HSE Commence Month-Long Inspection Initiative of Construction Firms

From Monday 5th October, health and safety inspectors will begin a month-long inspection initiative of construction firms, assessing if their health standards are adequate. This is the fourth time the HSE have carried out such an initiative.

As in recent years, inspections will assess respiratory risks and risk of occupational lung disease; and consider the safeguards businesses have in place to protect the health of their workers’ lungs from exposure to asbestos, silica and wood dust.

Although the main purpose of an inspectors visit during this initiative will be to focus on the above-mentioned risks, if they identify any other issues concerning health standards then they may take the appropriate enforcement action. For example, this could include ensuring businesses are operating in a manner that protects their workers from coronavirus and are deemed COVID-secure.

If you are visited by a health and safety inspector then make sure you provide evidence your business and your workers are aware of the risks, prepare your work in accordance with this knowledge and employ the appropriate measures. Remember, inspectors can take enforcement action if they do not believe workers are adequately protected.

Given that over 3,500 builders die every year from cancers associated with their employment, with thousands more cases of ill-health and working days lost, it is imperative your business has adequate health standards and is prepared for a visit from a health and safety inspector. This initiative is supported by the HSE’s ‘Dustbuster’ campaign, which aims to shape employer’s behaviour by urging builders to download free guidance and advice.