A London based contractor has recently faced court after leaving workers exposed to Respirable Crystalline Silica.
The court heard that MY Construction & Carpentry Limited was completing work refurbishing a building at Netherhall Gardens, London. However, an inspection found that failures in the management of health and safety resulted in several issues on site.
Workers were found in the basement dry cutting around 250 bricks into shape. They were not informed of the dangers associated with this though. This included the possible issues of inhaling the dust. Alongside this, they were not made aware of the right controls either or supervised by someone competent to do the job.
Consequently, the matter was taken to court and the company fined £40,000. They were also ordered to pay an additional £2,313.10 in costs too.
HSE inspector Prentiss Clarke-Jones stated: “Over 500 construction workers are believed to die from exposure to silica dust every year.”
“It is the biggest risk to construction workers after asbestos.”
“This number can be reduced by those in control of the work through adequate planning, managing and monitoring of the work on site.”
“MY Construction has been repeatedly warned by HSE about the dangers of silica.”
“And has today been held to account for failing to take adequate action to protect the health and safety of its workers.”
Everyone knows the dangers of working at heights and with complex machinery. However, what is often overlooked is the dangers of respiratory issues. With silica dust still killing over 500 construction workers a year, it emphasises the question: are construction sites truly safe?
But what do you think? Let us know in the comments below.