The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will be carrying out its latest construction inspection initiative throughout October 2018, focusing on health and in particular on the measures in place to protect workers from occupational lung disease caused by asbestos, silicosis, wood dust and other hazards.
As part of this health initiative, the HSE will be actively promoting the inspection on its social media channels, to raise awareness about the inspections, the health issues construction workers face and ensure that those involved with construction projects know the risks, plan their work and use the right controls- the campaign will be using the hashtags #Dustbusters and #WorkRight.
Clients have a leading role to play in ensuring health and safety is a priority on all projects and should set the standards which their contractors, and indeed all in their supply chain, have to adhere to.
Many clients are already leading the way, and one of our aims as the CCLG is to facilitate the sharing of good practice amongst clients - our standards pages include a range of information and resources on health.
In addition to this, there are a number of campaigns focusing on health in construction, notably the BOHS’ Breathe Freely campaign, which provides free guidance and resources on preventing occupational lung disease, and IOSH’s No Time To Lose Campaign, which focuses specifically on the prevention of occupational cancers, as well as the HSE’s own Go Home Healthy Campaign.
Whilst there is a growing awareness about the need to improve our standards on health, there is a long way to go before we can have a real impact on the statistics, which show that construction workers in the UK are 100 times more likely to die from an occupational disease than a workplace accident.
This HSE initiative will shine a welcome spotlight on health and hopefully highlight some good practice, as well as areas where there is room for improvement.