt by spending on plans for the garden.

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