Workers are being put at risk at thousands of building sites across the country, the results of safety checks suggest.
In just one month inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found
dangerous practices and poor standards at nearly half the 2,600 sites it checked.
The HSE has warned of “tough consequences” for firms recklessly putting employees’ health and safety at risk while a union leader says many employers are gambling with their workers’ lives.
The most commonly found problems during September’s campaign were firms
failing to protect employees working at height, exposure to harmful dust and poor welfare facilities.
They found basic standards weren’t being met at 1,105 sites where repair or refurbishment work was being carried out.
The HSE’s chief inspector of construction, Heather Bryant, said they would carry on working with the industry to tackle underlying issues and improve safety standards.
She said it was “disappointing” to find so many sites falling below acceptable health and safety standards, adding: “Those who recklessly endanger the health and lives of their workforce can expect to face tough consequences.”
‘Corners cut’ on site safety
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.”
He said it was vital that the HSE got the resources to carry out more inspections as the “vast majority” of building sites wouldn’t have been inspected during the campaign.
He added: “Unless employers have a genuine fear that shoddy safety practices will be exposed, they will continue to cut corners when it comes to safety.”
Accident Advice Helpline says the compensation that can be claimed after a work accident normally hinges upon how much damage has been caused as a result of negligence shown by the other party.
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