Recent Heath and Safety Executive crackdown saw enforcement action taken at 85 of the 560 sites visited


One in six construction sites failed health inspections during a recent crackdown by the Health & Safety Executive.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said today that during a concentrated two-week period of inspections enforcement action was taken at 85 of 560 sites visited - or around one in six.

The HSE said its inspectors demanded improvements, and in some cases put an immediate stop to work activities, where they fell short of expected standards.

It said that “conditions were so poor” on some sites that the work had to be stopped on at least 13 occasions.

The HSE said the inspections focused on significant health risk issues, such as respiratory risks from dusts containing silica materials, exposure to other hazardous substances such as cement and lead paint, manual handling, noise and vibration. 

HSE chief inspector Heather Bryant, said:  “We recognise the construction sector’s progress in reducing the number of people killed and injured by its activities.

“But it is clear from these figures that there is an unacceptable toll of ill-health and fatal disease in the industry.

“So, to encourage the industry to treat health issues in the same way as safety, HSE’s inspectors will consolidate the efforts of this initiative throughout the rest of the year by looking at the prevention and control of health risks in construction, alongside their continued assessment of the management of safety risk issues.”