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News & Updates

HSE will be carrying out its latest inspection initiative in October

The new HSE inspection initiative will run from Monday 5th October to Friday 30th of October, and its main focus will be on respiratory risks and COVID security on construction sites.

The purpose of this initiative is twofold:To support HSE’s continuing strategy to improve the health of construction workers.To align with the wider government agenda to get people back to workplaces safely and so support economic recovery.

As ever, if you have any concerns regarding these inspections, please speak to your advisor, but we have included the HSE’s guidance around these topics below.

Construction dust
Construction dust is not just a nuisance; it is a real risk to your lungs. 

What you must do
The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations says you must protect against the risks from hazardous construction dusts. Follow the ‘Assess, Control and Review model‘. You will find detailed information on these key areas below: Construction Dust: CIS 36 (PDF)- Portable Document Format Construction dust: Specific tasks

Industry guidance on this topic is available: Construction Industry Training Board (CITB)

What you should know
Regularly breathing construction dust can cause diseases like lung cancerasthmaChronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and silicosis. Construction workers have a high risk of developing these diseases because many common construction tasks can create high dust levels. 

These diseases cause permanent disability and early death. Over 500 construction workers are believed to die from exposure to silica dust every year. Read some examples of the impact that dust has had on people’s livesFAQs on construction dust

Making your workplace COVID-secure during the coronavirus pandemic

Risk assessment
You should start by updating your risk assessment to manage the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) in your business. This will help you to understand what you should do to work safely and protect people. You can find a wide variety of free risk assessments on our website.

Social distancing
Where possible you should keep people 2 metres apart. If this is not viable, keeping 1 metre apart with risk mitigation is acceptable. How to maintain social distancing in the workplace

Cleaning, hygiene and handwashing
Keeping your workplace clean and frequent handwashing reduces the potential for coronavirus to spread. It is a critical part of making and keeping your business COVID-secure. Cleaning, hygiene and handwashing in the workplace

Talk to workers and provide information
Consult and involve people in the steps you’re taking to manage the risk of coronavirus in your workplace so you can:explain the changes you’re planning to work safelymake sure changes will work and hear their ideascontinue to operate your business safely.
Talking with your workers about working safely during the coronavirus pandemic (PDF)- Portable Document Format .

For further advice, visit the HSE’s website
Further information:This is not a one-off initiative but is part of HSE’s wider-phased, strategic plan developed to improve health within the construction industry.HSE undertook two construction-specific respiratory risk inspection initiatives in 2019, accompanied by awareness raising activity through HSE’s Go Home Healthy brand and promoting campaign key messages. Those initiatives built on previous work going back several years, including engagement with wider industry initiatives. There is also other, related stakeholder work ongoing, including CECA’s Stop Make a Change 2020 campaign and the Asbestos Leadership Group. This initiative is part of HSE’s response to the recommendation within the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) For Respiratory Health’s recent report Silica – the next asbestos?, that a targeted industry awareness campaign is developed and implemented for those at risk of developing silicosis.