The Health and Safety Executive has launched a blitz on sites this month as part of a Europe-wide initiative to reduce the number of fatalities and serious injuries.
The campaign will focus on the causes of fatal accidents and examine the issues of falls, transport and lifting of heavy loads. Inspectors will check that proper assessments of risks have been carried out and that there is a clear chain of command for making decisions.

Kevin Myers, the HSE's chief construction inspector, launched the programme on Monday at Ashburton Grove in north London, where Arsenal Football Club are building a stadium.

He said four construction workers had been killed in the past two months from falls or after being hit by a vehicle or a load. He added that none would have occurred if more effective safety procedures had been in place.

Myers said: "HSE inspectors will visit construction sites to help reduce the unacceptable toll of construction deaths."

Health and safety commission member Hugh Robertson said the construction industry was a priority area. He said: "The industry contributes a major share of fatalities and serious injuries in workplaces because of its size and its poor health and safety performance." He said the industry had to take a lead in cutting the risks to employees.

There were 73 deaths in the building industry in the year to March, according to provisional figures.

  • Contractor J Reddington, of Enfield, north-east London, was fined £25,000 at the Old Bailey after pleading guilty to breaching lifting safety regulations. Warsame Yusaf was seriously injured in August 2002 at a site in Richmond, Surrey, when a lifting sling broke away from an excavator and a load of steel sheet piles fell on him.