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Health and safety inspectors target building sites
HEALTH and safety inspectors will target building sites across the North-East this month in an effort to reduce deaths and injuries.
The inspectors will be checking to ensure high-risk activities, such as working at height, and work which could result in exposure to harmful dusts, including asbestos, are being properly managed.
Thousands of unannounced visits are being made to construction sites all over the country in September, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said.
In the North-East last year 130 construction workers were seriously injured as a result of accidents and those employed in the sector are nearly four times as likely to be killed at work than those in other fields.
The HSE said the aim was to drive home the message that poor risk management and a lack of awareness of responsibilities are not only unacceptable, but can cost lives.
Rob Hirst, HSE Principal Inspector for the North East, said: “Too many people die every year on Britain’s construction sites as a result of entirely avoidable incidents.
“Just as importantly, the causes of ill health, such as unnecessary exposure to asbestos or silica dust can also have fatal or debilitating consequences.
“Often we find it is smaller companies working on refurbishment and repair work who are failing to protect their workers through a lack of awareness and poor control of risks.
“This initiative provides a chance to engage with these firms to help them understand what they need to do so they can put in place the practical measures needed to keep people safe.
“However, if we find evidence that workers are being unnecessarily and irresponsibly put at risk we will not hesitate to take robust action. Companies who deliberately cut corners and put their workers or others at risk will feel the full weight of the law.”
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