The HSE (Health and Safety Executive) has just announced that it will be targeting construction firms across Great Britain. The main concern will be the protection of workers’ lungs from asbestos, silica and wood dust, to prevent respiratory risks and occupational lung disease.
Why is this sector being targeted? The HSE has revealed that construction workers are at a particularly high risk of developing lung diseases due to the high volumes of dust that are created by many construction tasks. It is believed that lung diseases are the cause of death of over 500 construction workers annually, due to silica dust. Further, it is estimated that the construction industry is responsible for around 3,500 out of approximately 8,000 work-related cancer deaths annually; the main causes of these are exposure to asbestos and silica.
The HSE has again advocated that the approach that construction firms need to be taking in order to ensure health and safety compliance, particularly with the CDM Regulations 2015, is that of an approach to risk of ‘assess, control and review'. Evidence of this will be sought in the inspections.
Do you want to learn more about ensuring compliance and managing risk in light of the HSE’s announcement? Why not attend our Real Health and Safety Conference on 7 February to hear from the HSE and industry experts?
- Richard Neall, the CEO of One Group Construction will be offering insight into his experiences in leading a major construction business; highlighting the health and safety challenges, particularly in respect of collaboration.
- John Willbourne will also be contributing; John is a Chartered Civil and Structural Engineer who has been associated with the construction industry for all of his working life, including 10 years with the HSE as a Specialist Inspector of Health and Safety (Construction Engineering).
- Nicola Jaynes, HM Inspector of Health and Safety, has worked in many areas of the HSE including construction and asbestos licencing and so her input could be very relevant to this issue.