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A Third of Construction Sites in the South West Fail Health and Safety Checks

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found during a month long inspection initiative that construction sites in Wiltshire, Somerset, Avon and Gloucestershire failed to pass health and safety checks.

Inspectors visited the areas as part of a national Health and Safety Executive (HSE) clampdown aimed at reducing death, injury and ill health.

A total of 61 of the 215 sites inspected were found to have significant failings and 40 enforcement notices were issued as a result.

Specific work activities on some of the sites were deemed so dangerous that 27 Prohibition Notices were served by inspectors, immediately halting further work until standards had been improved.

The inspectors visited sites where refurbishment or repair work was taking place, to support a drive to improve standards in one of Britain’s most dangerous industries.

They made unannounced visits to ensure companies are managing high-risk activity, such as working at height. They also checked for general good order, assessed welfare facilities and checked whether Personal Protective Equipment, such as head protection, was being used appropriately.

During 2011/12, three workers were killed while working in construction across the four counties, and a further 131 were seriously injured.

In Swindon there was one fatality and eight injuries, and in Wiltshire 27 injuries in that time.

Nationally, there were 49 deaths and more than 2,800 major injuries.

The purpose of the initiative is to remind those working in the industry that poor standards are unacceptable and could result in enforcement action.

Andrew Kingscott, HSE Principal Inspector for the Somerset, Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Construction Division, said: “It is good news that the majority of the construction sites we visited were obeying the law and making the effort to manage safety, but sadly some sites are letting down the rest of the industry.

“Poorly erected scaffolding, exposure to dangerous types of dust, and inadequate washing facilities were among the poor standards we found on some sites.

“I hope by carrying out these spot checks we will help to raise awareness of the dangers and reduce the number of construction workers being killed or seriously injured at work.”

This highlights the importance of making sure that your construction site is meeting the expected standard required. If you’re looking to update your health and safety training or simply just want to find out more information or what courses are available contact one of our team today on 0800 0149016.