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A two-week drive to raise awareness about the danger of diseases acquired in the workplace has been launched by the Health and Safety Executive.
The number of accidents that are experienced on construction sites is well documented, however, this campaign is aiming to address the problem of long-term illnesses that occur as a result of health and safety issues at work. During the fortnight campaign, the HSE will be looking at a number of different occupational illnesses deriving from construction workplaces. This includes looking at respiratory illnesses; manual handling injuries as well as the impact of noise and vibration. The organisation will be making sure during the visits that all employers have in place the specific health and safety systems and requirements.
According to the HSE, workers are more likely to die if they have suffered from a disease which has been exacerbated by their workplace or caused by their workplace. The HSE reports that in 2012/13 there were 39 construction deaths yet there are around 500 deaths per year because of silica dust alone.
Heather Bryant who is the HSE’s Chief Construction Inspector said that positive steps forward had been made by the construction industry in terms of reducing the number of people killed during activities. She said that now the emphasis was on workers who were exposed to ‘serious health risks’ like silica dust. She said: “This initiative provides a chance to engage with firms to help them understand what they need to do, so they can put in place the practical measures needed to keep people safe. However, let me be clear – poor risk management and a lack of awareness of responsibilities are unacceptable.
Companies who deliberately cut corners can expect to feel the full weight of the law,”
If you have suffered an injury or an illness as a result of your workplace conditions then you could be able to make a personal injury claim. Call our no win no fee solicitors at Jefferies to arrange an initial consultation and find out more about starting a claim. Call us on 0800 342 3206 or complete an online claim form.
Published 11th February 2015.