Considering specific occupational health risks in construction

18th October 2018 - Meeting Report

This meeting was arranged with 3 separate speakers in order to provide as much of a broad and current subject matter as was possible. The 3 speakers were covering health risks primarily from a construction industry perspective, but this provided opportunity for broader discussion. The attendance was very pleasing with an estimated 110 members taking time to join in the event.

The first presenter was John Lacey (Lincsafe H&S Ltd) who is known and respected within IOSH and across the H&S fraternity. John presented a session on the risks associated with soil and ground contamination from the presence of ACM. John provided a historic & current situation regarding the issue and how this might be managed effectively. Questions and discussion around the practical management of such situations were covered (i.e. planning, removal, training).

The second presenter was Roger Grannon (C.O.O – Kingstown Works Ltd). The subject for Roger’s session was the management of HAVS (Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome) within a peripatetic workforce. This session provided a window into how management issues around this aspect of risk were initially found to be not adequate but also how the company overcame the issues. This also covered was how the company was using different methods such as electronic recording on PDA’s, personal risk assessment/HAVS 1-to-One meetings to try to make the process about protection rather than compliance. A number of questions were put forward about how the methods being employed worked in practice. These questions pointed to how each organisation needs to look at how specific management processes need to be considered to suit their unique work operations.

The third and final presenter was David Powell who from 1986 until 2012 worked for the HSE as an Inspector/Principal Inspector. David now works as an independent consultant, Powell (OSH) Consulting, and is involved in Expert Witness support in both criminal and civil cases. The session undertaken by David covered the risks associated with exposure to Respirable Silica and where the hazard can emanate from.

While many in the audience were aware of the more well-known sources of the hazard, David provided some additional information and examples of less likely exposure situations and materials.

In the second part of David’s presentation he covered aspects of the HSE’s early silica campaigns and how this had developed to the present time. He also provided information on HSE prosecutions on the three health topics covered. This was of great interest to the room and raised several questions around how to ensure compliance could be met. David provided some thought-provoking responses as he noted that there had been recent levels of disparity between what in some situations the HSE deemed to be of a higher risk than would normally be considered.

Overall the individual speaker sessions linked together well and provided a positive approach to occupational health risks and their management on a practical level.

The Branch Chair, Paul Gillespie thanked the three presenters for their time and willingness to support the branch and its membership.

Podbean - Presentation

The Yorkshire Branch arranges its branch meetings in order to provide opportunities for members to meet, network with other members, ask questions and to attend informative presentations for free.

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