December 11 2013 Latest news:
Friday, September 6, 2013
Health and safety inspectors are targeting building sites in the east to try and curb the number of deaths and injuries.
Regional research – carried out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) – showed that 18 people died and more than 400 were injured on construction projects over the past three years.
The findings have triggered a HSE campaign this month to boost standards by carrying out building site inspections in Norfolk and Suffolk.
Inspectors will be visiting projects in Norwich, Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft, Chelmsford, Basildon and Southend.
It comes as Britain’s builders witnessed a “new dawn” in August after the construction sector grew at its fastest pace for nearly six years.
Figures from the closely-watched Markit/CIPS purchasing managers’ index (PMI) showed a reading of 59.1 in August up from 57 in July – signalling the best rise in output since September 2007.
Housebuilding remained the strongest sector, rising at a rate not seen since mid-2010, spurred on as the government’s Help to Buy scheme and cheaper mortgage finance sent buyers flocking to new developments.
Dominic Ellis, HSE principal inspector for Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex, welcomed the industry’s recent resurgence, but said it was all the more reason to work safely.
He 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.”
Meanwhile, David Noble, chief executive at the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply, said: “A new dawn is breaking in construction. The industry recorded the fastest pace of growth since 2007 in August, leaving the dark days of recession behind.”
Two hundred jobs are set to be created after one of west Norfolk’s largest businesses was granted permission to expand its King’s Lynn facilities.