30 Mar 2012

One in five construction sites fail safety checks

Nearly one in five construction sites failed safety checks during a national initiative to improve construction site safety - a slight improvement on previous years.

Inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) visited a total 3237 sites and saw 4080 contractors, but 581 sites were found to have practices that put workers at risk with a total of 870 enforcement notices issued and in 603 instances work had to stop immediately.

Philip White, Chief Inspector of Construction, said:

"It is encouraging that inspectors found a slight improvement in standards and small construction firms are taking safety seriously when carrying out refurbishment work.

"But this is just a snapshot, and the number of notices served for unsafe work at height is still unacceptable, particularly when the safety measures are well-known and straightforward to implement.

"Too many contractors continue to put their own or other people's lives at risk and we will not hesitate to take action where standards are not met."

Inspectors targeted sites where refurbishment or repair work was being carried out as part of an annual, month-long drive across Britain with the aim of reducing the risk of death, injury and ill health.

The focus was on high-risk activity including working at height and ensuring sites were in 'good order', being clean and tidy with clear access routes.

Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of deaths and major injury and responsible for the largest proportion of enforcement notices 49%, but shows a slight improvement on previous years of 55% in 2010.

Of the 50 fatalities in construction last year (2010-11), 27 (54%) were in the refurbishment, repair and maintenance sector.

  • During the inspection initiative, HSE inspectors looked at whether:
  • Precautions were in place to prevent falls from height
  • Sites were organised to avoid trips and falls
  • Work areas were clear of unnecessary materials and waste
  • Walkways and stairs were free from obstructions
HSE Bulletin No: 30-March-2012 (Reproduced under the terms of the Click-Use Licence)

It's amazing that so many companies continue to flaunt H&S rules and regulations. Do they not realise that they are there to keep them safe? Simple tools such as pre-use inspection systems, as developed by Good to Go Safety can help employees check that their scaffolding is in good working order and prevent unsafe erections such as these from being used.

For details about the inspection system for scaffolding from Good to Go Safety click here for access to information on their website.

1 comment:

  1. Good to finally have someone policing Construction Site Safety. It is one of the most dangerous jobs on the market, after all.


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