Health & Safety Executive is targeting dust on construction sites this month (October).
Inspectors will be visiting construction sites across Great Britain to see if businesses have measures in place to protect their workers’ lungs from the likes of asbestos, silica and wood dust. They will specifically be looking for evidence of construction workers knowing the risk, planning their work and using the right controls.
You can become a #DustBuster and show your support for the campaign by downloading free selfie cards and sending HSE your photos via the #DustBuster and #WorkRight hashtags on Twitter at @H_S_E, or on Facebook via @hsegovuk and @SaferSites. HSE says it will retweet and repost the best ones, so you could go viral!
HSE's Peter Baker, Chief Inspector of Construction, says: "Around 100 times as many workers die from diseases caused or made worse by their work than are killed in construction accidents. Annually, work-related cancers, mainly linked to asbestos and silica, are estimated to kill 3,500 people from the industry. Thousands of others suffer life-changing illnesses from their work. Not all lung diseases take years to develop. Some, like acute silicosis or occupational asthma, can occur more quickly.
“As a result, we’ve launched this inspection initiative to find out what exactly businesses in the construction industry are doing today to protect their workers’ health, particularly when it comes to exposure to dust and damage to lungs.
“We want construction workers to be aware of the risks associated with the activities they carry out on a daily basis; be conscious of the fact their work may create hazardous dust; and consider how this could affect their health, in some cases irreversibly. We want businesses and their workers to think of the job from start to finish and avoid creating dust or disturbing asbestos by working in different ways. We want to see construction firms encouraging their workers to firstly keep the dust down and wear the right mask and clothing.
“Ultimately, we want construction workers’ lungs to be protected from ill health, so they can go home healthy to their families and enjoy long careers in this important industry.”
For details on what you should be doing to ensure you are not putting people's lungs at risk, download the HSE guidance here.