THE Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will carry out unannounced building site visits during a month-long initiative to tackle poor standards and unsafe work.
‘Health as well as safety’ will be the message as Britain’s construction sites are targeted as part of a nationwide drive aimed at reducing ill health, death and injury in the industry.
HSE inspectors will be visiting sites from September 22 where refurbishment projects or repair works are underway. They will ensure high-risk activities are being properly managed. These include working with harmful dusts such as silica and asbestos, and other hazardous substances. If unacceptable standards are found Inspectors will take immediate enforcement action.
HSE is urging industry to ‘think health’ as over 30,000 construction workers are made ill by their work every year.
Philip White, HSE Chief Inspector of Construction, said, “Industry has made much progress in reducing the number of people killed and injured in its activities, but for every fatal accident, approximately 100 construction workers die from a work-related cancer.
“During the recent health initiative, enforcement action was taken on one in six sites. Time and again we find smaller contractors working on refurbishment and repair work failing to protect their workers through a lack of awareness and poor control of risks. This isn’t acceptable – it costs lives, and we will take strong and robust action where we find poor practice and risky behaviour.”