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HSE SET TO ACT ON CONSTRUCTION HEALTH RISKS

Regulator now firmly focussed on lung disease and manual handling

The HSE Priorities for the construction sector during 2017 onwards are heavily biased towards action on health risks. The first of the three priorities is “reducing incidents of ill-health, with a particular focus on occupational lung disease and musculoskeletal disorders”.

HSE will deliver the priority by “directing inspection and enforcement at those failing to manage and control health risks during refurbishment and licenced asbestos removal”.

The regulator will be launching a Construction Health Risks Toolkit (CHeRT) designed to increase contractor awareness of work related ill-health and self-assessing their performance in managing health issues.

HSE Inspectors will:

  • CHeRT – visit dutyholders to review their health risk management arrangements using leading indicators in toolkit; and
  • HCLG – work with the Health in Construction Leadership Group in promoting the ownership by industry of good health risk management, and the development of case studies and health-specific leading indicators.

The emphasis on lung disease in construction will be supported by further action on manual handling risks by working with supply chains to reduce risks from manual handling.

Health in Construction Leadership Group – Dust Video

The shift of emphasis to ‘health’ issues is being led by the industry Health in Construction Leadership Group (HCLG) which has set itself the mission of:

“uniting the construction industry in order to eradicate the ill-health and disease caused by exposures to health hazards on building sites… and making “construction the leading industry for occupational health and disease prevention by 2025 – the construction 2025 initiative”

The HCLG plan is to achieve a cultural shift within the construction sector so that health is “managed like safety”.

The HCLG website includes a useful short awareness video on construction dust.

Lets hope further aids for raising awareness and promoting controls will be available in the coming months to support the industry and HSE priorities.

 

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