What happened?

During opening up works and inspection works to disused Pathology building an on 4th Sept 2020. Operatives were tasked with various investigation works. The operative noticed a lot of red blotches and bites on his lower legs and ankles. He suspected that this was caused by flea bites. His condition deteriorated over a couple of days and his bites appeared on his back also.

How did this happen?

Biological Hazard Identification – The Pathology building was unoccupied for a lengthy time. The scope of works included investigation / inspection of an existing building and clearly there had been no clean out of the building prior to carrying out works. There was insufficient information passed on about the actual biological contaminants within the building. The building had a lot of dead carcasses on the ground, pigeons, vermin and evidence of fox activity. Operative required medical attention and was placed on a course of strong antibiotics and skin ointment.

What are we doing to prevent recurrence?

  • The building is classed as a biological hazard and all works were stopped pending a deep clean.
  • A deep clean including fumigation with insecticides was carried out by a cleaning contractors over a two-day period.
  • Client was informed on the condition of the building and the biological risk identified.
  • Better communication required relating to potential risks from Client/PSDP on the building environment and condition before works commence.
  • Consider all biological risks and implement control measures to eliminate risk before engaging in any work activity.

Sign Up for Alerts

Would you like to receive an alert when new Lessons Learned / Best Practices in Health & Safety are added?

Join the Construction Industry Federation