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HSE to blitz north-east sites

Construction firms carrying out refurbishment projects in the north-east are being targeted by the Health and Safety Executive over the next fortnight in a crack down on dangerous working practices.

The blitz will focus on sites in Newcastle and Teeside.

It follows the announcement of spot checks being undertaken in the north west region earlier this month.

HSE inspector Jonathan Wills said: "When we inspected sites in February our inspectors were appalled at the willingness to ignore basic safety precautions. We will not tolerate poor standards and will take appropriate enforcement action proactively as well as when an accident occurs.

"Our advice to those who work in the refurbishment sector is to plan work, use competent workers and if working at height use the right equipment and use it safely."

In a nationwide crackdown on the industry the HSE raided 1000 sites in February, a third of which they issued notices for work to halt.