HSE Targets Construction Industry on Health
During a month long initiative Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspectors will be targeting Britain’s building sites in an attempt to cut down on ill health in the industry. Figures show that over 30,000 construction workers become ill due to their work every year.
The HSE are particularly interested in companies carrying out refurbishment or repair works where exposure to harmful dusts such as silica and asbestos can occur. During a similar summer initiative inspectors visited 560 sites with enforcement action being taken in 85 cases.
HSE Chief Inspector of Construction Phillip White acknowledges the progress made by the industry but believes more can still be done to prevent ill health at work. “Industry has made much progress in reducing the number of people killed and injured in its activities, but for every fatal accident, approximately 100 construction workers die from a work-related cancer,” he said. “ Through campaigns like this we aim to ensure contractors take all risks to their workers seriously, and not just focus on immediate safety implications. They need to put in place practical measures to keep workers both safe and well.”
A similar campaign last year saw HSE inspectors serve 539 prohibition notices and 414 improvement notices during the month. The results of this years initiative will be published on the HSE website in October.