Wood dust becomes a potential health issue when wood particles produced during activities such as sanding and cutting become airborne and therefore is covered under COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Heath Regulations 2002). If inhaled, these particles can cause serious health problems including asthma, allergic respiratory symptoms, mucosal and non-allergic respiratory symptoms and even cancer.
Workplace Exposure Limits (WEL) for both hardwood and softwood dusts is currently 5mg/m3. This is based upon the amount of dust in the air averaged over an 8-hour shift. In all instances, exposure to these harmful dusts must be reduced to as low as reasonably practicable.
The HSE are currently in the process of lowering this to 3mg/m3 in 2020 and then to 2mg/m3 by 2023
The CSCS card was introduced for personnel who visited site on a regular basis but did not carry out a construction related role.
After consultation between CSCS and the industry, a new plan has been devised with the prospect of withdrawing the card completely. This decision is also supported by the Construction Leadership Council.
A construction worker is recovering in hospital after he was hit by falling materials on a housing site in Scotland. The operative is recovering and is in a stable condition. It was confirmed that his injuries were caused by falling materials within the building. This accident occurred two weeks after a woman died following being struck by a pallet of falling bricks in London.
Two scaffold inspectors have been prosecuted after a worker fell through a gap on a structure they had signed off as safe. The Court heard how the worker was working on a re-roofing project. As he stepped down from a roof, onto a fixed scaffold, he fell through a gap between the working platform and the building.
A Bakery has been fined £1 million following the death of a self-employed electrical contractor working in their premises. The electrician was wiring a motor situated above a machine while standing on a stepladder.
A Scaffolder witnessed on a scaffold without a harness has been handed a suspended sentence and community service. The court heard that photographs were taken of the Scaffolder standing on top of a scaffold in Manchester, with no edge protection and no harness attached to the scaffold or the building.
A company in control of a steel plant was fined £930,000 after five plant workers were exposed to toxic and flammable vapour. The judge stated that an estimated £25,000 spent on repairs, would have avoided the fine.
The company repeatedly failed to act on the recommendations of an inspection which identified the release of a chemical as an intolerable risk.
Following a recent fatal accident investigation, the HSE is strongly advising all employers and users of ladders to ensure that they:
We are in the process of reviewing the template that is used for the company handbook; this is currently issued to all retained clients with their SHE Management system. The aim is to make it more user friendly and more presentable. We are therefore looking for feedback from our clients on the current handbook. If you have any views we would really appreciate it. This may include areas of work that you would like to see covered in the handbook or any comments on the current layout.
If you have any feedback please can you send it to email@example.com.
Most of us in our industry see driving “as part of the job”. That is the nature of construction and it is unlikely to change. We are a transient workforce moving from site-to-site and area-to-area frequently with few of us drivers considering other means of “getting the job done”, such as remote communication e.g. conference calls instead of long journeys to meetings and the use of public transport usually because of reliability and time constraints, etc.
There has been a lot of publicity relating to the introduction of stricter punishments for drivers committing the most serious of offences, this came into effect on April 24 and includes steeper fines for speeding.
Most employers at this point think that this is the driver’s problem, to pay all fines, etc., but many may be missing the bigger picture. Most employers think that the Road Traffic Act and Highways Act are the only laws that apply, when it comes to driving for work however, you may also have to consider health & safety law.