South Yorkshire construction sites to get unannounced visits

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Construction sites across South Yorkshire will receive unannounced visit by health and safety inspectors over the next month in a bid to reduce deaths, injuries and ill health.

During a month-long campaign, launched today, Health and Safety Executive inspectors will be turning up on sites unannounced to make sure high-risk activities, including working with asbestos, are managed properly.

If unacceptable standards are found, inspectors will take immediate enforcement action, including halting any potentially-dangerous activities.

The Health and Safety Executive is urging the industry to ‘think health’ as an estimated 7,000 people working in construction in Yorkshire and Humber last year are believed to have been suffering from ill health caused by their work.

HSE Construction Inspector Dave Bradley said: “The industry has made much progress in reducing the number of people killed and injured in its activities, but for every fatal incident, about 100 construction workers die from a work-related cancer.

“A shorter inspection initiative focusing on health risks for construction workers in June saw enforcement action taken at one in six of hundreds of sites visited nationwide.

“Time and again we find smaller contractors working on refurbishment and repair work failing to protect their workers through a lack of awareness and poor control of risks. This isn’t acceptable - it costs lives, and we will take strong and robust action where we find poor practice and risky behaviour.

“Through campaigns like this we aim to ensure contractors take all risks to their workers seriously, and not just focus on immediate safety implications. They need to put in place practical measures to keep workers safe and well.”