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HSE clamps down on dangerous sites

A third of Scottish sites ignoring health and safety

The HSE has warned that Scottish construction sites must drastically improve their safety measures.

“Nearly one in three construction refurbishment sites inspected put the lives of workers at risk”, said Jeanette Reuben, The Health and Safety Executive’s head of construction in Scotland.

The HSE carried out over 1,500 inspections throughout Great Britain as part of its rolling inspection programme, resulting in enforcement action on 426 occasions in just two months.

In the west of Scotland, 67 sites and 74 companies were visited resulting in 19 Prohibition Notices being served and work being halted immediately until corrective action was taken.

“We stopped work on site immediately during 26 inspections because we felt there was a real possibility that life would be lost or ruined through serious injury,” said Reuben. “It is completely unacceptable that so many lives have been put at risk. Our inspectors were appalled at the apparent willingness to ignore basic safety precautions.

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

HSE principal inspector of construction Bernard Warden added: “Our preferred approach would always be to work with the industry to get things right up front and avoid injury and incidents of ill-health, but HSE Inspectors will take strong enforcement action whenever they encounter poor standards during site inspections and this could well include reporting companies and individuals to the procurator Fiscal.”