Construction deaths alert

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CONSTRUCTION sites across South Yorkshire will be visited by Health and Safety Executive inspectors over the next three weeks in a bid to reduce the number of people killed and injured at work.

Inspectors will be focusing on those sites carrying out refurbishment and maintenance work, where the Health and Safety Executive says nearly three quarters of all construction site fatalities occur.

Between April 2009 and March last year, nearly 250 workers were seriously injured while working on refurbishment, repair and maintenance activities across South Yorkshire.

Over the same period two men, from Barnsley and Doncaster, were fatally injured while working at heights.

As part of the unannounced visits inspectors will ensure sites are managing risks properly, including exposure to asbestos.

Last year inspectors visited more than 150 sites and 180 contractors in a four-week campaign in Yorkshire and the Humber, which led to 34 Prohibition Notices being issued stopping people from working. A further 50 Improvement Notices were also served.

David Redman, Principal Inspector for Construction for the Health and Safety Executive in South Yorkshire, said: “Poor control of risks in this industry is unacceptable, especially when many of the incidents can be avoided through simple precautions.

“As we have demonstrated in the past, we will take strong action if we find evidence workers are being unnecessarily put at risk.