Building site safety crackdown
Monday 21st October 2013, 11:50AM BST.
Safety checks on building sites revealed dangerous practices and poor standards on almost half of those inspected.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said it visited over 2,600 sites last month where refurbishment or repair work was taking place, and discovered that, in 1,105 of cases, basic standards were not being met.
The most common problems included failure to protect employees working at height, exposure to harmful dust and inadequate welfare facilities.
Heather Bryant, HSE’s Chief Inspector of Construction, said: ” It is disappointing to find a significant number of sites falling below acceptable health and safety standards, where our inspectors encountered poor practice this often went hand in hand with a lack of understanding.
“Through initiatives like this we are able to tackle underlying issues before they become established and we will continue to work with the industry in an effort to drive up standards.
“However those who recklessly endanger the health and lives of their workforce can expect to face tough consequences.”
Steve Murphy, general secretary of construction union Ucatt, said: “These figures expose the truth about construction, which is that many employers are prepared to gamble with workers’ lives rather than ensure their sites are safe.
“It demonstrates why it is essential that the HSE is given the resources to increase their level of inspections. The vast majority of construction sites will not have been inspected as part of this campaign.
“Unless employers have a genuine fear that shoddy safety practices will be exposed, they will continue to cut corners when it comes to safety.”