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HSE to tackle poor refurbishment sites

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has embarked on a campaign designed to eradicate poor health and safety provision on refurbishment sites throughout the UK.


From Monday February 4, HSE inspectors will spend a month examining 1000 sites throughout the UK to see whether contractors are paying attention to working at height and maintaining good site order.


Contractors can expect to face harsh enforcement action if their sites are found to be deficient in good health and safety practice, the HSE warned.


The health and safety watchdog conducted a similar round of inspections last year and discovered poor health and safety practice standards on a large number of refurbishment sites. Work had to be stopped on a third.


Last year, 77 workers died on UK construction sites. Over half of these (39 per cent) were in the refurbishment sector where the number of deaths rose by 61 per cent, the HSE said. 


Stephen Williams, HSE chief construction inspector, said: “It is totally unacceptable that so many lives have been lost and continue to be put at risk on construction sites, particularly within the refurbishment sector.


“We will continue to take firm action against rogue elements who ignore safety precautions. Sites where health and safety is taken seriously have nothing to fear, but we will root out those that put lives at risk.”