Health and Safety Executive (HSE) construction inspectors issued 214 enforcement notices across Great Britain during the March 2005 Healthy Handling blitz.
More than 1,170 construction projects of all sizes were visited as inspectors targeted site order and organisation, risks from manual handling, the use of wet cement and hand-held vibrating equipment and tools.
The inspectors found sites using cement without proper facilities for washing, heavy loads being handled in an unsafe manner and vibrating tools being used when the user was unaware of the safe exposure period.
More than 1,600 contractors were met at the sites visited; inspectors issued 214 enforcement notices, of which 112 were about the target topics. The other notices referred mostly to failures to control risks of falls from height.
In a further 244 cases inspectors agreed a voluntary cessation of work activity until improvements had been effected.
Kevin Myers, HSE chief inspector for construction, said: “Work-related ill health affects a significant number of construction workers, the sector has one of the highest rates of muscloskeletal disorder in the industry.
“We have produced guidance outlining simple and sensible precautions to help take account of these hazards. Experience shows that effective management of these risks can reduce or prevent injury and ill health to workers.
“I am pleased to note that on many sites visited by inspectors during this initiative all parties involved in the project were working together to address these health risks by applying the simple precautions set out in the pre-blitz publicity,” Myers said.