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The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has warned firms working on refurbishment projects to ensure they use the correct equipment to keep their employees safe.

Michael Brown, HM inspector of health and safety, made the comment after spot checks on 30 sites in Newcastle led to work on five of them being stopped for safety reasons.

The body particularly examined those working at height, the organisation of sites and whether proper asbestos checks had been carried out.

Commenting on the findings, Mr Brown suggested the use of fall arrest equipment and other personal protective devices could be useful for firms in the industry.

'Our advice to those who work in the refurbishment sector is to plan work, use competent workers and if working at height use the right equipment and use it safely,' he explained.

The HSE's warning for construction businesses has come after it also announced that it is planning similar checks on refurbishment sites in Ipswich and the surrounding area on February 28th.

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