Put the safety of your workers first with the HSE Construction Health Inspection Initiative
At Work Safety Solutions, we take the health of those working on construction sites seriously. As of the 17th June, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will begin the implementation of its most recent construction inspection initiative. The primary focus of this initiative is health, with a specific focus on the lung health of your workers present on site during the construction phase. Today, we will be looking at this HSE Inspection Initiative, how it aims to protect and safeguard your workers’ health, and the related risks of failing to put such health and safety measures in place.
What is the HSE Inspection Initiative?
HSE stands for Health and Safety Executive. This is a government agency responsible for ensuring encouragement, regulation and enforcement of workplace health, safety and welfare. Through the HSE Inspection Initiative, those involved with construction projects will be assisted in mapping out their risks and hazards and will receive oversight when planning projects and ensuring the right controls and equipment are used.
What are the risks to workers’ lungs from working on construction sites?
Failing to implement the proper health and safety measures when undergoing construction and building work can have dangerous repercussions on your employees’ health, particularly for their lungs. The related issues and health defects can range from moderate to severe; these are caused by a number of substances found on construction sites, such as asbestos, silica, wood and other types of dust.
Asbestos is one of the most dangerous substances that can be found on construction sites and around building works. It was commonplace to use in construction work prior to the year 2000, and as such continues to exist in some older buildings. It is highly toxic and is estimated to be responsible for 5000 deaths per year; it is crucial, therefore, that when planning construction work you take this health hazard into account.
As well as asbestos, silica has been linked with thousands of cases of cancer per year, and dust from wood and other materials can cause breathing difficulties and long-term lung damage. While construction dust may seem harmless, in the long-term, dust can cause cancer – especially of the nose. When dust settles in organs such as the lungs, the fine and sharp particles can cause serious damage.
How can the HSE Inspection Initiative prevent this?
The HSE Inspection Initiative is designed to help you in properly safeguarding your workers against these health risks. This involves prevention, controlling the risk and training ; for instance, the use of Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) can be of great help, as it prevents the wearer from inhaling harmful substances in the air. These are a key step in the chain of ensuring protection, after the hazard has been eliminated as far as possible. This can be easily communicated to your employees with the use of a ‘wear respirator’ warning sign.
Get in touch
If you have any remaining questions about the HSE Inspection Initiative and how it will benefit your workplace, please do not hesitate to contact us. A member of our team will be happy to help you.