Construction micro-organisms: Hepatitis A from sewage

Construction workers may be exposed to Hepatitis A if they are working on sites contaminated with raw or untreated sewage. This page tells you how to control this risk and why. You also need to be aware of the general information on micro-organisms.

What you must do

Follow the Assess, Control and Review model. Pay particular attention to the following things:


Identify and assess: The risk of workers being exposed to Hepatitis A is mainly when working in an area contaminated with raw, untreated sewage in the last 12 months. In particular:


Prevent – Eliminate / limit contact with sewage where possible.

Control: Where work with sewage is unavoidable, control this risk by:


Supervise: Ensure that controls such as work methods, PPE and welfare are effective and used by the workers. Anyone using tight fitting masks needs to be clean-shaven and face fit tested.

What you should know

Hepatitis A is an infection of the liver that is generally uncommon in the UK. Initial symptoms are similar to flu and may lead to:

The symptoms usually clear up within two months, although may occasionally last up to six months. Older adults tend to have more severe symptoms. In most cases, the liver will make a full recovery.

Updated 2022-02-10