Almost half of the refurbishment construction projects in and around Stamford Hill in North East London failed health and safety spot checks last week, according to the Health & Safety Executive.

A day-long inspection initiative by HSE last week saw a small team of Inspectors visit 22 construction sites across North Hackney and South Tottenham, in Haringey.

Enforcement action had to be taken at nine of those sites, with six prohibition notices served requiring dangerous practices to stop immediately, and six improvement notices served requiring safety improvements to be made. One site was completely closed down due to exceptionally hazardous conditions.

Five of the prohibition notices served related to unsafe work at height. Training and welfare concerns accounted for the improvement notices.

Mike Williams, principal inspector for HSE's construction division in North and East London, said: "Construction remains one of Britain's most dangerous industries and fatal incidents across London have shown how devastating they can be.

"We are very concerned at the number of small sites that are failing to take the most basic precautions to protect workers and members of the public. Good health and safety on construction sites is a legal requirement and we will continue to clamp down on dangerous practices or poor standards until the message gets through.

"Contractors must properly plan their work and protect their workers from risks such as falls from height or structures collapsing."

Common issues found during the inspections were:

Provisional figures for 2011/12 published last week by HSE show the rate of fatal injuries in several key industrial sectors. There were 49 fatal injuries to construction workers recorded compared with 50 deaths in 2010/11.