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An inspector at the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has said that poor safety standards will not be accepted at sites where refurbishments are being carried out.

Jim Skilling said that this practice would not be tolerated.

This fact may prompt some firms to ensure their employees wear personal protection equipment while working on refurbishment projects.

Mr Skilling also said that recent inspections of refurbishment construction projects revealed a 'willingness to ignore basic safety precautions'.

The executive states that out of the 77 deaths that occurred within the construction sector during the course of 2007, 60 per cent occurred during refurbishment work.

Commenting on a range of new inspections that will take place in Newcastle, HSE inspector Michael Brown said that the executive has a 'clear message for all construction sites - we are watching you'.

'Working at height remains the biggest concern and is the single greatest cause of workplace fatalities, while slips and trips are the most common cause of serious injury,' he added.

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