Fewer safety inspections are being carried out in the Scottish construction industry, new figures show.
Such inspections have fallen by over 50% in the space of just two years, according to construction union UCATT.
A Freedom of Information request to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed the decline, putting workers at risk of construction site accidents.
There were 1,248 unannounced safety inspections in Scotland in 2012/13, yet this fell to just 552 in 2014/15.
Harry Frew, Regional Secretary for UCATT Scotland, described the figures as “shocking”.
The 55.7% decline in inspections happened as the construction industry began to recover from recession, with more activity nationwide.
But Mr Frew said that is no excuse for failing to check the safety of construction sites, which are among the most dangerous places to work.
He added it is only the prospect of an HSE inspector knocking on the door which ensures a number of construction employers comply with safety laws. If that deterrent does not exist, employers could be increasingly tempted to cut corners and risk the lives of workers.
Common construction accidents
Typical accidents on construction sites include falls from heights, being hit by moving vehicles, crushing by falling items, electrocution and exposure to toxic substances or noise levels. Many of these accidents can lead to serious, disabling or even fatal injuries.
Employers have the legal responsibility to ensure their workers are kept safe and well within their working environment.
Risk assessments must be also carried out in order to ensure potential risks are detected and adequately dealt with.
Date Published: March 24, 2016
Author: Jonathan Brown