HSE Inspectors Visiting Construction Sites Across Great Britain Part 2
Oct 27 2021 12:12PM
A HSE Site Visit Resulting in Enforcement Action
During the second week of this initiative taking place a HSE inspector found a power tool being used without water suppression to cut bricks containing silica, on a construction site in Leicestershire. The HSE inspector found that RPE was accessible on site but was not being used. However, upon further investigation it was found that the operative had not been face-fit tested for the RPE and when inspected, it was filthy, damaged and ineffective.The result of this finding was enforcement action taking place against the principal contractor for the site, who will receive a bill from HSE under fee for intervention (FFI).
Dust and The Law
Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, employers have a legal responsibility to protect the health of their workers as far as reasonably practicable. Failure to protect the workers health can put the employer at serious financial risk. As it can be a large cost to workers and their families from getting ill through work. If the employer fails to adequately protect workers health and HSE take enforcement action then the costs will need to be paid back for costs of inspections, investigations and enforcement. Company reputation will be damaged, the HSE places enforcement notices on the public register and where prosecution action is taken, cases are listed on the public register of convictions.
With regards to dust and the law the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations says that the employer must protect against the risks from hazardous construction dusts. The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations sets the limit on the amount of dust that can be inhaled.
What Can You Do?
There are three crucial things that employers need to do:
- Assess the risks that are linked to the work and the materials the second is to control the risks
- Control the risk by eliminating or reducing the dust
- Review the controls.
Even with control measures in place, some tasks will still producing high volumes of dust. For this reason, a form of respiratory protective equipment (RPE), may be appropriate. These masks rely on a tight seal with the face to work. If the mask fits incorrectly then dust can enter through any gap between the mask and the face and into the airways. The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 and RPE guidance, state all tight-fitting masks must be face fit tested.
Once all controls are in place, they need to be reviewed to make sure that they are working properly. You can check the controls work by having procedures in place to ensure the work is done in the right way, maintaining equipment, supervising workers and involving workers as they can help identify problems and find solutions.
Get In Touch
Arion offer a range of services which can help you to stay complient and protect your employees. Get in touch today to discuss how we can help you and your company.
Visit our Occupational Health webpages to see what we can offer Occupational Health Screening, Health Surveillance, Face Fit Testing (arionltd.co.uk)