UCATT calls for more inspections to protect workers

Tim Lezard

HSEUCATT is calling for more construction inspections in Wales and South West England after the Health and Safety Executive revealed that one in three sites they recently visited had major safety failings.

The HSE inspected 224 sites in Wales and found that 69 did not meet minimum legal standard and as a result 70 enforcement notices were issued.

In the South West, 215 sites in Somerset, Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire were visited. Of these 61, were found to have significant failings and 40 enforcement notices were issued. Some 27 sites were considered to be so dangerous that prohibition notices stopping work immediately were issued.

Nick Blundell, Regional Secretary of UCATT’s Wales and South West Region, said: “The initiative by the HSE is welcome but this is a tiny number of the construction projects currently being undertaken in the region. How many more sites are flouting safety laws?”

The most recent figures available for the year 2011/12 show that deaths in the South West doubled from 3 to 6. In Wales in 2011/12 there were a total of two deaths.

Mr Blundell added: “The nature of construction means that sites are starting and finishing all the time. Unless the number of inspections is dramatically increased throughout the year construction workers will continue to be placed in danger by employers who seem determined to ignore safety laws.”

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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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