In a nationwide blitz of unannounced site visits, inspectors will be focusing on occupational health issues such as silica and asbestos dusts and others harmful substances, and not just immediate safety issues such as fall protection and correct use of machinery.
HSE chief inspector of construction Philip White said: “Industry has made much progress in reducing the number of people killed and injured in its activities, but for every fatal accident, approximately 100 construction workers die from a work-related cancer.
“During the recent health initiative, enforcement action was taken on one in six sites. Time and again we find smaller contractors working on refurbishment and repair work failing to protect their workers through a lack of awareness and poor control of risks.
“This isn’t acceptable – it costs lives, and we will take strong and robust action where we find poor practice and risky behaviour.”
He added: “Through campaigns like this we aim to ensure contractors take all risks to their workers seriously, and not just focus on immediate safety implications. They need to put in place practical measures to keep workers both safe and well”