Regulator inspections will check ‘Health’ taken as seriously as ‘Safety’

HSE has announced on Twitter and Facebook (20/09/18) that inspectors are visiting construction sites to “see if health is being taken as seriously as safety”.

Inspectors will be focusing on “builders’ lungs” and the regulator is therefore advising all to read the relevant HSE guidance in order to “know the risk, plan your work and use the right controls”.

The announcements do not indicate when the initiative starts or finishes. It must be assumed that the inspections are underway and will be conducted nationwide with enforcement action when ‘material breaches’ of legal duties are found.

The HSE website also contains the Guidance to Inspectors on:

“Inspecting and enforcing where inadequate standards of control are found for construction dust risks. It focuses on common tasks, prioritising those with the potential for significant exposure / risk of ill-health.”

Diseases cause permanent disability

The HSE guidance stresses that:

“Regularly breathing construction dust can cause diseases like lung cancer, asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and silicosis. Construction workers have a high risk of developing these diseases because many common construction tasks can create high dust levels.

These diseases cause permanent disability and early death. Over 500 construction workers are believed to die from exposure to silica dust every year.”

effective dust management system

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