HSE inspectors target construction firms

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Construction firms like this will be targeted by health and safety inspectorsHealth and Safety inspectors will be targeting construction firms to check health standards are up to scratch during a month-long inspection.

Inspections start on October 5 and will focus on respiratory risks and occupational lung disease, looking at the measures businesses have in place to protect their workers’ lungs from the likes of asbestos, silica and wood dust.

This is part of HSE’s longer term health and work strategy to improve health within the construction industry.

While the focus will be on health, if HSE inspectors identify any other areas of concern, they will take the necessary enforcement action.

This will include ensuring businesses are doing all they can to protect workers from the risk of coronavirus and making workplaces COVID-secure.

The construction initiative will be supported by HSE’s ‘Dustbuster’ campaign, aimed to influence employer behaviour by encouraging builders to download free guidance and advice, increasing knowledge and capability to protect workers’ health.

More than 3,500 builders die each year from work-related cancers, with thousands more cases of ill-health and working days lost.

HSE’s chief inspector of construction, Sarah Jardine, said: “Around 100 times as many workers die from diseases caused or made worse by their work than are actually killed in construction accidents.

“Our initiatives ensure that inspectors are able to speak to duty holders and visit sites to look at the kind of action businesses in the construction industry are taking right now to protect their workers’ health, particularly when it comes to exposure to dust and damage to lungs.

“There are a few simple things that everyone can do to make sure they are protecting their health and their future. Be aware of the risks associated with activities you do every day, recognise the dangers of hazardous dust and consider how it can affect your health. We want businesses and their workers to think of the job from start to finish and avoid creating dust by working in different ways to keep dust down and wear the right mask and clothing.”

For more information on the programme of inspections follow the campaign on Twitter at @H_S_E, or on Facebook @hsegovuk and @SaferSites.

At EP Risk our trained consultants can help your business through our CDM training courses or with direct support through our health and safety management system. Please contact us to find out how quickly and effectively we can help your organisation to be legally compliant if HSE inspectors come calling.