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20% Of Construction Sites Fail Health And Safety Spot Checks

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Published at 9:16am 25th November 2014.

Nearly one in five building sites in DORSET, Devon and Cornwall are failing to properly protect their workers, that's according to the Health and Safety Executive who've completed a month of spot checks around the area.

They've found almost 20% of sites failed the checks.

Common problems related to working at heights, fire procedures, and contractors' failures to manage health and safety during construction.

A total of 95 repair and refurbishment sites were visited by HSE inspectors across the region, with 20 being so poor that enforcement action was required.

The HSE also told us that on 14 occasions inspectors had to order work to stop because conditions were found to be immediately dangerous, but that many of the issues could have been easily prevented with simple, straightforward management and planning.

The Health and Safety Executive are urging the industry to ensure basic health and safety measures are in place.

Helena Allum, HSE Principal Inspector of Construction in the region, said:

“These results show that whilst the majority of employers in the refurbishment sector are getting it right, a significant part of the industry is seriously failing its workers.

“The inability to properly plan working at height continues to be a major issue, despite well-known safety measures being straightforward to implement.  It is just not acceptable that inspectors had to order work to stop immediately on 14 occasions because of dangerous practices.

“We also find health is often overlooked as its implications are not immediately visible, however the effects of uncontrolled exposure to deadly dusts such as asbestos and silica can be irreversible. We urge industry to ensure the most basic of measures such as use of protective equipment and dust suppression methods are put in place to help protect the future health of workers.

“We need to continue to educate industry through initiatives like this and encourage a change in behaviour on small projects where over half the industry’s fatal accidents still occur and many workers become seriously ill.”

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