6 Apr 2010

1 in 4 construction sites fail safety inspections

Nearly one in four of the construction sites visited by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) during March 2010 failed safety checks.

Inspectors from HSE carried out checks at 2014 construction sites across Great Britain as part of an intensive inspection campaign aimed at reducing death and injury in one of Britain's most dangerous industries.

During unannounced visits, inspectors focused on refurbishment and roofing work to ensure that any work at height was being done safely and that the sites were in good order. 2414 contractors were inspected during the campaign.

A total of 691 enforcement notices were issued at 470 sites, with inspectors giving orders for work to be stopped immediately in 359 instances for either unsafe work being carried out at height or where sites lacked 'good order'.
The majority of all notices issued related to unsafe work being carried out at height.

Philip White, HSE's Chief Inspector for Construction, 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."

During 2008/09 there were 53 deaths in construction and 11 264 injuries. Last year, inspectors visited 1759 sites, 2145 contractors and issued 491 enforcement notices during a similar month-long initiative.

Source: http://www.hse.gov.uk/press/2010/hse-constructionresults.htm
(Reproduced under the terms of the Click-Use Licence)

Good to Go Safety can provide a step in the right direction for smaller construction firms looking to improve site safety and improve working methods. By ensuring that employees are checking equipment prior to use (all the more significant when working at heights) the chances of an accident can be dramatically reduced. The fact that Good to Go Safety also provides an instant duplicate record of all inspections can also prove invaluable during these unannounced site inspections - providing evidence of good working practices and an understanding by employees of their responsibility towards site safety. The fact that our systems are simple to understand and implement, combined with their affordability and effectivenesss can prove invaluable to your organisation.

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