Construction union Ucatt slammed the latest results of the Health and Safety Executive's (HSE) construction inspection programme as "appalling" yesterday.
A month-long HSE survey had found that 40 per cent of sites visited were failing to properly protect workers.
Danger levels were so bad on a fifth of sites that immediate enforcement action was required, it found.
"These findings are simply appalling," said Ucatt general secretary Steve Murphy.
"Time after time employers are putting workers in danger."
Failure to work safely at height was the most common failing, though the inspection regime focused on health risks.
Strong concerns arose over the management of asbestos, failure to prevent workers exposure to dust, noise and vibration and a lack of basic welfare facilities.
"The HSE inspections only touch a tiny fraction of construction sites and most construction workers never see an HSE inspector unless a major accident has occurred," said Mr Murphy.
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