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HSE shut down one in five sites in West Midlands

A month-long Health and Safety Executive campaign resulted in work being stopped at around one in five construction sites in the West Midlands.

HSE inspectors visited 93 sites involving 95 contractors during the recent safety initiative and handed out 17 prohibition notices on 17 sites. Incomplete scaffolds being used, missing guard rails, large gaps in scaffolding and no edge protection on roofworks were among the activities cited.

A total of 509 workers were injured in the construction industry in the West Midlands in 2008/09 while figures released recently for 2009/10 showed that 41 workers were killed in the sector across the UK.

Refurbishments or roofing work was the focus of the HSE campaign, with inspectors making unannounced visits to a number of sites across the county.

HSE construction inspector Mike Ford said: “Generally, construction sites in the area are well supervised. But there were a few instances where sites were let down by basic flaws, most notably concerning working at height.”