According to construction union Unite, a freedom of information request has revealed that unannounced inspections within the construction industry have fallen by 14% in just one year!
Unite have also stated that in response to this, “urgent meetings” have been set up with the Health and Safety Executive and ministers. This is in regards to the “sharp drop” in inspections. According toUnite, 9,219 inspections took place in 2015/16. However, in 2016/17, these inspections have fallen to 7,912!
Unite’s assistant general secretary stated: “these figures are alarming as they demonstrate a huge decrease in vital lifesaving inspections.”
“Sadly there remain far too many employers who are all too willing to cut safety regulations and it is only the genuine prospect of an unannounced inspection which keeps them in check.”
“The government has slashed funding for the HSE and it is clear that it is increasingly struggling to make ends meet.”
“With a new secretary of state in place, Unite and our members need to know what plans he has for the HSE and safety laws.”
“We also need answers from the HSE about whether they are taking steps to redress this fall in inspections and whether there are specific reasons for these reductions.”
Worryingly, Unite has also found a distinct correlation between compliance with safety laws and the frequency of inspections. They claim that construction has become “the most dangerous industry” in the UK.
This is also supported by more and more accidents being reported on site. Recently, two construction workers were killed in a crane collapse in Crewe. Take a look at the full report here.
It’s not just construction workers that are put in danger by not complying with safety laws either. A forty-three-year-old woman was also killed whilst simply walking down the street. She was crushed by two windows which fell when they were left unrestrained and unprotected. Take a look at the full article here.
So what do you think of this? Does there need to be more health and safety inspections on site? Let us know what you think in the comments below.