Putting indoor air quality on the safety agenda
Indoor air quality is more than just a comfort concern – it can have safety implications too, and recently published HSE figures help to highlight this with respect to the construction industry.
The HSE inspected almost 1,750 construction sites over the course of a month, and found crucial health and safety failings at 40% of these.
Enforcement action was taken at 360 sites due to safety precautions being so poor – and importantly, the investigations were as much about health risks as they were about safety issues like physical injury.
Philip White, chief of construction at the HSE, said: “Health is often overlooked as its implications are not immediately visible; however, the effects of uncontrolled exposure to deadly dusts such as asbestos and silica can be irreversible.”
In 35% of the recorded incidents, notices were served for such health issues, ranging from exposure to dust or asbestos, to noise and vibration levels and insufficient worker welfare.
But the figures highlight how important it is to ensure indoor air quality is of a sufficient level to protect those who live in, work on or visit the premises, to avoid both poor health and enforcement action.