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Construction Site Inspections – HSE Announce October 2019 Initiative

Construction Site Inspections – HSE Announce October 2019 Initiative

Date: 7th October 2019 | By: Claire Malley | Categories: Construction, Health and Safety, Risk Assessment, Wirehouse

construction sites inspectionsFollowing on from the January 2019 launch of the HSE’s Dustbuster campaign, the HSE have announced their latest initiative to carry out more construction site inspections between 7th October and 1st November 2019. The focus of the inspections is to check that employers are implementing control measures to protect workers from occupational lung disease and cancers caused by asbestos and silica dust, wood dust and other types of dust.

Construction Site Inspections | Put Workplace Safety First

According to the HSE, every year approximately 8,000 workers die of work related cancer. Of this figure, approximately 3,500 deaths are people involved in the Construction Industry.

HSE inspectors will be checking that those involved in construction work know about the risks of asbestos and dust, the work has been properly planned and the most effective control measures are being used. If an HSE inspector visits a site and the risks to workers from asbestos or dust is not being controlled, the HSE can issue enforcement action.

Asbestos Awareness

Asbestos can be found in any building constructed prior to the year 2000. Asbestos causes approximately 5,000 deaths per year. Employers need to ensure that they comply with the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.

Construction Dust

There are three main types of dust which can be found on construction sites:

  • Silica dust – created when working on materials like concrete, mortar and sandstone.
  • Wood dust – created when working on softwood, hardwood and wood-based products like MDF and plywood.
  • Lower toxicity dusts – created when working on materials containing very little or no silica. The most common include gypsum, limestone, marble and dolomite.

Some lung diseases caused by dust can develop quite quickly but most lung diseases develop over time causing permanent life changing damage. The regulations which covers the hazard of dust is the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2012.

Simple Safety Steps for Employers

Employers have a duty of care to protect the health and safety of their workers taking into account:

  • Assessing and controlling any risk of asbestos or dust exposure.
  • Training employees on the associated risks when working in the Construction Industry.
  • Advice regarding health surveillance for all workers.

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