Newcastle Site Inspections Raises Workplace Safety Fears

Expert Calls For Businesses To Improve

08.03.2011

The safety standards on one in four construction sites in Newcastle have been called into question after a series of inspections by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Nine of the 37 refurbishment project sites in the city visited by experts during February were found to be below par when it came to safety, with inspectors being forced to issue formal enforcement notices.

In total, eight prohibition and six improvement notices were issued, with seven of them relating to unsafe working at height.

Commenting on the findings, David Urpeth, an accident at work specialist at Irwin Mitchell, said it was vital that construction firms improve their act when it comes to health and safety in the workplace.

He explained: “The number of people seriously injured or killed in incidents at work across all sectors is a major concern, but the construction industry is an area where risks are particularly high.

“As such, it is very disappointing to see that so many companies are simply not doing enough to ensure their staff are able to go to work and return home safely at the end of the day.

“It is particularly worrying that several notices were linked to the risks of falls from height, as they can have major consequences from which many workers often never fully recover.

“This research should be a wake-up call to firms, not just in Newcastle but across the UK, that lessons have to be learnt and standards must improve if the mistakes of the past are to be avoided in the future.”