HSE targets summer break building sites

Simon Donohue

A safety campaign will target workers on site at school, university and student accommodation construction projects during the summer holidays.

Inspectors from the Health & Safety Executive will visit sites across the North West during the next two weeks after the latest figures revealed construction workers are nearly four times as likely to be killed at work compared to 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.

HSE inspectors are expecting to see an increase in construction work during the summer break while schools and universities are closed, and will be making unannounced visits to sites to make sure work is being carried out safely.

They will be paying particular attention to work taking place at height, asbestos issues, the general state of sites and the welfare facilities for workers.

Neil Jamieson, HSE principal inspector for construction, said: "There's likely to be lots of work taking place at schools, universities and student accommodation during the summer break but there's a danger lives could be put at risk if firms are rushing to complete work in time for the start of the autumn term.

"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.

"Hopefully the majority of the sites we visit will have high safety standards but we won't hesitate to take action if we find workers are being put in danger."

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