Builders to face inspection visits
Health and safety inspectors will be making unannounced visits to building sites in the coming weeks.
The move is part of a national campaign by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to reduce the number of construction industry accidents.
In the past two years, 30 construction workers in Leicestershire and Rutland were seriously injured.
Nationally, there were 49 deaths and more than 2,800 major injuries.
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Richard Lockwood, HSE principal inspector for construction in Leicestershire and Rutland, said: "Death and injury continue to result from avoidable incidents and it is largely those engaged in refurbishment and repair work who are failing to step up to the mark.
"Poor management of risks and lack of awareness of responsibilities are unacceptable.
"In many cases, simple changes to working practices can make all the difference, and can even save lives.
"Therefore, if we find evidence workers are being unnecessarily put at risk we will take strong action.
"We are determined to drive home the message that site safety and worker welfare cannot be compromised."
Checks will include working at height precautions, equipment installation, that walkways and stairs are free from obstructions and that personal protection equipment is provided.
Steve Dudman, health and safety manager at builder Westleigh Developments, in Whetstone, said: "We welcome the HSE's drive.
"We do not compromise on workers' welfare or site safety, so are well prepared for any visit that may occur."
The campaign will also remind firms they could face costly legal action.
In one recent prosecution, Hinckley firm W J Edge & Sons Builders was fined £7,000 and ordered to pay £5,000 in costs after a worker was injured when he fell 16ft through a partially-built floor.
Leicester Magistrates' Court was told in November the second floor of the house in Shepshed gave way after being overloaded.
The worker fractured his elbow and nose and was unable to return to work for six weeks.
The company pleaded guilty to breaching the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007.