POOR standards and unsafe work on building sites in Burton and South Derbyshire will be targeted this month as part of an annual push to reduce death, injury and ill health in the industry.
During a concentrated drive, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will visit sites across both areas where refurbishment projects or repair works are under way.
They will be checking to ensure high-risk activities, such as working at height, and work which could result in exposure to harmful dusts, including asbestos, are being properly managed.
It comes only months after 24-year-old Ashley William Morris, of Ashby, was crushed by a piece of machinery at Rainbow Waste, in Robian Way, Swadlincote. The HSE launched an investigation.
Sarah Jardine, HSE principal inspector for the construction division, said: “Too many people die every year on Britain’s construction sites as a result of entirely avoidable incidents.
“Just as importantly, the causes of ill health, such as unnecessary exposure to asbestos or silica dust, can also have fatal or debilitating consequences.
“Often we find it is smaller companies working on refurbishment and repair work who are failing to protect their workers through a lack of awareness and poor control of risks.
“This initiative provides a chance to engage with these firms to help them understand what they need to do, so they can put in place the practical measures needed to keep people safe. In many cases, simple changes to working practices can make all the difference, and even save lives.
“However, if we find evidence that workers are being unnecessarily and irresponsibly put at risk, we will not hesitate to take robust action. Companies who deliberately cut corners and put their workers or others at risk will feel the full weight of the law.”
New figures revealed construction workers were nearly four times as likely to be killed at work compared to the average worker.
The statistics also showed an estimated 70,000 in the industry suffer ill health as a result of their work.