The construction industry is being reminded to enforce basic health and safety protocol after the inspection, carried out by the health and safety executive inspectors, over a month, revealed that 40% of the sites were failing to properly protect its workers, potentially leaving them open to accident at work compensation claims.
One in five of the sites required formal enforcement action because they were so bad.
1748 sites were visited and somewhere in the region of 700 of these sites revealed unacceptable conditions and dangerous practice.
313 prohibition notices were issued alongside 235 improvement notices.
These spot checks put health risks in focus, showing 35% of the notices served were concerning asbestos, dust control failings, insufficient welfare facilities and noise and vibration.
In regard to asbestos and dust control failings, it should be recognized that the effects of uncontrolled exposure to asbestos and silica, both of which are deadly and exposure to these dusts can be irreversible.
Basic safety measures can be taken to avoid this, protective equipment and dust suppression methods must be implemented in order to protect the future health of workers. Even though the effects of dust exposure are not visible immediately it is important to remember that these can affect workers in the future, when it is too late.
However the most common issue, yet again, involved sites and employees working at height. 42% of the enforcement notices issued, were for sites that failed to provide even basic safety measures for employees working at height.
On over 200 occasions inspectors had to order work to be stopped immediately because it was being carried out too dangerously, avoiding all basic health and safety measures.
These findings indicate that a significant part of the industry is “seriously failing” its workers.