Lawyer Urges More Improvements As One in five Construction Sites Fail Safety Checks

'More Must Be Done' Plea To Businesses Following HSE Inspections

05.04.2012


A leading workplace injury lawyer is urging construction firms to do more to improve safety and protect their workers after it was revealed that one in five sites failed in a recent inspection campaign.

There were 50 fatalities in the construction industry last year (2010-11) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recently carried out a nationwide initiative to inspect sites across the country, visiting 3237 workplaces and 4080 contractors.

Their findings included:

  • 870 enforcement notices issued,
  • 603 instances work forced to stop immediately
  • 581 sites found to have practices that put workers at risk.

David Urpeth, Head of Workplace Injury and Illness at law firm Irwin Mitchell, said: “The fact that more than 600 sites across the country were forced to stop work immediately because of safety issues is staggering.

“More simply must be done to protect workers from unsafe workplaces. Although it is encouraging that the overall figures are improving year on year, all too often we see people who have being seriously injured at work, changing their life forever. We have repeatedly called for improvements to standards and will continue to do so until businesses stop putting their employees’ lives at risk.”

HSE Inspectors targeted places where refurbishment or repair work was being carried out as part of an annual, month-long scheme to try to reduce the risk of death and injury.  Inspectors were especially keen on higher-risk activities such as working at height and making sure access routes are clear.

Urpeth commented: “Falls from height continue to be one of the most common causes of deaths and serious injury and accounted for around half of the enforcement notices given out.  There are strict guidelines in place to help protect employees and companies must ensure they are following them to try to prevent injury on their construction sites.”