Construction firms across the UK will be the target of Health and Safety inspectors during a one-month inspection initiative from the 5th of October 2020. This will be to decipher whether their health standards are “up to scratch”. This initiative will be in conjunction with HSE’s ‘Dustbuster’ campaign which is intended to influence employer behaviour by encouraging builders to download free guidance and advice, increasing knowledge and capability to protect workers’ health.
This will be the fourth health-focused initiative of its kind and similarly to previous years the inspections will focus on respiratory risks and occupational lung disease. Inspectors will pay attention to the safety measures businesses have in place to protect their workers’ lungs from issues such as asbestos, silica and wood dust. The HSE website states: “This is part of HSE’s longer term health and work strategy to improve health within the construction industry”.
Whilst the emphasis will remain on health, if during the programme of inspections an HSE inspector recognises any other areas of concern they will “take the necessary enforcement action to deal with them”. This will include ensuring that construction firms are taking all precautions and doing everything they can to protect their workers from the risk of coronavirus and make workplaces COVID-secure.
Sarah Jardine, HSE’s chief inspector of construction, commented: “Around 100 times as many workers die from diseases caused or made worse by their work than are actually killed in construction accidents.
“Our inspection 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.”
Currently, more than 3,500 builders die every year from work related cancers with thousands more are ailed by ill-health. If you have been affected by any work-related injuries, don’t hesitate to contact Wolf Law personal injury solicitors in Liverpool. They can offer advice and offer No Win No Fee representation. If you need more information about HSE’s campaign, have a look on Twitter @H_S_E or on Facebook @hsegovuk and @SaferSites.