According to the results of a month-long inspection drive by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), around one fifth (20 per cent) of construction sites are not adhering to health and safety regulations, potentially putting workers in danger.
As part of the checks, HSE officers visited a total of 2,363 construction sites around the UK on which repairs or refurbishments were being carried out. The results of the spot checks were surprising and not a little worrying, as the officers had to hand out 631 enforcement notices to 433 sites for urgent improvements to poor practices to be made. Furthermore, 451 notices stipulated that work should stop immediately until standards could be improved.
Commenting on the findings of the inspections, which clearly demonstrate the need for better practices, more regular risk assessments and more in-depth health and safety training, the HSE’s chief inspector of construction Philip White said:
“This initiative has once again shown us that the majority of construction employers do take their responsibilities to their workers seriously.
“However, our inspectors also encountered numerous examples of poor practice, from lack of edge protection on stairwells and scaffolding to unsafe storage of flammable materials and inadequate personal protective equipment. None of these are acceptable on a modern construction site.
“HSE will not hesitate to use its enforcement powers against reckless employers. It is they who continue to make construction one of the most dangerous industries in which to work.”