One is six of the construction sites visited in Merseyside failed health and safety inspections during the first five days of a month-long initiative.

Inspectors from across the North West visited the county as part of a national Health and Safety Executive (HSE) clampdown aimed at reducing death, injury and ill health.

At total of 22 of the 123 sites they inspected were found not to meet the minimum legal standards for health and safety, and 32 enforcement notices were issued as a result.

They included 18 Prohibition Notices which stopped some work activities immediately and 14 Improvement Notices which required improvements to be made to working practices.

The inspectors are visiting sites where refurbishment or repair work is taking place, to support a drive to improve standards in one of Britain’s most dangerous industries.

hey are making unannounced visits to ensure companies are managing high-risk activity, such as working at height. They are also checking for general good order, assessing welfare facilities and checking whether Personal Protective Equipment, such as head protection, is being used appropriately.

During 2011/12, two workers were killed while working in construction in Merseyside and a further 53 were seriously injured. Nationally, there were 49 deaths and more than 2,800 major injuries.

The purpose of the initiative is to remind those working in the industry that poor standards are unacceptable and could result in enforcement action.

Neil Jamieson, HSE Principal Inspector for Construction in Merseyside, said:

“It’s good news that the vast majority of the construction sites we visited were obeying the law but sadly some sites are letting down the rest of the industry.

“Poorly erected scaffolding, exposure to dangerous types of dust, and inadequate washing facilities were among the poor standards we found on some sites.

“At more than one site, workers were witnessed generating large amounts of dust while cutting through stone without wearing appropriate respiratory masks. Exposure to silica dust from stone can lead to potentially fatal lung diseases and so lives were being put at risk as a result.

“I hope by carrying out these spot checks we will help to raise awareness of the dangers and reduce the number of construction workers being killed or seriously injured at work.”

Further information about working safely in the construction industry can be found online at

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