The Health and Safety Executive, the United Kingdom workplace authority, has announced that it is cracking down on worksites that fail to put the appropriate workplace provisions to protect workers from dangerous exposure to dust.
From the 4th of October, inspectors will be visiting more than 1,000 construction sites across the UK throughout the month to ensure workplaces adhere to safety standards for dust, focusing on the safety standards around silica, wood, and asbestos.
It’s estimated that as many as 500 workers in the UK are killed from exposure to silica dust alone. There have been growing calls for stricter legislation around the workplace exposure standards, with several MPs calling for the exposure limits to be halved.
HSE chief inspector of construction Sarah Jardine said: “Around 100 times as many workers die from diseases caused or made worse by their work than are actually killed in construction accidents.
“These are mature health challenges that the industry ought to be managing effectively,” she added.
The HSE has confirmed it will be carrying spot checks on all types of work sites, from small renovations to major commercial builds. Inspectors will be looking at the work plans and ensuring that all builds are planned with the appropriate safety measures.