Nearly a fifth of construction sites have seen enforcement notices served after failing safety checks in the Health and Safety Executive’s month-long inspection drive.
HSE inspectors visited 2,363 sites where refurbishment or repair work was being carried out by 2,976 contractors.
631 enforcement notices were served across 433 sites for poor practices that could put workers at risk, with 451 notices ordering that work stop immediately until the situation was put right.
HSE chief inspector of construction Philip White said: “This initiative has once again shown us that the majority of construction employers do take their responsibilities to their workers seriously.
“However, our inspectors also encountered numerous examples of poor practice, from lack of edge protection on stairwells and scaffolding to unsafe storage of flammable materials and inadequate personal protective equipment. None of these are acceptable on a modern construction site.
“HSE will not hesitate to use its enforcement powers against reckless employers. It is they who continue to make construction one of the most dangerous industries in which to work.”
The drive, between 18 February and 15 March, saw inspectors making unannounced visits to construction sites to ensure high-risk activity was being managed correctly.