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Wed May 29 2024

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Safety blitz exposes high failure rate

10 Jul 12 A blitz on 22 refurbishment construction sites in northeast London last week found that nearly half failed to meet health and safety standards.

Typical of the dodgy scaffolding that HSE inspectors found
Typical of the dodgy scaffolding that HSE inspectors found

A team of inspectors from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) spent 3 July visiting sites in the London Borough of Haringey.

Enforcement action had to be taken at nine of the 22 sites, with six prohibition notices served requiring dangerous practices to stop immediately, and six improvement notices served requiring safety improvements to be made. One site was completely closed down due to exceptionally hazardous conditions.

Five of the prohibition notices served related to unsafe work at height. Training and welfare concerns accounted for the improvement notices.

Mike Williams, principal inspector for HSE's construction division in North and East London said: "Construction remains one of Britain's most dangerous industries and fatal incidents across London have shown how devastating they can be. We are very concerned at the number of small sites that are failing to take the most basic precautions to protect workers and members of the public.

“Good health and safety on construction sites is a legal requirement and we will continue to clamp down on dangerous practices or poor standards until the message gets through.

"Contractors must properly plan their work and protect their workers from risks such as falls from height or structures collapsing."

Common issues found during the inspections were:

  • Basic precautions were missing, such as edge protection to prevent falls from height
  • Work was not properly planned
  • Poorly trained site managers
  • Inadequate welfare facilities for workers.

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