Construction sites face crackdown on dust dangers

Grant Prior 2 years ago
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Safety inspectors will launch a month-long construction inspection blitz on Monday October 5 with a particular focus on respiratory risks and occupational lung disease.

Contractors will be quizzed on measures to protect workers from asbestos, silica and wood dust.

HSE inspectors will also be checking that businesses are doing all they can to protect workers from the risk of coronavirus by making workplaces Covid-secure.

The initiative will be supported by HSE’s ‘Dustbuster’ campaign designed to influence employer behaviour by encouraging builders to download free guidance and advice.

More than 3,500 builders die each year from cancers related to their work, with thousands more cases of ill-health and working days lost.

HSE’s chief inspector of construction, Sarah Jardine, said: “Around 100 times as many workers die from diseases caused or made worse by their work than are actually killed in construction accidents.

“Our inspection initiatives ensure that inspectors are able to speak to dutyholders and visit sites to look at the kind of action businesses in the construction industry are taking right now to protect their workers’ health, particularly when it comes to exposure to dust and damage to lungs.

“There are a few simple things that everyone can do to make sure they are protecting their health and their future.

“Be aware of the risks associated with activities you do every day, recognise the dangers of hazardous dust and consider how it can affect your health.

“We want businesses and their workers to think of the job from start to finish and avoid creating dust by working in different ways to keep dust down and wear the right mask and clothing.”

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