The Health and Safety Executive stopped work on 20 sites in Poole and Bournemouth during a two-day blitz last week.
Twelve HSE inspectors arrived unannounced at 60 sites to check safety procedures.

Work was stopped at a third of the sites where inspectors found serious failings. The problems included inadequate safeguards for people working at height, people working with electrical equipment without proper protection, and a lack of personal facilities.

HSE inspector Phil Gifford said Poole and Bournemouth were chosen because of concerns about a lack of compliance with basic requirements in these areas.

Gifford said: "But it is not a wholly gloomy picture. There were a few sites where contractors had put thought and effort into achieving adequate safety standards."

He added that problem sites will be revisited to keep up the pressure.

  • A man was killed and two others injured when two engineering trains collided near Belfast on Sunday.

    Terence Lowry, 39, from Doncaster, was killed when one of the trains pulling a wagon collided into the back of a stationary train.

    Mowlem, which won the £16m contract last year to replace 24 km of track between Bangor and Belfast, was operating the trains.