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Around a third of construction sites in the UK are putting the lives of workers at risk, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The body made the comment after it stopped work on around 300 refurbishment sites during recent spot checks due to poor health and safety standards in the workplaces.

As part of the checks, the HSE considered whether measures including personal protective equipment (PPE) were properly installed and used on construction sites in the UK, as well as if sites were well organised.

Commenting on the findings, HSE chief executive Geoffrey Podger said the body 'will not tolerate negligence or poor safety standards on construction sites'.

He added: 'It is totally unacceptable that so many lives have been put at risk and we will take all action necessary to protect workers, including closing sites and prosecuting those responsible.

Calls for construction workers to use safety equipment and follow regulations have come after research by MSI Reports found that the PPE market in the UK has grown by 13 per cent in the past five years.

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