The Health and Safety Executive has drastically reduced on construction sites in Scotland sparking concerns that employees in one of the most dangerous sectors of employment are at risk of obtaining a serious injury.
The HSE reduced unannounced inspections by more than 55% in the last year following drastic cuts to the health and safety budget by the Westminster government, which has control over such affairs. A number of experts have blamed the cuts to budget as the main reason for the decline in the number of random inspections.
According to data collated by UCATT, through use of a Freedom of Information Act, Scotland saw a drop of 55.7% in the number of random construction inspections being made by the HSE. The drop in Scotland was significantly higher than other countries in the UK, with the nation overall seeing a drop of 8.7% regarding the overall number of surprise inspections. The North of England was seriously affected, however, the overall drop in the number of random inspections was just 2%.
The news regarding the drop in the number of random inspections came at a time when many experts had stated that the number of construction sites was increasing as the industry recovered from the recession.
Brian Rye, acting general secretary of UCATT, said: "This fall in inspection activity is deeply troubling. The prospect of an unexpected knock at 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.”
He added: The HSE needs to explain what is behind the reduction in inspectors is this due to budget cuts or specific policies to reduce inspection activity? Construction workers deserve to be told the truth.”
In 2014/15, the construction industry was the most dangerous industry to work in with 35 workers losing their life as a result of a workplace accident.
Due to the nature of the construction industry, with employers operating in extreme conditions, working with heavy and dangerous machinery, working at heights and the exposure to potentially dangerous chemicals and substances makes the construction industry one of the most dangerous. From slips trips and falls from height, to being injured by a vehicle or machinery, the industry has long strived to improve safety, but continues to be one of the most dangerous in the UK.
However, if you have been injured in a construction accident through no fault of your own or require legal advice following an accident in the workplace, our team of expert solicitors, working on a no win, no fee basis, can get you the compensation you deserve.
If you have been injured in an accident that occurred through no fault of your own or was the result of negligence or a failure in duty of care, our team of personal injury solicitors can get you the compensation you deserve. Contact our team of no win, no fee lawyers today using our online contact form, to find out how you could make a personal injury claim.