Please find below an update from HSE regarding their focus on construction health – if you need support or advice on dust exposures including air monitoring please contact us or request a call back from one of our safety consultants or an occupational hygienist. We have many years of experience in monitoring for construction health including air sampling for dust and fume including respirable crystalline silica and also welding fume (mild steel).
HSE to focus on the Construction Industry
During mid-June to mid-July, HSE’s campaign activity will once more include a focus on health in the construction industry, with an emphasis on lung disease – in particular where lung disease has been caused by exposure to asbestos and dust.
What Needs to be Done?
Naturally, health and safety, in general, should be a priority on all construction projects, and everyone has a duty to play a leading part in this and achieve the required standards – whether they be a manager, supervisor, employee, or contractor. The key messages for action are straightforward:
- Know the risks
- Plan your work
- Use the right controls
By understanding the main risks to health and the measures required to control these, workers can be better protected – and ultimately this will help achieve the aim to eradicate ill health and disease from the construction industry. Progress can also be made by sharing best practice examples – such as case studies: please visit HCLG’s website which features a number of construction industry case studies, as do some of the campaigns below.
Free Resources and Advice
Recent years have seen a number of campaigns launched, focusing on worker health and protecting workers from lung disease. These have resulted in a vast range of valuable, free advice and resources being made widely available and easily accessible to everyone:
- HSE’s Go Home Healthy campaign: one of the main areas of focus for this initiative is lung disease, and in-depth information and a number of resources are available on HSE’s website
- IOSH’s No Time to Lose (NTTL) campaign: ‘A wake-up call to cancer caused by work’ highlights the need for a wider understanding of carcinogen exposure issues and how businesses can take action. Free resources include those related to asbestos, silica dust and diesel fumes i.e. known risks to lung health
- BOHS’s Breathe Freely campaign: ‘Controlling exposures to prevent occupational lung disease in construction’ is the primary aim of this campaign, and the Breathe Freely website contains a vast and wide range of resources – all specifically developed for the construction industry
HSE’s initiative will continue to shine a spotlight on health, and demonstrate where progress is being made and where room for improvement remains. Supporting the above campaigns on social media will help achieve wider awareness of the issues; what action needs to happen; and the wide range of available resources.
By working together as leaders in the industry, and by sharing best practice, everyone can make a difference and play their part in raising standards to improve worker health protection in the construction industry.