The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has undertaken a national targeted inspection focussing on health risks for construction workers. One sixth of the sites visited required enforcement action to be taken.

The proactive inspections took place over two weeks with the HSE demanding improvements, and even for certain work activities and practices to stop altogether in more extreme cases.

The inspectors made certain health risks their focus which included respiratory risks from dusts containing silica materials, exposure to other hazardous substances such as cement and lead paint, manual handling, noise and vibration.

560 sites were visited altogether and 85 of them received enforcement notices. Thirteen Prohibition Notices, meaning certain work or practices must not be continued until improvements have been made, had to be given. 107 Improvement Notices were also handed out.

Heather Bryant, HSE’s Chief Inspector commented: “We recognise the construction sector’s progress in reducing the number of people killed and injured by its activities. But it is clear from these figures that there is an unacceptable toll of ill-health and fatal disease in the industry… We will make sure the construction industry ‘Thinks Health’ as well as safety.”