Health and Safety Executive blitz on 2,014 construction sites focused on refurbishment and roofing work

Nearly one in four construction sites failed safety checks during a March inspection blitz.

The Health and Safety Executive visited 2,414 contractors at 2,014 construction sites across the UK during March. The unannounced visits focused on refurbishment and roofing work after a series of deaths owing to falls from height.

A total 691 enforcement notices were issued at 470 sites, 359 of which were orders to stop work immediately, owing to unsafe work at height or sites lacking “good order”.

Philip White, the HSE's chief inspector for construction, said: “There are still a small number of employers or contractors who continue to put their own and other people's health and safety at risk. This is unacceptable. I want to make it clear to these operators that we will not hesitate to take action where standards of health and safety are endangering workers lives and livelihoods.”

From April 2008 to the end of March 2009 there were 53 deaths in construction and 11,264 injuries.