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SCOTLAND SITE INSPECTIONS REVEAL MIXED RISK PICTURE

Significant proportion of sites working at height in a dangerous manner

HSE Construction Inspectors have been putting construction sites in Scotland under the safety spotlight to prevent death and injury in the construction industry as part of an intensive inspection regime.

A total of 78 sites were inspected across Scotland during the first three weeks of September. The majority were found to be managing health and safety appropriately, however, work was stopped immediately on several sites with 15 Prohibition Notices served because proper precautions were not in place for working at height.

Safe access equipment is readily available for purchase or hire

The targeted campaign was in response to the continued loss of life and serious injury arising from falls from height. In the 12 months to April 2012, 49 workers lost their lives on construction sites in the UK, with falls from height being the most common cause of fatal injuries.

Jeanette Reuben, HSE’s Head of Unit (Construction) for Scotland, Yorkshire and the North East, said:

“Whilst the initiative was primarily to raise awareness of the problem of unsafe working practices, it is of serious concern that such a significant proportion of sites visited were undertaking work at height in a dangerous manner.

Straightforward practical precautions are well known in the industry. Safe access equipment is readily available for purchase or hire and there is no excuse for workers, and the self employed, to put themselves in a position of danger when working at height.

HSE will continue to maintain a strong enforcement profile where there is blatant disregard to safe working practice.”

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