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  Nearly half of refurb sites are unsafe, says HSE

Nearly half of refurb sites are unsafe, says HSE

1 November 2013 Email this article

Recent figures released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show that more than 42% of construction sites have failed inspections by health and safety inspectors.

In September, inspectors from the Health & Safety Executive made unannounced visits to 2,607 construction sites where refurbishment or repair work was taking place. Of these, 1,100 failed the safety checks.

On 644 of the sites, practices were so poor that enforcement action was necessary to protect workers – with 539 prohibition notices served ordering dangerous activities to stop immediately and 414 improvement notices issued requiring standards to improve.

The HSE reported that failing to protect workers during activities at height, exposure to harmful dust and inadequate welfare facilities were the most common problems identified.

HSE chief inspector of construction Heather Bryant said: “It is disappointing to find a significant number of sites falling below acceptable health and safety standards, where our inspectors encountered poor practice this often went hand in hand with a lack of understanding.

“Through initiatives like this we are able to tackle underlying issues before they become established and we will continue to work with the industry in an effort to drive up standards.

“However those who recklessly endanger the health and lives of their workforce can expect to face tough consequences.”