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One third of refurbishment sites dangerous

"Nearly 1 in 3 construction refurbishment sites inspected put the lives of workers at risk", said Stephen Williams, HSE Head of Construction after the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) carried out over 1500 inspections and took enforcement action on 426 occasions in just two months of its rolling inspection programme.

He continued, "We stopped work on site immediately during 244 inspections because we felt there was a real possibility that life would be lost or ruined through serious injury. It is completely unacceptable that so many lives have been put at risk. Our inspectors were appalled at the apparent willingness to ignore basic safety precautions.

"The simple fact is that despite knowing what they should be doing, too many people are prepared to allow bad practices to continue, even though last year 39 people died on refurbishment, repair and maintenance sites.

"We are determined to tackle this issue head on and will continue to take enforcement action against those rogues who flout safety precautions. Let me be clear to all those who put lives at risk - we will continue to carry out further inspections and will take all action necessary to protect workers, including closing sites and prosecution."