Maintaining site equipment should not mean compromising health and safety, says the HSERegardless of the work being carried out or the industry in question, health and safety should be safeguarded during maintenance works.

That is the message from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) as it launches a Europe-wide drive to improve maintenance practices in business.

Judith Hackitt, chair of the HSE, says: "Maintenance work is often seen simply as a disruption to normal service.

"But it is fundamental to the integrity of every system and to the health and safety of workers and the public."

Within the manufacturing industry, up to 30 per cent of deaths are related to maintenance activity, the HSE says.

These can range from machinery restarting while it is being repaired to individuals falling while carrying out repair work at height.

Maintenance procedures should themselves be appropriate to the machinery in use, the HSE advises, to help reduce health and safety risks associated with the day-to-day use of the equipment.

By Hayley Edwards