Health & Safety Executive HSEA staggering four out of ten small construction sites failed safety spot-checks during an UK HSE campaign last month.

Inspectors said “unacceptable conditions and dangerous practices were found at nearly half of the 1,748 repair and refurbishment sites visited.”

Conditions on one in five sites were so poor that formal enforcement action was required.

The focus of the initiative was on health risks and 35% of the notices served were for issues such as management of asbestos, failure to control exposure to harmful dusts, noise and vibration, and manual handling.

The actual statistics were as follows:

  • Poor standards/dangerous practices at 40% of sites visited (691 of 1748)
  • On 360 (one in five) sites, practices so poor that enforcement action needed.
  • 313 prohibition notices issued
  • 235 improvement notices issued
  • The most common issues identified related to work at height and falls (42%), failure to control dust (12%), insufficient welfare (12%) and asbestos (10%).
  • In total 35% of notices were served for health issues (asbestos, dust, noise, vibration, welfare, manual handling).