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Withiel cheque correction

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: February 20, 2013

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UNSAFE practices on construction sites across Cornwall, Devon and Dorset are to be targeted as part of a national initiative aimed at reducing death, injury and ill health.

To support a month-long drive to improve standards in one of Britain's most dangerous industries, inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will visit smaller sites.

Between now and March 15, they will make unannounced visits to ensure duty holders are managing high-risk activity, such as working at height.

They will also check for general good order, assess welfare facilities and check whether suitable PPE, such as head protection, is being used appropriately.

During 2011-12, one worker was killed while working in construction in Cornwall and a further two in Devon. Twenty-eight were seriously injured in Cornwall, 60 in Devon and 32 in Dorset. Nationally there were 49 deaths and more than 2,800 major injuries.

The initiative will remind those working in the industry that poor standards are unacceptable and could result in enforcement action.

Joanna Teasdale, HSE principal inspector for the Devon, Cornwall and Dorset construction division, 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.

"In many cases simple changes to working practices can make all the difference, and even save lives. If we find evidence that workers are being unnecessarily put at risk we will take strong action."

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