The Health and Safety Executive is targeting the sites of refurbishment projects in a month long crack down on safety

The HSE is conducting a raft of unannounced inspections between 18 February and 15 March to ensure firms are managing high-risk activity appropriately.

During 2011-12 49 workers were killed on construction sites and 2,884 major injuries were reported.

Philip White, chief inspector of construction at the HSE, said many deaths and injuries were the result of “avoidable incidents” and that the problem was particularly bad on refurbishment and repair sites.

He said: “In many cases simple changes to working practices can make all the difference, and can even save lives. Therefore if we find evidence that workers are being unnecessarily put at risk we will take strong action.

“We are determined to drive the message home that site safety and worker welfare cannot be compromised.”