Will drop in HSE inspections mean more deaths in the building industry?

  • 8 Mar 2016

howardchapmanHoward Chapman, Buildingtalk Editor, on the worrying decline in the number of construction site HSE inspections


The building industry is still one of the most dangerous workplaces.

Following years of improving safety in our industry, construction union UCATT Freedom of Information request to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) shows a worrying decline in the number of construction site inspections carried out the by Health and Safety Executive.

Construction inspections made by the HSE in 2014/15

Overall reduction in inspections of 921 (8.7%) on previous year but with big regional variations

  • Scotland -55.7%
  • North East -28.5%
  • North West -32.5%
  • South East -19.6%

Brian Rye, acting general secretary of UCATT, quoted in CM Magazine, said: “This fall in inspection activity is deeply troubling. The prospect of an unexpected knock on the door by a construction inspector is what keeps many employers on their toes. If employers believe that their safety procedures are not going to be checked this will lead to slackness and corners being cut. Workers could pay with their lives.”

I’m sure this will be discussed during The Health & Safety Event at the NEC – on 22nd to 24th March 2016 – headlined as ‘Three days to save a life’ – here is my review of this key event.

Do you think the reduction in inspections matters to safety?

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