HSE launches dust suppression on construction sites
The inspectors of the Health & Safety Manager (HSE) will target construction companies across Scotland to verify their health standards are up to par during a month-long inspection initiative.
From October 4, inspections will focus on respiratory hazards and occupational lung disease, examining the control measures companies have put in place to protect their workers’ lungs from construction dust, including silica, l asbestos and wood dust. This is part of HSE’s longer term health and work strategy to improve health in the construction industry.
While the primary focus is on health during this inspection program, if an inspector identifies other areas of concern, including immediate safety risks, they will take appropriate action to address them.
Inspectors will look for evidence that employers and workers know the risks, plan their work and use the right controls. If necessary, they will use law enforcement to make sure people are protected.
The initiative will be supported by HSE’s WorkRight campaign, aimed at influencing employer behavior by encouraging builders to download free guidance and advice, thereby improving knowledge and ability to protect workers’ health.
More than 3,500 builders die from work-related cancers each year, with thousands more illnesses and lost workdays.
HSE Chief Construction Inspector, Sarah Jardinesaid: âAbout 100 times more workers die from illnesses caused or made worse by their work than actually from construction accidents.
âOur inspection initiatives ensure that inspectors are able to talk to job holders and visit sites to examine the type of action construction companies are currently taking to protect the health of their workers, including especially with regard to exposure to dust and damage. to the lungs. These are mature health challenges that the industry should effectively manage.
âThere are a few simple things anyone can do to make sure they are protecting their health and their future. Be aware of the risks associated with the activities you do every day, recognize the dangers of hazardous dust, and think about how it can affect your health. We want companies and their workers to think about the job from start to finish and avoid creating dust by working in different ways to reduce dust and wear the right protective gear.
HSE is supported by the Construction Health Leadership Group (HCLG) and Tier 1 industry contractors. Throughout October 2021, HCLG members will conduct over 1,000 site visits to assess the effectiveness of the measures in place to control exposure. workers to respiratory risks due to dust. The results of site visits and a survey will allow industry to fuel HSE’s broader commitment to improve the health of construction workers by providing HSE with a larger dataset to assess practices in courses in industry.