HSE inspector Philip White said plant, vehicles and lifting operations accounted for 30% of fatalities in construction and are the cause of a significant proportion of the fatal and serious injuries in the East and South-east.
He said: "We will seek to identify poor standards and may take formal enforcement action, including prosecution, where the law is flouted and persons are put at risk. All parties involved in construction projects must improve their performance if the industry is to meet the Revitalising Health and Safety targets that it has set itself."
Revitalising Health and Safety is a government and HSC initiative, set up in 2000 to set targets for cutting work-related deaths and injury. Its goal is to reduce the incidence rate of fatalities and major injuries 40% by 2004/5.
The spot checks are a continuation of the HSE's national rolling programme of site visits planned by the construction division.