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Health and Safety Executive Site Inspections Declining

Health and Safety Executive Site Inspections Declining

The construction industries union UCATT have recently published data which has suggested that inspections upon construction sites that are unplanned by the Health and Safety Executive have declined from their numbers in 2014/2015.

These inspections are key in ensuring that health and safety standards are being met across active project sites and are essential in keeping workers out of hazardous environments due to poor management or planning.

UCATT’s statistics show that in the year 2014/2015 there were a total of 9,656 unplanned inspections of projects that were undertaken by the Health and Safety Executive. The numbers this year have illustrated a decrease of 4%, showing that there have been only 9,219 inspections in comparison to the amount from the previous year.

A decline of 13% in these inspections has occurred over the course of three years – there being 10,577 unannounced inspections in 2012/2013, highlighting that there are over 1,000 less inspections per year being undertaken in 2015/2016 to three years ago. Reducing the amount of unplanned inspections upon sites can leave workers lives at risk, if unsafe practices are allowed to continue without being checked by the Health and Safety Executive.

construction site inspections

Many regions within the UK have experienced massive drops in their inspection rates, these include:

  • The South East, where numbers were down 26% on last year
  • Wales, which has decreased by 18%
  • Eastern Yorkshire, suffered a drop of 13%
  • The North East, had inspections fall by 10%
  • The West Midlands, lost 7% of inspections conducted in the previous year
  • London, where 5% less of the unplanned inspections occurred

Brian Rye, the Acting General Secretary of the construction Union UCATT offered his thoughts on the decline in inspections and what that means for the construction industry:

“These statistics are far from meaningless. They paint a serious picture of how a resource starved HSE is increasingly unable to do its job. Inspections save lives and prevent accidents. The reduction in inspections is endangering the lives, health and well-being of construction workers. This is a political decision by the Government which have decided that it is financially justified to play fast and loose with the safety of construction workers.”


High Access Solutions Ltd aim is to deliver award-winning project design and development in the work at height safety sector, we offer our clients a full turnkey solution for your project.  Please contact us for all your work at height project requirements.

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