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UNION CLAIMS HSE SITE INSPECTIONS DECLINING

Construction union UCATT argues inspection policy endangering lives

The construction industry union UCATT has published data suggesting that unannounced construction project inspections undertaken by the Health and Safety Executive “declined further” in 2015/16.

UCATT state that a total of 9,219 inspections were undertaken in 2015/16 compared to 9,656 in 2014/15 a decrease of 4% and that 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 union add that these reductions in inspections comes at a time when the construction industry has been generally “expanding and booming” in some parts of the country.

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%.

HSE starved of resource

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.

Inspections save lives and prevent accidents. The reduction in inspections is endangering the lives, health and well-being 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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