Drive to curb site deaths

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CONSTRUCTION sites across the region are being put under the safety spotlight as part of an intensive inspection initiative aimed at reducing death, injury and ill health.

Inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive will be visiting sites in the county where refurbishment or repair work is being carried out.

The safety checks are part of a month-long drive across Great Britain to improve standards in one of the country’s most dangerous industries.

The primary focus will be on high-risk activity including working at height and ‘good order’, such as ensuring sites are clean and tidy with clear access routes.

Attention will also be paid to structural stability, fire safety issues and asbestos.

Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of deaths and major injuries in the construction sector in Great Britain, with more than five incidents recorded every day.

The purpose of the initiative is to remind those working in construction that poor standards are unacceptable, and could result in enforcement action.

During 2010/11, 117 serious injuries were reported in the construction industry in Greater Manchester. There were seven deaths and 308 serious injuries across the North West as a whole.

Neil Jamieson, HSE Principal Inspector for Construction, said: “The refurbishment sector continues to be the most risky for construction workers, but small changes to working practices can make all the difference.

“Poor management of risks in this industry is unacceptable, and even the smallest of firms should have a culture which allows workers to raise issues without fear of reprisal.

“As we have demonstrated in the past, we will take strong action if we find evidence that workers are being unnecessarily put at risk.”

Further information about safe-working in construction can be found online at www.hse.gov.uk/construction