National clampdown targets construction industry’s poor health record
The initiative will see unannounced visits to sites where refurbishment projects or repair works are underway.
HSE Inspectors will ensure high-risk activities particularly those affecting the health of workers, are being properly managed. These include working with harmful dusts such as silica and asbestos, and other hazardous substances. If unacceptable standards are found Inspectors will take immediate enforcement action.
HSE is urging industry to ‘think health’ as over 30,000 construction workers are made ill by their work every year.
Philip White, HSE chief inspector of construction, said: “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.
“During the recent health initiative, enforcement action was taken on one in six sites. Time and again we find smaller contractors working on refurbishment and repair work failing to protect their workers through a lack of awareness and poor control of risks.
“This isn’t acceptable – it costs lives, and we will take strong and robust action where we find poor practice and risky behaviour.
“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.”