School building work safety checks

31 Jul 2013

A new safety initiative is targeting construction work taking place at schools, universities and student accommodation in the North West over the summer holidays.

During the next two weeks, inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will be visiting sites in the region after figures showed that construction workers are nearly four times more likely to be killed at work than the average worker.

A total of 39 people lost their lives while working in the industry in 2012/13 despite the sector only employing around 5% of British workers.

Inspectors will be making unannounced visits to make sure work is being carried out safely, paying close attention to height work, asbestos issues, and the general state of sites and facilities for workers.

They have the power to issue enforcement notices if sites fall below the minimum legal standards for health and safety.

Neil Jamieson, HSE principal inspector for construction, said: "Safety has to be the top priority on any construction site and it's simply not worth taking risks to try and finish jobs early. The death rate for construction workers is four times the national average, and employers should be doing all they can to tackle this issue."

Copyright Press Association 2013

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