MEL Health and Safety Consultants

HSE Warns Construction Workers

Work at Height a Cause for Concern

The Head of Construction for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has revealed this week that nearly a third of construction refurbishment sites inspected put the lives of workers at risk.


Stephen Williams said that this alarming figure emerged after the HSE carried out over 1500 inspections as part of its rolling programme, resulting in enforcement action on 426 occasions in just two months.


He explained: “We stopped work on site immediately during 244 inspections because we felt there was a real possibility that life would be lost or ruined through serious injury. It is completely unacceptable that so many lives have been put at risk.”


Mr Williams said that the HSE inspectors were appalled at the apparent willingness to ignore basic safety precautions.


Work at height remains the biggest concern. Over half of the enforcement action taken during this inspection initiative was against dangerous work at height, which last year led to the death of 23 workers.


“My advice to those who work in the refurbishment sector,” Mr Williams continued, “is to plan work, use competent workers and, if working at height, use the right equipment and use it safely.”


The simple fact is, he went on, despite knowing what they should be doing, too many people are prepared to allow bad practices to continue, even though last year 39 people died on refurbishment, repair and maintenance sites.