by Tim Lezard One in five building sites are so dangerous for workers that immediate enforcement action was required, according to a new HSE survey. The HSE’s construction inspection programme also found 40% of sites were failing properly to protect wo …

building siteby Tim Lezard

One in five building sites are so dangerous for workers that immediate enforcement action was required, according to a new HSE survey.

The HSE’s construction inspection programme also found 40% of sites were failing properly to protect workers.

UCATT general secretary Steve Murphy said: “These findings are simply appalling. Time after time employers are putting workers in danger. The HSE inspections only touch a tiny fraction of construction sites and most construction workers never see an HSE inspector unless a major accident has occurred.

“The HSE are uncovering basic and straightforward safety breaches. It is imperative that far greater emphasis is applied to uncovering dangerous construction practices and prosecuting the guilty. Construction employers will never improve safety unless they fear being caught.”

While the inspection regime was particularly focused on health risks the most common failing was the failure to safely work at height. Last year, half of all fatal construction accidents were as a result of falls from heights.

The failure to manage health risks was also a significant factor with failings found concerning the management of asbestos, failure to prevent workers exposure to dust, noise and vibration and a lack of basic welfare facilities.

 


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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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