Site safety enforced in the UK

25 March 2013

The UK government’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has stepped up efforts to ensure construction sites meet national standards when it comes to site safety.

The HSE checked one in five construction sites, or 2363 sites, in Britain between 18 February and 15 March, taking enforcement action where required.

The HSE met with 2976 contractors, served 631 enforcement notices were served across 433 sites for poor practices that could put workers at risk, and made 451 notices ordering that work stop immediately until the situation was put right.

Philip White, HSE’s chief inspector of construction, said, “This initiative has once again shown us that the majority of construction employers do take their responsibilities to their workers seriously.

“However, our inspectors also encountered numerous examples of poor practice, from lack of edge protection on stairwells and scaffolding to unsafe storage of flammable materials and inadequate personal protective equipment. None of these are acceptable on a modern construction site.

“HSE will not hesitate to use its enforcement powers against reckless employers. It is they who continue to make construction one of the most dangerous industries in which to work.”

During 2011/12 49 workers were killed while working in construction and 2884 major injuries were reported.

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