HSE reveal scale of negligence in refurb sector as firm is fined £175,000

Almost one in three construction refurbishment sites is putting its workers’ lives at risk according to The Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The Executive, which carried out 1500 visits as part of its rolling inspection programme, said it had resorted to enforcement action on 426 occasions within two months.

Work was stopped immediately at more than 200 sites because inspectors thought there was a real possibility of death or serious injury.

HSE head of construction Stephen Williams said: “It is completely unacceptable that so many lives have been put at risk. Our inspectors were appalled at the apparent willingness to ignore basic safety precautions.

“The simple fact is that despite knowing what they should be doing, too many people are prepared to allow bad practices to continue, even though last year 39 people died on refurbishment, repair and maintenance sites.”

The news comes as construction company Rokbuild was fined £175,000 plus £26,733 costs following a 2004 dumper accident that left a worker paralysed.

The judge ruled that Rokbuild had failed to assess the competence of their sub contractor or to arrange adequate supervision.

RB Contractors of Winchester, Hants were also fined £5,000 plus £1,000 costs at the same hearing.