Month-long HSE inspections to focus on respiratory risks

THE Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has announced that it will be targeting construction firms in inspections which will look at the measures businesses have in place to protect their workers’ lungs.

The month-long inspection programme will begin on Monday October 5. HSE said it will look at measures in place to protect workers from the likes of asbestos, silica, and wood dust.

HSE added that inspectors will also take ‘necessary enforcement’ should they identify areas of concern not relating to measures specific to the respiratory risk inspections, such as Covid-19 measures and general health and safety.

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 duty holders 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.”