Construction Industry Urges Workers to ‘Take Care With Chemicals’

25 Oct 2019

The focus of the final day of Construction Safety Week 2019 is on working safety with hazardous substances, and more specially, to ‘take care with chemicals.

The Chemical Agent Regulations outline a specific requirement to complete a Chemical Agents risk assessment of the chemical agents used in the workplace.

Visit: to view a recorded webinar to guide the undertaking of Site Audits and Inspections, delivered by Robert Butler, Head of Learning & Development, CIF.

Dermot Carey, Director Safety and Training, with the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) said:

“Many construction materials may be considered as benign and non-hazardous; however, this must never be assumed, pending an evaluation of materials used. According to EU-OSHA, the industry sectors with high prevalence of dangerous substances include agriculture (62%), manufacturing (52%) and construction (51%). If uncontrolled, these substances may potentially impact on a worker’s health and contribute to either acute or long-term health problems (e.g. skin irritation, respiratory diseases and cancer) or safety risks in the form of a chemical reaction, fire, explosion or suffocation”.

Mark Cullen, Assistant Chief Executive of the HSA said:

“Exposure to hazardous substances in construction, usually through breathing in dust or fumes, can lead to a variety of negative health implications from minor irritation to cancer.
Many of these diseases are long term and worsen over time. Prevention is the best strategy, and it is essential that there is an awareness of the dangers and appropriate control measures are put in place. These include using less harmful materials, local exhaust ventilation, using water to suppress dusts, and providing suitable Respiratory Protection Equipment (RPE).”

Construction Safety Week is an initiative of the Construction Safety Partnership Advisory Committee (CSPAC) and is administered by the CIF. The CSPAC is a grouping of all the main stakeholders in the construction sector in Ireland, namely Employers, Unions, State Bodies (in conjunction with the Health & Safety Authority) and Professional Bodies.

Our collective mission for Construction Safety Week 2019 is to partner together to;

  • Eliminate accidents and incidents on construction sites in Ireland.
  • Promote a healthy culture of sharing lessons learned and best practice case studies in safety, health and wellbeing.
  • Reflect on the positive initiatives taken and celebrate achievements in good safety performance, whilst appreciating the potential consequences of failing to act responsibly in terms of safety and health.
  • Continue to work with colleagues and others to strengthen the construction industry’s safety and wellbeing culture.


“Walls Construction is delighted to be involved as a sponsor to Construction Safety Week. This year we were determined to make our involvement as participative as possible, augmenting the tremendous efforts made by the CIF, the various individuals and organising committees and other like-minded sponsors who have come together to deliver an excellent schedule of events, talks and initiatives. The overall objectives of Construction Safety Week closely align with our key guiding principle regarding health and safety, that is: to Arrive Safe, Work Safe and Leave Safe and Walls commit fully to this goal.”

John Nolan, Marketing & Business Development Manager, Walls Construction, Construction Safety Week Sponsors


“We are proud to be sponsoring Construction Safety Week and supporting its themes of collaboration and enhancement in occupational safety and health. These are essential components of our five-year WORK 2022 strategy, which strives to deliver advances in health and safety at work worldwide by empowering businesses to address local issues and positively influence others to bring about change within organisations.

By sharing experiences and examples of good practice within the workplace, businesses can learn from one another, exchange expertise and work towards creating a safer and healthier world of work for everyone.”

Bev Messinger, Chief Executive, IOSH, Construction Safety Week Sponsor


Construction Safety Week 2019 is sponsored by Walls Construction, Collen Construction, SSE Airtricity, Irish Water, Hilti, IOSH, Keating Construction, Gas Networks Ireland, Kirby Group Engineering and ESB Networks.

For more information, see: , check out activity on @CIF_ireland or by using #CIFSafety19

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