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Site safety needs to get better faster, says HSE

SITE SAFETY in the construction industry is improving too slowly, the Health & Safety Executive said last week, after publishing the results of its latest safety blitz.

'Inspectors are still finding failure to meet basic requirements on too many projects, ' said HSE chief inspector for construction Kevin Myers.

The FaTaL campaign focused on risks from falls, transport and lifting operations and hit 1,255 sites across the country over three weeks in June (NCE 1 July).

During the blitz 240 prohibition notices were served to halt poorly controlled construction sites and 74 improvement notices were served.

Prohibition notices force contractors to shut down sites until inspectors are satisfied that serious safety risks are eliminated. Improvement notices order contractors to cut out risky practice.

'We are going to continue this blitz and follow up on those sites that performed poorly. We will be looking for measured long term improvement, ' said HSE inspector Norman Macritchie.

Risks of falls from height attracted 184 prohibition notices - the most served. These are statistically the industry's single biggest killer.

Poor standards of scaffolding, unguarded roof edges and risk of internal falls were cited as major problems.

On average the worst performing areas were Scotland and the North West where 63 sites out of 244 received prohibition notices.

Best was London with 530 sites visited and 68 notices served.

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