NEARLY one in five construction sites recently visited across Britain received enforcement action from HSE after failing safety checks.
Ensuring the highest level of health and safety is vital.
During 2011/12, 49 workers were killed while working in construction and 2,884 major injuries were reported.
In a month-long initiative, inspectors visited 2,363 sites where refurbishment or repair work was taking place and saw 2,976 contractors.
A total of 631 enforcement notices were served across 433 sites for poor practices that could put workers at risk – with 451 notices ordering that work stop immediately until the situation was put right.
Philip White, HSE’s chief inspector of construction, 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.”
Between February 18 and March 15, inspectors made unannounced visits to construction sites to ensure they were managing high-risk activity, such as working at height.
Checks were also carried out on whether there was general good order on site, whether PPE was being used effectively and if welfare facilities were adequate.
These findings highlight the need to have good health and safety practices in place on construction sites to reduce the likelihood of accidents and also to prevent downtime caused by notices to stop work immediately.