24/05/2017 The Building Safety Group (BSG), has reported an 18% increase in the number of Occupational Health breaches recorded during site inspections. The increase is based on over 10,000 independent inspections conducted for the construction industry over a six-month period which compares quarter four 2016 with the first quarter of 2017.
Key contributors to the rise in Occupational Health non-compliances were Dust Fume infringements (up 43%), breaches in Noise (up 23%) and COSHH violations (up 17%). Recent HSE blitzes have concentrated on violations in Occupational Health, frequently leading to FFI (Fees for Intervention) penalties being imposed. BSG’s announcement also coincides with the introduction of the HSE’s construction sector plan, which aims to reduce incidents of ill health with particular focus on occupational lung disease.
Noise at work can cause hearing damage that is permanent and disabling. This can be hearing loss that is gradual because of exposure to noise over time, but also damage caused by sudden, extremely loud noises. Of greater concern is the large rise in Dust Fume non-compliances, which can have a marked detrimental impact on health. Regularly breathing construction dust can cause diseases like lung cancer, asthma, Chronic 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.
“Anyone who could potentially breathe in these dusts should know the health effects and damage they can do to the lungs and airways. Construction dust is not just a nuisance. It can seriously damage health and cause life changing lung diseases, which is why everyone involved in the industry has a responsibility for managing risks to health, and all parties must take ownership of their part of the process.” commented BSG’s Managing Director, Paul Kimpton.
Kimpton added: “A written health and safety policy is not enough. There must be efficient and effective implementation procedures for occupational health and safety programmes to be successful.”
BSG’s latest non-compliance statistics have been generated from the organisation’s ‘Non-Compliance Reporting Index (NCRI) and relates to the period 1st October 2016 to 31st March 2017. For more information about how to reduce the risk of Occupational Health disorders, please visit the BSG website www.bsgltd.co.uk.
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