One in four London construction sites visited by inspectors during a month-long initiative failed health and safety checks
One in four London construction sites visited by inspectors during a month-long initiative failed health and safety checks.
The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) said it had visited more than 400 sites where repair or refurbishment was taking place as part of a national clampdown aimed at reducing death, injury and ill health.
The building sector features consistently in the top three high-risk industries for deaths and injuries.
A total of 93 of the 401 sites failed to meet the minimum legal standards. Specific work activities on some of the sites were deemed to be so dangerous that immediate prohibition notices were served by inspectors, halting work until standards were raised.
The inspections came as part of a nation-wide crackdown, which resulted in nearly one in five construction sites visited across Britain subject to enforcement action.
Andy Beal, a principal inspector for construction in London and co-ordinator of the initiative, said: “It’s good news that the majority of the construction sites we visited were obeying the law but sadly a sizeable minority sites are letting down the rest of the industry.
“Failures to properly protect workers during construction activities at height, inadequate site management, exposure to dangerous types of dust and inadequate washing facilities were among the dangers and low standards we found on some sites.
“The whole purpose of carrying out these spot checks is to raise awareness of the dangers and reduce the number of construction workers being killed or seriously injured at work.”
As well as 114 prohibition notices, inspectors also served 22 improvement notices, which required particular improvements to be made to working practices.
Of the total visits, 110 were to look specifically at the construction of domestic basements in three target boroughs - Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea, and Hammersmith & Fulham.
During 2011/12, four workers were killed while working at construction sites in London and a further 471 were seriously injured. Nationally, there were 49 deaths and more than 2,800 major injuries.