Personal Injury Solicitor Tracey Graham explains how it is worrying that, even in this day and age; almost half of the building sites visited by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) inspectors have had serious breaches of health and safety....
"The HSE are carrying out a month-long enforcement initiative focusing on the repair and refurbishment sector, which runs through to 27 September.
Nearly half of the 1,000 sites visited by the HSE contained material breaches leading to the issuing of a notice of contravention, while a number of sites have also been served with enforcement notices for a variety of offences. These included an ‘appalling’ scaffolding set-up where the access to a roof was noted to be inherently dangerous with missing guard-rails, toe boards and scaffold boards, and where no equipment was tied at any point. They also noted unsecured machinery at the edge of a high roof, with no edge protection – not only a danger to the workers at a height, but potentially to passers by if the equipment falls to ground level.
Construction workers continue to be at risk on a daily basis. Whilst there are health & Safety regulations in force, an employer’s failure to ensure compliance with the regulations, and make sure there is adequate safety on sites can lead to the death or Injury at Work.
Here at Slater and Gordon we see regular breaches of those regulations, with workers injured following falls from scaffolding, falls from roofs and falls down uncovered shafts or holes in the ground where there should have been covers. In some instances injuries are serious and life threatening. The cost to employers’ insurers in compensating workers could be reduced substantially if only employers used the regulations to their advantage. The cost to families of losing a loved one, or nursing injured family members, is, of course, devastating.
It is clear that the HSE needs more resources to continue with these ‘inspection blitzes’ in all parts of the country so that employers take health and safety more seriously and so that accidents can be avoided"