One in four sites fail safety inspections

One in four construction sites fail safety inspections

One  in four of the construction sites visited in Essex, Norfolk  and Suffolk during  a month-long inspection initiative failed health and safety checks.

Inspectors  visited the counties as part of a national Health and Safety Executive (HSE)  clampdown aimed at reducing death, injury and ill health.

A total of 17 of the 71  sites they inspected were found not to meet the minimum

legal standards for health  and safety, and 18 enforcement notices were issued as a result.

They  included 6 Prohibition Notices which stopped some work activities immediately  and 12 Improvement Notices which required improvements to be made to working  practices.

The  inspectors visited sites where refurbishment or repair work was taking place,  to support a drive to improve standards in one of Britain’s most dangerous  industries.

They  made unannounced visits to ensure companies are managing high-risk activity, such  as working at height. They are also checked for general good order, assessed  welfare facilities and checked whether personal protective equipment, such as  head protection, was being used appropriately.

During  2011/12, 19 workers were killed while working in construction across East of  England, and a further 2,141 were seriously injured. Nationally, there were 49  deaths and more than 2,800 major injuries.

The  purpose of the initiative is to remind those working in the industry that poor  standards are unacceptable and could result in enforcement action.

Dominic  Elliss, an HSE Principal Inspector for Construction in the East of England said:

"It’s good news that the majority of the construction  sites we visited were obeying the law but sadly some sites are letting down the  rest of the industry.

"Poorly erected scaffolding, exposure to dangerous  types of dust, and inadequate washing facilities were among the poor standards  we found on some sites.

"I hope by carrying out these spot checks we will  help to raise awareness of the dangers and reduce the number of construction  workers being killed or seriously injured at work."

Further  information about working safely in the construction industry can be found  online at www.hse.gov.uk/construction[1].