Industry partnership launched to tackle dangers of construction dust

constructiondustThe Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has revealed that construction workers are at a high risk from breathing in dust. 

In response to the dangers of dust consumption, the industry has launched the Construction Dust Partnership – a network of partners committed to tackling the issue – supported by HSE.

The partnership brings together key stakeholders across the industry with representation from manufacturers, suppliers, contractors, designers, training bodies and workers. They plan to raise awareness, drive improvements forward and encourage behaviour change through joint initiatives.

HSE director of long latency health risks division Kären Clayton said:

“The HSE aims to act as a catalyst to facilitate action through partnership working and a collective ambition to reduce the burden of occupational cancer and respiratory disease. By putting a focus on encouraging others to take action, we are starting to see some real innovative changes regarding protecting workers from construction dust.”

Projects to date include a series of toolbox talks, road shows, posters, and educational resources which are available to access at a dedicated section of the CITB website.

Lee Fisk, CITB environment, safety & health strategy manager, said:

“CITB welcomes the opportunity to be part of the Construction Dust Partnership. Raising awareness of the devastating effects exposure to construction dust has on workers and their families and providing advice on effective control measures is vital to the wellbeing of individuals and the industry.”

Construction dust includes silica, wood and other dusts. The inhalation of these hazardous particles can result in severe respiratory illnesses such as occupational asthma and lung cancer silicosis. Currently, over 500 construction workers are believed to die each year as a result of dust exposure.

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