Health and Safety Executive defends site inspection performance

The Health and Safety Executive has defended its policy on site safety inspections in the wake of criticism from the construction union UCATT.

The union said workers’ lives were being risked by a reduction in inspections, which in Scotland were down by 30% last year.

A spokesman for HSE said: “Inspection is one of a range of techniques used by HSE for improving health and safety in the construction industry.

“Focusing on inspection numbers gives an inaccurate picture and does not reflect all the work being carried out by HSE across the country.

“In addition to inspection, HSE investigates accidents, cases of ill health, and concerns about unsafe construction activities. We also influence in the boardroom and work jointly with industry bodies and trade unions in many other ways.”

The spokesman said there have been long-term improvements in the health and safety performance of the construction sector.

He added: “The rate of major injuries in the construction industry is currently at its lowest level ever. However, the industry remains high risk.

“Everyone has a part to play to further reduce the unnecessary injuries and ill health on construction projects, and HSE continues to work with industry partners, including UCATT, to achieve further improvements.”