Construction sites across Great Britain are to be targeted as part of a month-long respiratory health initiative by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), it has been announced today (6 June).
Throughout June, inspections supported by HSE’s Dust Kills campaign will focus on respiratory risks and occupational lung disease, including killers such as silicosis to which masonry and worktop fitters can be exposed.
Each year in the construction industry, 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.
Starting on Monday 6 June, site inspections will have a specific focus on dust control, checking employers and employees know the risks of exposure, plan their work to avoid it, and are using the right controls.
HSE has partnered with construction and occupational health organisations to highlight the control measures required on site to prevent exposure to dust.
The network of Dust Kills partners includes British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS), Construction Industry Advisory Committee (CONIAC), the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA), Construction Leadership Council (CLC), Health in Construction Leadership Group (HCLG) and Construction Dust Partnership.
HSE’s chief inspector of construction, Sarah Jardine, says: “Occupational lung disease is preventable. It can have a devastating impact on both the individuals affected and their families. 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 to protect their long-term lung health.”