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REFURB AND ROOFING FIRMS FAIL SAFETY TEST

Unsafe work at height and poor order prompt huge HSE enforcement

Nearly one in four refurbishment and roofwork sites visited by the HSE during March 2010 “failed safety checks”.

The checks were carried out at 2014 sites across GB as part of an intensive inspection campaign aimed at further reducing death and injury in construction.

Poor performing quarter of sites receive enforcement notices

During the unannounced visits inspectors focused on refurbishment and roofing work to check that work at height was being carried out safely and that sites were in good order. The outcomes were:

  • Contractors / Sites – 2414 contractors were inspected at 470 sites; 
  • Enforcement Notices – 691 notices were issued;
  • Work Stopped – inspectors gave orders to stop work immediately in 359 instances; and
  • Hazards Targeted– unsafe work at height or failure to secure ‘good order’.
Failure to control basic risks is “unacceptable” says HSE Chief

HSE Chief Inspector for Construction, Philip White said: “While it is encouraging that many small construction firms have got their act together and are giving health and safety the priority it needs, the fact that our inspectors needed to take enforcement action on almost a quarter of sites, and on a similar proportion of contractors, is a matter of serious concern.

“There are still a small number of employers or contractors who continue to put their own and other people’s health and safety at risk. This is unacceptable. I want to make it clear to these operators that we will not hesitate to take action where standards of health and safety are endangering workers lives and livelihoods.”

In 2008/09 there were 53 deaths in construction and 11 264 injuries. During a similar initiative in 2009 HSE inspectors visited 1759 sites, 2145 contractors and issued 491 enforcement notices.

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