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Inspectors stop work at 359 sites

Nearly a quarter of construction sites inspected by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in March failed safety checks.
HSE inspectors gave orders for work to be stopped immediately in 359 instances because unsafe work was being carried out at height or because sites lacked 'good order'.

A total of 691 enforcement notices were issued at 470 sites. The majority of all notices issued related to unsafe work being carried out at height.

The inspectors carried out checks at 2,014 construction sites across the UK in March with the aim of reducing the death and injury rates in the sector. Some 2,414 contractors were inspected during the campaign.

During the unannounced visits, inspectors focused on refurbishment and roofing work.

'The fact that our inspectors needed to take enforcement action on almost a quarter of sites, and on a similar proportion of contractors, is a matter of serious concern', said Philip White, HSE's chief inspector for Construction.

'There are still a small number of employers or contractors who continue to put their own and other people's health and safety at risk. This is unacceptable. I want to make it clear to these operators that we will not hesitate to take action where standards of health and safety are endangering workers lives and livelihoods', he added.

For the period 2008/09, there were 53 deaths in construction and 11,264 injuries. In 2009, inspectors visited 1,759 sites, 2,145 contractors and issued 491 enforcement notices during a month-long initiative.
6 April 2010

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