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HSE Construction eBulletin: September 2020

Wednesday 30th September 2020

This update has been provided to us by the HSE.

An update on the latest information for employers and employees in the construction industry.

Visit the HSE website for all the latest updates.

HSE Construction Health Inspection Initiative – October 2020

The period 5 - 30 October will see HSE carrying out its latest construction health inspection initiative.

The initiative has two main purposes:

  • As COVID-security is a critical health risk in the wider aim of helping people back into workplaces safely and supporting the economy, an initial COVID-19 spot check will be carried out.
  • Once satisfied a site is COVID-secure, our inspectors will focus on respiratory risks to support our continuing strategy to improve the health of construction workers. In particular, we will look at the measures in place to protect workers from occupational lung disease caused by asbestos and construction dusts.

Respiratory risks are mature health topics that the construction industry should now be managing, but priority is still often given to safety, with thousands more workers suffering ill-health at work than are harmed by at-work accidents.

Asbestos and dust are slow killers and construction businesses and workers need to be aware of how dangerous and hazardous to someone’s health such substances can be.

Inspectors will look to ensure those involved with construction projects:

Where poor standards are found, enforcement action will be taken. It is now time for the industry to take the next step from thinking health to doing health!

For further information see HSE’s press release.

Work-related stress – Joint HSE/Industry Construction Talking Toolkit

Stress, depression and anxiety are the second biggest causes of work-related ill health in the construction industry.

The earlier this problem is tackled the less impact it will have on workers and business and positive action can help to create a more engaged workforce, boost productivity and save money.

HSE has worked with industry to produce a draft talking toolkit on this issue, focussed particularly at small businesses with a regular workforce (employed and contracted).

A draft version of the toolkit can now be downloaded. We encourage you to try using it, both to start conversations on this important area of ill health and to help improve the final product.

Please help us by providing brief feedback via this questionnaire.

The toolkit was developed with the CONIAC Tackling Ill Health Working Group together with help from Site Safe Scotland, North & West Yorkshire Working Well Together Group and the Scottish Housebuilders’ Health and Safety Forum. It also complements the industry’s wider initiatives to promote positive mental health and support those in need.

You can find out more about work-related stress on HSE’s website.

Coronavirus updates and advice

HSE has published a range of coronavirus related guidance and information, which you may find useful. It includes:

For all the latest information and advice visit our coronavirus microsite.

Other industry news and publications

A new COVID-19 industry research report has been published.

Conducted by Loughborough University, the independent report - COVID-19 and construction: Early lessons for a new normal? - is based on research into six UK major construction schemes.

It explores the industry’s health and safety response to the COVID-19 pandemic and potential medium to long-term benefits arising from extending and embedding these new working practices.

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