New purge to cut construction risks

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Construction sites in South Yorkshire were responsible for a third of the deaths and well over one in four of the injuries recorded at sites across South Yorkshire and the Humber during 2009/10, according to the Health and Safety Executive.

During a two month Construction Initiative purge, inspectors found 10 South Yorkshire sites so dangerous that that workers lives were being put at risk.

HSE Inspector Hazel Dobb, who co-ordinated the Construction Initiative in South Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “This is the fifth year of the inspection initiative and it is disappointing to find construction sites taking the same unnecessary risks with their workers’ lives.

“What is of most concern is that the over-riding failure concerned work at height – eight of the ten prohibition notices related this type of serious safety breach.

“Inspectors did report that on many sites, standards were generally higher and with better use of the right access solutions and tools for the job.

“However, despite these examples of good practice, which the industry can learn from, the fact that we found unsafe conditions on one in five sites is totally unacceptable.

“Companies have a responsibility to protect their workers, to help rid construction of its reputation as being one of Britain’s most dangerous industries.”