Construction sites across Great Britain are to be targeted as part of a month-long respiratory health initiative by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
Throughout June, inspections supported by HSE’s Dust Kills campaign will focus on respiratory risks and occupational lung disease.
Each year in the construction industry, there are thousands of preventable cases of ill health caused by lung disease due to past exposure to dust at work. These diseases often have a life-changing impact and can result in an early death.
Starting on Monday 6 June 2022, site inspections will have a specific focus on dust control, checking employers and workers know the risks, plan their work and are using the right controls.
HSE has partnered with construction and occupational health organisations to highlight the control measures required on site to prevent exposure to dust. The network of Dust Kills partners includes British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS), Construction Industry Advisory Committee (CONIAC) and Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA), Construction Leadership Council (CLC), Health in Construction Leadership Group (HCLG) and Construction Dust Partnership.
HSE’s chief inspector of construction, Sarah Jardine, said: “Occupational lung disease is preventable. It can have a devastating impact on both the individuals affected and their family. Every year, construction workers are dying from diseases caused or made worse by their work. We are urging employers and workers to take the necessary precautions today to protect their long-term lung health.”
As part of HSE’s longer term health and work strategy to improve health within the construction industry, inspectors will be checking the control measures in place to protect workers from inhaling construction dust including Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS) and wood dust.
The primary aim of the inspection initiative is to ensure workers’ health is being protected. However, if safety risks or other areas of concern are identified, inspectors will take the necessary action to deal with them.
Sarah Jardine continued: “Through our inspection initiatives, inspectors can visit a range of construction sites to check the action businesses are taking to ensure their workers’ health is being protected. Through speaking to dutyholders we can make sure they have considered the job from start to finish and are effectively managing the risks.
At Lighthouse Safety we fully support HSE with this campaign and as part of our Compliance Services we can carry out targeted inspections to ensure the guidance is being adhered to. In addition we perform face fit testing for £45 plus vat per test. This ensures the RPE being used is correct.
Please get in contact by calling 01634 260631 or emailing [email protected] to arrange a visit, or face fit test.