Protecting construction workers from exposure to silica has been a priority for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for a number of years. During this time, HSE has used a range of approaches to influence the construction industry. These include:
- Providing tailored advice, information and guidance on HSE’s website about complying with the law in this area;
- Raising awareness through HSE social media presence as well as engaging with industry through mechanisms such as the Construction Dust Partnership and the Health in Construction Leadership Group;
- Undertaking research with the industry to increase the evidence base available;
- Carrying out targeted inspections. This includes a national inspection initiative undertaken between 17th June 2019 – 12th July 2019 that focussed on silica and other dusts in the construction industry. This will be repeated in October 2019;
- Taking enforcement action where appropriate to prevent ill-health and hold law-breakers to account.
Silica exposure amongst construction workers will continue to be a priority for HSE while it remains a significant issue. HSE will look to evolve the intervention approaches it uses during this period to maximise its influence.