Initiative to stop dangerous practices and raise awareness of risks will begin on 3 March

The Health and Safety Executive has announced a crackdown on construction sites in London.

HSE inspectors will launch an intensive inspection initiative aimed at stopping dangerous practices on building sites London.

The HSE said it wanted to raise awareness of construction site risks and prevent unnecessary injuries and deaths.

The inspection initiative will begin on 3 March, and will focus on refurbishment or roofing work. Inspectors will make unannounced visits to ensure that sites are managing work at height safely and are in good order.

Richard Boland, construction operations manager for HSE London said: “While some sectors of the industry have made real improvements in recent years, we are really concerned about standards in the refurbishment sector, particularly on small projects.

“If we find poor practice that is putting the lives of workers and, in some cases the public, at risk we will take action; this could include closing sites and prosecuting those responsible."

During 2008/09, 11 people died and 1,553 were injured in the London area while working in construction.

Last year inspectors visited 1,759 sites and 2,145 contractors UK wide and were forced to issue more than 270 prohibition notices to stop dangerous work - much of it relating to working from height.