August 1, 2013 |

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) launched a new safety initiative on Monday 29 July, targeting construction work at schools, universities and student accommodation during the summer holidays.

It has been revealed that inspectors from the HSE will be visiting sites across the North West during the next two weeks following the recent release of figures, which indicated that construction workers are nearly four times as likely to be killed at work compared to the average worker.


According to statistics, a total of 39 people have died while working in the industry in 2012/13, despite the sector only employing approximately 5% of British workers.


HSE reports that its inspectors are expecting to see an increase in construction work during the summer break while schools and universities are shut, and therefore will be making unannounced visits to sites to make sure work is being conducted safely. In particular, inspectors will be looking at work taking place at height, asbestos issues, the general state of sites and the welfare facilities for workers.

If needs be, HSE states that inspectors have the power to issue enforcement notices, either stopping work activities immediately or requiring improvements to be made, in cases where sites fall below the minimum legal standards for health and safety.


Commenting ahead of the initiative, HSE Principal Inspector for Construction, Neil Jamieson, 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.”


He added:

“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.”