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17Feb94 UK: NAO CALL FOR MORE SAFETY INSPECTORS - CONSTRUCTION SECTOR.

Public sector watchdog the National Audit Office has called for more inspectors to be drafted into the Health and Safety Executive's construction division.The call follows a study into efficiency at the HSE which shows that only 7 per cent of accidents on building sites are investigated.Prosecution levels were also attacked for varying wildly from region to region.In the London South region one in 35 site visits led to a prosecution compared with one in 219 in Wales, and one in 230 for the South-East.The study, Enforcing Health and Safety Legislation in the Workplace, stated: 'There were some concerns about inconsistencies between inspectors in the construction sector where some were said to take a firmer line than others on health and safety requirements.'HSE chiefs are planning to draft more inspectors into the construction arm from other areas of the organisation as part of an operational review due to be completed next month.Criteria for visiting worksites will be changed and more construction inspections are expected.Accidents bill. See page 5. CONSTRUCTION NEWS