Safety clampdown will target London sites first in bid to tackle poor safety standards

Construction sites across the country are being targeted by the Health and Safety Executive through a series of spot-check inspection.

Around 1,500 sites will receive visits from the safety body in March, in a bid to tackle poor safety standards.

The HSE announced today it would be concentrating on London sites this week, to ensure site operators are not putting their workers, or the public, at risk of death or injury.

Eleven workers died, and a further 1,600 suffered major injuries requiring three or more days off work, in the construction sector in London during 2007/08. One member of the public was also killed in the same period, and 36 were injured as a result of incidents.

HSE’s chief inspector of construction Stephen Williams said: “While workers in the refurbishment sector continue to be injured and killed, HSE will continue to target the contractors and principal contractors on those sites who flout health and safety law and come down hard on them where necessary”.

During the inspection initiative, HSE inspectors will be looking at whether:

  • Jobs that involve working at height have been identified and properly planned to ensure that appropriate precautions are in place
  • Equipment is correctly installed and assembled, inspected and maintained and used properly
  • Sites are well organised, to avoid trips and falls
  • Walkways and stairs are free from obstruction;
  • Work areas are clear of unnecessary materials and waste
  • The risks associated with exposure to asbestos are managed correctly and carried out in accordance with the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 where applicable
  • The work force is made aware of risk control measures.

More information on the inspections is available from the HSE website.