BSG reports 28% increase in Occupational Health Non-compliances

11th July 2016

BSG (Building Safety Group) , the UK’s largest construction safety group, has reported a 28% increase in the number of Occupational Health non-compliances recorded through site inspections. BSG’s latest figure from its Non-Compliance Reporting Index (NCRI) is for the period 1st April to 30th June. The increase is based on over 10,000 independent inspections conducted for the construction industry over a six month period, during the first half of 2016.

Key contributors to the rise in Occupational Health non-compliances were Dust Fume infringements (up 13%), breaches in PPE Equipment usage (up 58%) and COSHH violations (up 43%). There was a significant drop in Manual Handling non-compliances however, which have fallen by 18%. BSG’s announcement coincides with recent HSE blitzes which have focused on these areas, frequently leading to FFI (Fees for Intervention) penalties being imposed.

The increase in PPE infringements can largely be attributed to firms failing to ‘face fit’ dust masks correctly, something which can be quickly rectified by following the proper procedure. The majority of COSHH non-compliances were recorded for not having the appropriate MSDS or COSHH risk assessment documentation.

Of greater concern is the rise in Dust Fume non-compliances, which can have a marked detrimental impact on health. Regularly breathing construction dust can cause diseases like lung cancer, asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and silicosis. Construction workers have a high risk of developing these diseases because many common construction tasks can create high dust levels. These diseases cause permanent disability and early death. Over 500 construction workers are believed to die from exposure to silica dust every year.

“Everyone involved in construction has a responsibility in managing risks to health, and all parties must take ownership of their part of the process. Construction dust is not just a nuisance. It can seriously damage your health and cause life changing lung diseases,” commented BSG’s Managing Director, Paul Kimpton, who added: “Implementing an approved ‘Health Surveillance System’ to monitor workers who are exposed to hazardous dusts is often a requirement by law, so it is critical that companies regularly review their systems and procedures to ensure they remain compliant with UK legislation and that their work-forces remain protected.”

For further information please contact:

Name:                    Mark Johnson
Telephone:           0300 304 9090