BETWEEN 7 October – 1 November, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will be carrying out its latest construction inspection initiative on UK construction sites.
The focus will be on health, looking at the measures in place to protect workers from occupational lung disease caused by asbestos, silica, wood and other dusts when carrying out common construction tasks.
The HSE says, “Priority is often given to safety but thousands more workers suffer ill-health at work than are harmed by at-work accidents.”
Asbestos and dust are slow killers. HSE estimates that annually there are around 8,000 work-related cancer deaths a year. The construction industry accounts for around 3,500 of these with asbestos and silica the major causes. Construction companies and workers need to be aware of how dangerous and hazardous to someone’s health asbestos and dust can be.
An inspector calls
HSE publishes lots of advice and guidance on:
Where poor standards are found, HSE has a range of enforcement actions it can apply, from providing information and advice face-to-face or in writing, serving notices on dutyholders, withdrawing approvals, varying licences, conditions or exemptions, issuing simple cautions, to prosecution.