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A quarter of construction sites fail safety inspections

Posted in: Employer Negligence Falls from Heights Workplace Injuries 

Inspectors for the Health and Safety Exective recently carried out a month-long exercise to improve standards in the construction industry – one of the most dangerous industries in Britain.

They made unannounced visits to construction sites in Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk to ensure companies are managing high-risk activity, such as working at height. They also checked for general good order, assessed welfare facilities and checked whether personal protective equipment, such as head protection, was being used appropriately.

A total of 17 of the 71 sites they inspected were found not to meet the minimum legal standards for health and safety, and 18 enforcement notices were issued as a result.

They included six Prohibition Notices which stopped some work activities immediately and 12 Improvement Notices which required improvements to be made to working practices.

During 2011/12, 19 workers were killed while working in construction across East of England, and a further 2,141 were seriously injured. Nationally, there were 49 deaths and more than 2,800 major injuries.

Dominic Elliss, an HSE Principal Inspector for Construction in the East of England said:

“It’s good news that the majority of the construction sites we visited were obeying the law but sadly some sites are letting down the rest of the industry.

“Poorly erected scaffolding, exposure to dangerous types of dust, and inadequate washing facilities were among the poor standards we found on some sites.

“I hope by carrying out these spot checks we will help to raise awareness of the dangers and reduce the number of construction workers being killed or seriously injured at work.”


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