Health and safety inspectors are to begin making unannounced visits to construction sites across South Yorkshire to ensure working with asbestos and other high-risk activities are being managed correctly.
Immediate action will be taken against any contractors failing to meet the acceptable standards, and work will be halted, thestar.co.uk reports.
Dave Bradley, an HSE construction inspector, said: “The industry has made much progress in reducing the number of people killed and injured in its activities, but for every fatal incident, about 100 construction workers die from a work-related cancer.”
The month-long campaign comes as a result of an estimated 7,000 construction workers throughout Yorkshire and Humber who are now suffering from ill-health as a direct consequence of their work. There are more mesothelioma deaths in the UK than in any other country worldwide, telegraph.co.uk notes.
“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,” Bradley said. “This isn’t acceptable – it costs lives, and we will take strong and robust action where we find poor practice and risky behaviour.
“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 safe and well.”