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REFURB PROJECTS BLITZ REVEALS ROGUE BUILDING SITES

Nearly one in four Merseyside construction sites fail safety inspections

During two days of site inspections on Merseyside, HSE Construction Inspectors found that nearly 1 in 4 sites (n=88) failed to meet “legally-required health and safety standards”.

Several of the sites visited received more than one enforcement notice stopping work activities immediately or requiring improvements to be made within a set time. A total of 22 prohibition and 21 improvement notices were served. Over 50% of the notices related to unsafe work at height.

Inspections produce ‘sobering statistic’

The inspection campaign is taking place across the UK focusing on refurbishment, repair and maintenance activities. Inspectors are making unannounced visits to sites to ensure that work at height is being managed safely, sites are in good order, and the risk of exposure to asbestos is being properly managed.

During the inspection initiative, HSE inspectors will be looking at whether:

  • work at height has been identified and planned with precautions in place;
  • equipment is correctly installed, inspected, maintained and used;
  • sites are well organised to avoid trips and falls;
  • walkways and stairs are free from obstructions; and
  • work areas are clear of unnecessary materials and waste.

Wayne Crumpton, Principal Inspector for Construction, said:

“Workers’ lives were potentially being put at risk on a quarter of sites we visited in just the first two days. That is a sobering statistic.

Falls from height are one of the main causes of workplace deaths in the UK so it’s both disappointing and worrying that more than half of the enforcement notices we issued were because companies were found not to be taking this risk seriously enough.

We will continue to visit small construction sites, where refurbishment work is taking place, during the rest of the initiative. The safety of workers must be a top priority and we will not hesitate to take action when necessary.”

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