HSE inspectors turn spotlight on site dust risks

Grant Prior 3 weeks ago
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The Health and Safety Executive has launched a month-long respiratory health initiative targeting construction sites across the country.

The Dust Kills campaign will see HSE inspectors focus on respiratory risks and occupational lung disease throughout June.

Each year in construction there are thousands of preventable cases of ill health caused by lung disease due to past exposure to dust at work.

These diseases often have a life-changing impact and can result in an early death.

Site inspections this month will have a specific focus on dust control, checking employers and workers know the risks, plan their work and are using the right controls.

HSE’s chief inspector of construction, Sarah Jardine, said: “Occupational lung disease is preventable. It can have a devastating impact on both the individuals affected and their family.

“Every year, construction workers are dying from diseases caused or made worse by their work. We are urging employers and workers to take the necessary precautions today to protect their long-term lung health.”

Inspectors will be checking control measures are in place to protect workers from inhaling construction dust including Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS) and wood dust.

Jardine added: “Through our inspection initiatives, inspectors can visit a range of construction sites to check the action businesses are taking to ensure their workers’ health is being protected.

“Through speaking to dutyholders we can make sure they have considered the job from start to finish and are effectively managing the risks.

“We want everyone, workers and their employers, to be aware of the risks associated with any task that produces dust and use effective control measures, such as water suppression, extraction and masks, to prevent exposure to dust to ensure they are protected from harm and ill health.”

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