Call us today 0141 337 6678

McCarthy Law

Construction Site Inspections Drop by over 50% in Scotland

Safety inspections at construction sites in Scotland fell by more than 50% in the last year with budget cuts and constraints being one of the major reasons cited by a new report following a Freedom of Information request.

UCATT, the organisation behind the request, found that in Scotland unannounced inspections to construction sites had fallen by 55% with a further drop of 28% in the North of England. Across the UK, random inspections fell by 8%. The figures come despite an increase in the amount of construction sites in the UK, sparking fear for the safety of employees working in the industry.

In 2012/13 , there were 1,248 proactive inspections carried out by the Health and Safety Executive in Scotland, however, by 2014/15 this figure dropped to 552, more than 55%. There was also a drop in the amount of enforcement action and prohibition notices.

Concerns over Worker Health and Safety: Report Findings

Despite a number of attempts to improve health and safety on construction sites, the industry remains the most dangerous for workers, with 35 fatal accidents in the last year and the most amount of serious accidents in the workplace.

Harry Frew, UCATT Scotland’s regional secretary, said the figures were “shocking” and warned employers may be tempted to “cut corners” as a result of budget cuts.

He added: “These findings are shocking. It is only the prospect of an HSE inspector knocking on the door which means that many construction employers comply with safety laws.

“If that deterrent doesn’t exist then employers are going to be increasingly tempted to cut corners and risk workers’ lives.”

Professor Andrew Watterson, who is part of the Occupational and Environmental Health Research Group at Stirling University, said: “For employees in the construction industry, even the person in the street knows they face major work safety as well occupational ill health dangers. It is therefore deeply disappointing to see the numbers of pro-active inspections of construction sites by HSE in Scotland cut so dramatically between 2011 and 2015.”

He added: “HSE has just launched a new and exceptionally weak GB strategy on health and safety based on a London bubble. Construction workers may well be amazed that HSE is so complacent about inspections and enforcement and seems to rely more and more on some alternative bland and neutered stakeholder approach. HSE increasingly looks and sounds like a toothless tiger – a lot of noise and increasingly little action”.

Construction Accidents: Making a Personal Injury Claim

Due to the dangerous nature of working in the construction industry, with many workers operating heavy machinery, working at height or being exposed to dangerous substances, workplace accidents are exceptionally common.

Many construction injuries are a result of poor health and safety practices within the industry, with a number of workers injured due to poor management, failure in duty of care, or lack of training. Thankfully, if you were seriously injured due to recklessness or negligence on behalf of a manager, you could be entitled to make a compensation claim.

Contact Us

Our team of expert solicitors will be able to inform you of exactly what you may need to make a personal injury claim following an accident in the workplace and what you can expect when you begin proceedings. To find out we can help you get the damages you deserve, contact us today using our online contact form.