HSE visits demonstrate construction safety failings

A month long spot check campaign of construction sites by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has revealed major safety failings.

Throughout September inspectors from the HSE made spot checks on 2,607 sites in the refurbishment and repair sector. The inspectors found that on 1,105 sites (42%) basic safety standards were not being met and on 644 sites (25%) safety was so poor enforcement action was required to protect the safety of workers.

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.”

The most common problems discovered by the HSE inspectors were a failure to ensure workers were safely working at height, workers being exposed to harmful dust and inadequate welfare facilities.

Mr Murphy added: “These are basic safety requirements. 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.”


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