From Monday 5th October 2020, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will be targeting construction firms across Great Britain in a month long inspection initiative focussed on respiratory risks and occupational lung disease.
The health and safety inspectors will be checking the measures businesses have in place to protect their workers’ lungs from the likes of asbestos, silica and wood dust. The inspections will also make sure the firms are protecting their employees from the risk of coronavirus and checking their workplaces are COVID-secure.
This is the fourth health-focused initiative of its kind from the health and safety watchdog. According to the HSE’s latest statistics, there are sadly 12,000 lung disease deaths every year that are estimated to be linked to past exposures at work with 3,500 of them estimated to be builders. Unfortunately, respiratory work related diseases can take years to develop and therefore neither the workers nor their employers may be aware of the link to the workplace.
The HSE’s inspection initiative and ‘Dustbuster’ campaign both aim to influence employer behaviour by encouraging builders to familiarise themselves with readily available free guidance and advice to protect workers’ health such as looking at different ways to work to avoid creating dust. Employers should also make sure they provide the correct PPE to protect their employees.
If you have been diagnosed with occupational lung disease or a work related respiratory disease as a result of exposure at work (to dust, gases, vapours and fumes for example) then you may be entitled to compensation. Speak to our specialist industrial disease solicitors today by calling us on 0161 696 6235.