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    HSE CONSTRUCTION HEALTH RISKS INITIATIVE 2019

    Regulator visits to focus on asbestos, RCS, wood and other dusts

    HSE will be carrying out its latest construction inspection initiative focusing on health risks and starting on 10 June 2019.

    Measures to protect workers from occupational lung disease caused by asbestos, respirable crystalline silica (RCS), wood and other dusts when carrying out common construction tasks will be the primary target.

    HSE believe that whilst priority is often given to ‘safety’ “thousands more workers suffer ill-health at work than are harmed by at-work accidents.”

    Health hazards are ‘slow killers’

    Asbestos and other dusts are what HSE call ‘slow killers’ and it is estimated that annually there are around 8,000 work-related cancer deaths. The construction industry accounts for around 3,500 of these deaths with asbestos and RCS the major causes.

    Construction businesses and workers need to be aware of how hazardous to health such substances can be.

    HSE inspectors will be looking to ensure those involved with construction projects know the risks, properly plan their work and use the right controls.

    For more information see:

    HSE stress that “Where poor standards are found, enforcement action will be taken”

    Sarah Jardine, HSE’s chief inspector of construction said:

    “We are carrying out this series of inspections to ensure businesses are fulfilling their legal duties to protect workers from harm. This includes controlling the levels of dust in workplaces.

    We want to ensure employers and their workers are aware of the risks associated with any task that produces dust. Such work needs to be properly planned and use the right controls, such as water suppression, extraction and masks.

    The bottom line is we want everyone, workers and their employers, to be protected from harm and ill health so they can go home healthy to their families.”

     

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