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  3. Half of all building sites breach health and safety, says HSE

A targeted initiative by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has found that there are serious breaches at almost half of all UK building sites.


The month long drive by the HSE inspectors has so far visited 1,000 repair and refurbishment sites across the country.


As well as just under 50% of all sites being issued with contravention notice, a smaller number were also handed enforcement notices.


A range of issues were discovered, including a dangerous scaffold set up which had missing guard rails, scaffold boards and toe boards. Intervening immediately due to the breadth of the issue, inspectors also noticed nothing across the scaffold was tied in anywhere.


Other issues found on other sites included a lack of adequate firefighting equipment, unsecured machinery and an exposed lift shaft. Inspectors were also looking to see that adequate personal protective clothing (PPE) was being worn.


Calling for greater funding for such inspection initiatives, the general manager of construction union UCATT, Steve Murphy, said:


“These figures demonstrate the dangers faced by construction workers on a daily basis. Failure to ensure a sites safety could lead to the death or injury of a worker.


“While these initiatives by the HSE are very welcome, inspectors are only visiting a small percentage of all the construction sites in the country.”


As well as calling for the HSE to be given greater resources, Murphy went on to say that these sort of inspections should be happening in every area of the country at all times of the year.


The drive continues for another week, until Friday, September 27.

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