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HSE campaign targets construction related ill health

dust

Health of construction workers in the UK is the focus of a new targeted inspection campaign launched this week by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

According to the HSE, 43 workers were fatally injured in 2015/16 but and it estimates that ten times that number died from construction related ill health.

HSE is now asking every construction contractor, client and designer to ensure they are not adding to this unacceptable toll of harm by failing to manage well-known risks.

In addition to things such as falls from height, the campaign will focus on control of harmful dusts including respirable silica from concrete, brick and stone, asbestos and wood dust, as well as work at height, structural safety, materials handling, good order and welfare provision.

HSE points to the mis-conception that health issues cannot be controlled in construction. It says harmful dust, whether silica or wood, is a serious issue and can be managed effectively with the right design, equipment and training. Health effects may not be immediate, but the ultimate impact on workers and their families can be devastating.

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