HSE to launch safety blitz on pains, strains and aches

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The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are launching a new initiative with 1,000 inspections to be carried out in October and November checking how workers are moving heavy or bulky materials.

The lifting and moving heavy objects in construction has always been a major problem with manual handling harming the health of thousands of carpenters, bricklayers and many others in the construction industry which can affect them for the rest of there lives due to poor training, policy and lifting equipment.

Studies from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have been warning that many construction workers for years have been suffering with injuries which can leave them debilitated with serious pain and some are unable to walk, bend and sit down properly because of injuries suffered on building sites.

Some bullet points form the press release at the HSE are as follows

  • HSE will carry out a thousand inspections in October and November
  • Currently around 40,000 construction workers suffer injuries to muscles, bones, joints and nerves
  • Serious aches, pains and strains can affect every part of someone’s life

Principal ergonomist at HSE, Matt Birtles commented saying that : “Serious aches, pains and strains can affect every part of someone’s life. They can struggle to get themselves dressed and undressed, they can be unable to pick up their children or grandchildren.

“They can struggle to sit down and stand up, they can struggle to keep still and move around. The most intimate parts of their lives can be severely affected – they might be desperate to go the toilet but find themselves unable.

“It’s not something that many people feel comfortable talking about, perhaps particularly on a building site, but if your back has gone or if you’re in agony whenever you move your arms, measures need to be put in place to address the causes.”

HSE’s head of construction, Sarah Jardine said: “Inspectors are visiting a range of construction sites to check the action businesses are taking to ensure their workers are being protected.

“Everyone involved in construction has a role to play in keeping people safe. Risks must be managed where they can’t be prevented, and risk management arrangements must be reviewed frequently to ensure they are effective.

“We want everyone in the industry, from designers to contractors and their workers, to be aware of the risks associated with any moving or lifting task and put appropriate measures in place.

“This is a significant health issue for tens of thousands of construction workers and can lead to a lifetime of terrible aches and pains. The health of workers must be considered when planning construction work so that they can carry out their jobs without fear of injuring themselves, including being provided with the correct equipment to lift safely.

“Thankfully there are measures that can be taken to prevent injuries to muscles, bones, joints and nerves. Doing so is good for workers and good for the construction industry. It’s good for business.”