Construction inspections show further decline

The number of vital, unannounced, life-saving construction inspections being undertaken by the Health and Safety Executive declined further last year.

There were a total of 9,219 inspections in 2015/16 compared to 9,656 in 2014/15 a decrease of 4%. The number of construction inspections has been falling steadily in recent years. In 2012/13 the HSE undertook 10,577 inspections the latest figures reveal that in 3 years the number of inspections has declined by 13%.

The reduction in inspections comes at a time when the construction industry has been generally expanding and booming in some parts of the country. Therefore the overall number of sites which are being inspected has fallen significantly.

The majority of regions in the UK saw a decline in inspections in 2015/16. The greatest decline was in the South East where inspections declined by 26% which comes on top of a 19.6% reduction in the previous two years.

Other regions to record declines in 2015/16 were: Wales 18%, Eastern 13%, Yorkshire 13%, North East 10%, West Midlands 7% and London 5%.

Brian Rye, Acting General Secretary, of construction union UCATT, said: “These statistics are far from meaningless. They paint a serious picture of how a resource starved HSE is increasingly unable to do its job.”

Mr Rye added: “Inspections save lives and prevent accidents. The reduction in inspections is endangering the lives, health and wellbeing of construction workers. This is a political decision by the Government which have decided that it is financially justified to play fast and loose with the safety of construction workers.”


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