Sunderland building sites targeted in safety crackdown

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SUNDERLAND building sites will be targeted as part of a safety crackdown.

Health and safety inspectors will make unannounced visits to sites as part of a month-long initiative to make sure high-risk activities, particularly those affecting the health of workers, are being properly managed.

These include staff working with harmful dusts, such as silica and asbestos, and other hazardous substances.

If unacceptable standards are found, inspectors will take immediate enforcement action, including halting when necessary any potentially-dangerous activities.

An estimated 3,000 people working in construction in the North East are suffering from ill health caused by their work.

In the year to April 2013, four construction workers were killed in the North East and 559 injured.

Rob Hirst, principal inspector of construction, said: “Through campaigns like this, we aim to ensure contractors take all risks to their workers seriously, and not just focus on immediate safety implications.

“They need to put in place practical measures to keep their workers both safe and well.”