The campaign will begin this month in a bid to “raise awareness of construction site risks and prevent unnecessary injuries and deaths”.
Inspectors will make unannounced visits to ensure that sites are managing work at height safely and are in good order, the HSE said.
London construction operations manager Richard Boland said: “While some sectors of the industry have made real improvements in recent years, we are really concerned about standards in the refurbishment sector, particularly on small projects.
“HSE does not think a lax attitude to health and safety in one of the more dangerous industries is acceptable, especially when many of the incidents are completely avoidable by taking simple actions and precautions.
“This is the third year running we have run initiatives like this and, after these latest inspections, we hope that we can report back that we have found good practice and safely operating sites.
“However, if we find poor practice that is putting the lives of workers and, in some cases the public, at risk we will take action; this could include closing sites and prosecuting those responsible.”
Last year inspectors visited 1,759 sites and 2,145 contractors around the UK. During the campaign the HSE issued more than 270 prohibition notices to stop dangerous work – much of it relating to working from height.