Clampdown on construction safety failures

Building sites in Herts and Beds are under the spotlight by a safety watchdog in an effort to clamp down on deaths and injuries in the construction industry.

Inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive will be visiting sites where refurbishment or repair works are being carried out until March 16.

The visits are part of a national month-long initiative to reduce deaths and injuries in what the executive described as one of the most dangerous industries in the UK. In 2010 to 2011, 50 construction workers were killed and 2,298 seriously injured.

The primary focus of inspectors will be on high-risk activities such as working at height and reducing hazards.

Norman Macritchie, HSE principal inspector for construction in Beds, Herts and Cambs, said a lack of precautions is putting lives at risk, while those not meeting safety standards could be subject to enforcement orders.

“The refurbishment sector continues to be the most risky for construction workers. All too often straightforward practical precautions are not considered and workers are put at risk. In many cases simple changes to working practices can make all the difference.

“Poor management of risks in this industry is unacceptable. As we have demonstrated in the past, we will take strong action if we find evidence that workers are being unnecessarily put at risk.”