Construction companies need to be prepared for surprise HSE site inspections over the coming months, following HSE’s announcement that they will be investigating the adequacy of measures implemented to safeguard against the long-term health complications caused by asbestos and dust exposure.
It’s estimated that there are 8,000 work-related cancer deaths each year, with 3,500 of these fatalities stemming from the construction industry – asbestos and dust exposure representing the primary causes of these deaths.
Simon Gubbins, Managing Director at Robison & Co., said: “This latest inspection initiative from the HSE is focused on protecting construction workers’ lungs from exposure to harmful substances which can cause long-terms health issues, such as occupational lung disease. Employers can expect HSE inspectors to assess workers’ understanding of safety and procedures for preventing and controlling potential risks, and if poor standards are found, organisations could suffer enforcement action and costly fines.”
The latest news bulletin from the HSE highlights that priority is often given to safety and workplace accidents, but thousands more workers suffer ill-health as a result of inhaling harmful substances, such as asbestos, silica, wood and other dusts. Construction businesses and workers need to be aware of how dangerous and hazardous to someone’s health such substances can be and have procedures in place to manage these risks.
Simon continued: “Organisations should be able to demonstrate they have a risk management plan in place to mitigate these potential risks, but also workers must be aware of this plan and trained to actively follow the necessary procedures to reduce the risk of asbestos and dust exposure. With the HSE’s ‘Dust Buster’ campaign in full swing, this is an area of workplace safety that construction businesses should review. Our construction insurance specialists can help businesses assess their risk, identify exposure hazards in the workplace and put together bespoke insurance policies that will help protect them in the event of an incident.”
As specialists in construction insurance, Robison & Co. understand the risks faced by businesses operating in the construction industry and will work with you to develop comprehensive, bespoke policies based on your individual needs. We have extensive experience dealing with different levels and types of construction insurance cover, including employer’s liability, contractors all risks, contract works, latent defects and plant and equipment cover.
If you’re a building contractor and would like an audit of your existing policies, or guidance relating to employer’s liability insurance for construction workers, please call Robison today on 01730 265500. We’d be happy to discuss your current needs and ascertain your level of risk.