08 October, 2018
According to the HSE the construction industry is one of the most hazardous industries in the country with around one third of all workplace fatalities occurring in construction. In the last 10 years more than 750 people (workers and members of the public) have died from injuries arising out of construction work.
Given the statistics, it is no surprise that improving health and safety in the construction sector is a major priority for the HSE. The HSE has published a construction sector plan. The plan summarises the sector's performance, outlines the top three strategic priorities till 2022 and the action that the regulator intends to take to support them. A copy of the HSE construction plan can be found here.
One of the key priorities in the construction plan is to ensure that the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM 2015) are understood by the sector. The HSE also wants to achieve a downward trend in fatal incidents, work-related injury and ill health, by focusing on a reduction in the cases of occupational lung disease, MSDs and work-related stress and by supporting small businesses to achieve improved risk management and control.
The HSE have already demonstrated their intention to focus on the sector by announcing that construction firms will be specifically targeted on their health standards in relation to respiratory risks and occupational lung disease. Throughout October HSE inspectors will be carrying out inspections and will be looking for evidence of construction workers knowing and recognising the risks, planning their work and using the right controls. If necessary, the HSE have confirmed that they will use enforcement action to ensure compliances with the relevant standards.