Prohibition Notices and Improvement Notices served on significant number of sites visited… An inspection by the HSE of construction projects in the North East London area has revealed that almost half of the sites visited didn’t have the necessary health and safety procedures in place.
The day-long inspection in early July conducted by a small team of health and safety experts visited 22 construction sites located in the North Hackney and South Tottenham areas of the city.
As a result of the visits, a total of six Prohibition Notices were served which meant that dangerous working practices were in evidence and had to be stopped. Six Improvement Notices were also issued requiring the construction projects to adapt their working methods to ensure a greater degree of safety. One site even had to be completely shut down due to exceedingly dangerous working conditions.
The inspections also revealed that the majority of the Prohibition Notices (5 out of 6) were issued due to unsafe conditions for working at heights. The improvement notices mainly related to training and welfare issues.
The Principal Inspector of the HSE team Mike Williams commented on his team’s findings:
“Construction remains one of Britain’s most dangerous industries and fatal incidents across London have shown how devastating they can be.
“We are very concerned at the number of small sites that are failing to take the most basic precautions to protect workers and members of the public. Good health and safety on construction sites is a legal requirement and we will continue to clamp down on dangerous practices or poor standards until the message gets through.
“Contractors must properly plan their work and protect their workers from risks such as falls from height or structures collapsing.”
The most frequent safety concerns that were raised during the inspections included a lack of planning and training, insufficient fall prevention facilities and inadequate welfare services for workers.
The HSE recently released a report stating there were 49 fatal injuries sustained by construction workers in the UK in 2011/2012 compared with 50 deaths in 2010/11, as the sector continues to be one of the most dangerous to work in.