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HSE visits down nearly a third since 2014

In the entire year to the finish of March 2014, the HSE undertook 11,303 proactive (unannounced) construction inspections; in the entire year to March 2022 just 7,793 inspections occurred.

The info was uncovered by the trades union Unite, with a group of freedom of information (FoI) requests.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: These figures are shocking, because they demonstrate that the HSE are either unwilling or struggling to ensure the safety of construction industry workers.

Construction is really a dangerous industry, made more threatening by unscrupulous employers who risk workers lives by ignoring safety laws. If the HSE does not ensure safety, then deaths and injuries increase.

The safest sites are union organised workplaces where independent union safety reps can challenges safety concerns and keep their fellow workers safe. Unite is unstinting in its campaign to improve organisation and reduce deaths through the entire construction industry.

The largest regional decline in inspections was in Wales, where inspections declined by 57% on the period, accompanied by the southeast (down by 51%) and London (46%).

Unites research also discovered a substantial decline in the amount of enforcement notices issued following inspections. The issuing of the has declined by 51% from 2,293 in 2013/14 to just 1,119 in 2021/22. It really is unproven if the construction industry is actually doubly safe today since it was eight years back therefore requires only half as much enforcement notices. Or possibly the HSE no more gets the budget to accomplish its job properly.

Unite national officer for construction Jason Poulter said: The HSE must explain and justify the sharp decline in construction inspections. For way too many employers it really is only worries to be caught which ensures they follow safety laws.

The HSE said that 2021/22 numbers were down only due to the covid pandemic. The amount of inspections we completed while covid restrictions were set up was inevitably lower,” a spokesperson said. “The quantity has more than doubled within the last year, centered on sites with the best risk to workers. Inspections are just one section of what we do to help keep workers safe.

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