Kent-wide inspection campaign highlights safety concerns in motor vehicle repair premises

Almost half (49%) of motor vehicle repair premises visited across Kent have been told to make improvements to protect the health and safety of workers.

Inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Kent Fire and Rescue Service and local authorities have been looking at areas such as asbestos management, electrical safety, chemical use and equipment maintenance as part of the “Common Approach to Vehicle Enterprise” (CAVE) initiative.

Since the campaign began at the beginning of November, 172 premises have been inspected across the county and, so far, 84 notices have been issued for things such as unsafe electrics and vehicle lifts, and dangerous welding equipment.

In the final phase of the countywide safety campaign, inspectors have targeted premises in Dartford, Gravesham, Medway and Swale.

In Dartford, 10 premises were visited and eight improvement notices were issued, while in Gravesham 22 premises were visited, resulting in eight improvement notices and eight prohibition notices.

Seventeen premises were visited in Medway, and five improvement notices and two prohibition notices were issued. Twelve improvement notices and two prohibition notices were also issued across 13 sites in Swale.

Mike Walters, HM Principal Inspector for the HSE in Kent, said:

“Many incident or deaths could be avoided in the motor vehicle repair trade, however, the statistics speak for themselves, which is why we have targeted these premises. Unfortunately, some sites had such poor health and safety standards that formal enforcement action had to be taken.

“We hope that through this campaign everyone we visited has become aware of the risks involved in the workplace. We would much prefer to be offering them advice but if workers are being put at significant risk of injury or ill health, we will not hesitate to take action.” http://www.hse.gov.uk/press/2010/coi-se-0112.htm