HSE safety drive suggests standards are slipping

During a recent blitz of refurbishment projects, HSE inspectors took enforcement action at one in four sites. This compares to a similar initiative early last year when one in five sites received an enforcement notice, suggesting that standards are deteriorating.


In September 2013 the HSE undertook inspections at sites where refurbishment work was taking place. Inspectors made 2,607 unannounced visits and uncovered poor or dangerous practice at nearly half of them.

Inspectors found that basic safety standards were not being met on 1,105 building sites. At 644 of them the practices were so poor that enforcement action was taken. A total of 539 prohibition notices stopping dangerous work immediately were served, along with 414 improvement notices requiring duty holders to raise standards.

The most common failings were related to work at height and exposure to harmful dust.