The Health and Safety Executive has clamped down on unsafe practices within the construction industry by carrying out a month-long campaign of site visits and inspections around the country.
Results show that although the majority of construction sites were operated safely, enforcement action was necessary at 1 in 5 sites.
National UK regulator for workplace health and safety, the HSE, made unannounced visits to 2,363 construction sites carrying out refurbishment or repair work between mid-February and mid-March this year.
In an attempt to reduce the number of workplace injuries due to unsafe practices, inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive considered how strictly 2976 contractors adhered to the safety regulations laid down by law.
HSE’s Chief Inspector of Construction, Philip White said,Open Claim Calculator
“”HSE will not hesitate to use its enforcement powers against reckless employers. It is they who continue to make construction one of the most dangerous industries in which to work.”
Although the majority of employers were found to be operating well within health and safety guidelines, inspectors also found many examples of risk-taking and dangerous practices, including:
- Inadequate personal protective equipment
- Lack of edge protection on scaffolding
- Unsafe storage of flammable materials
This led to employers at 1 in 5 construction sites receiving an enforcement notice from the Health and Safety Executive.
A spokesperson from leading law firm – Accident Advice Helpline – welcomed the HSE initiative, saying,
“Unsafe practices on construction sites can lead to horrendous injuries not normally associated with the workplace. Construction workers have to deal with so many demanding conditions, from working at height or in unsafe structures, to handling flammable or toxic materials, and when an accident does happen it is often life-changing under these circumstances.”
Of the 631 enforcement notices issued by inspectors, 451 were notices ordering work to stop immediately so that the issues could be rectified straight away. Figures on the HSE website show that 49 workers died and 2884 were seriously injured on UK construction sites in 2011/12.
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