A UK-wide push to reduce the number of accidents and cancer-related illnesses on construction sites has been launched.
The Health and Safety Executive’s month-long push will focus on ‘health as well as safety’ and try to reduce instances of poor standards and unsafe working conditions on building sites.
The cost of injuries
Injuries on building sites are, sadly, frequent with 30,000 construction workers made ill by their work every year. Recovering from such an injury can take time and be costly, but with the help of Accident Advice Helpline, these costs can be covered.
Inspectors will be making unannounced visits in an attempt to improve safety standards for the industry, which, while making progress, still has a relatively high number of accidents.
Construction accounts for only 5% of employees in Britain, but construction site accidents make up 22% of fatalities and 10% of reported major industries, on average, each year.
There will be a focus on sites where refurbishment or repair works are taking place. The inspectors, who began their nationwide sweep on Monday, September 22, will be investigating those working with harmful dusts like silica and asbestos, and other hazardous substances.
Cancer and illness in construction
While many construction-related injuries come from accidents such as falls, illnesses like cancer are still sadly common by-products from the industry.
Philip White, HSE Chief Inspector of Construction, welcomed the progress the industry is making but said that for every fatal accident, approximately 100 construction workers die from a work-related cancer.
In a recent push, one in six sites were closed due to poor working conditions. In many cases these were smaller contractors who were failing to protect workers through a lack of awareness and poor control of risks, says Mr White.