New inspection campaign starts tomorrow.

The Health and Safety Executive has forgone the element of surprise by announcing that it will start its inspection blitz on construction sites in the Highlands and east Scotland in March.

As part of the HSE's Healthy Handling 2005 initiative, inspectors will travel nationwide to root out poor working practices that could cause debilitating injuries and end careers for construction workers. The four areas of concern will be:

  • the way sites are organised
  • lifting and carrying practises
  • the use of hand-held vibrating tools
  • and working practices with wet cement, which can cause dermatitis and burns if it comes in contact with the skin.

Kevin Myers, chief inspector for construction, said: "Work-related ill health affects a significant number of construction workers and the sector has one of the highest rates of musculoskeletal disorder in industry. Back problems, cement dermatitis, vibration white finger and deafness can ruin people's lives and force them out of their chosen profession."