• Higher Safety Higher Safety Chipmunk Data Chipmunk Data

    HEALTH SURVEILLANCE FOR THOSE EXPOSED TO SILICA

    Report by HSL considers appropriate health surveillance standards

    HSE is seeking to establish a standard for the health surveillance of respirable crystalline silica (RCS). There is currently uncertainty about what constitutes appropriate health surveillance for silica-exposed workers, despite evidence that new cases of silicosis are occurring.

    The Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL) were therefore commissioned by HSE to:

    1. identify existing recommendations for health surveillance for silica-exposed workers;
    2. assess the evidence base for these recommendations and evidence in the scientific literature; and
    3. make recommendations for a standard approach to health surveillance for silica-exposed workers.

    HSL has now published a report RR827: Health surveillance in silica exposed workers

    Main findings

    The report identifies the following main findings:

    • health surveillance programmes for RCS-exposed workers are important for identifying early adverse respiratory effects;
    • programmes should take into account regular and up-to date measures or estimates of individual worker exposure to RCS;
    • baseline assessment of respiratory health for potentially RCS-exposed workers is needed with a subsequent annual assessment. Both should include use of a ‘standardised’ questionnaire and lung function measures (although an agreed standard questionnaire or data recording proforma is currently not available); and
    • there is no agreed consensus on (a) how best to interpret lung function changes over time and (b) relating to the periodicity of chest radiographs required to identify changes of silicosis, although various approaches are suggested.
    Recommendations

    The report makes the following recommendations:

    1. health surveillance for RCS-exposed workers should be based upon the findings of appropriate workplace risk assessments.
    2. overall acceptance of RCS-based health surveillance by workers is key to success and programmes should be developed in close consultation with workers;
    3. programmes should make it explicitly clear to workers how they will be individually handled should they be noted to have abnormal results during testing;
    4. records should be shared with the individual worker, passed on (with consent) to the primary care provider and kept separate from human resources within an organisation;
    5. a standardised approach should be developed for health surveillance and should include a number of key elements (see Section 8.2.1). Consideration should be given to developing a standardised questionnaire and a health surveillance data recording proforma;
    6. those responsible for developing and delivering programmes require knowledge of the adverse health effects of RCS exposure, and of lung function and radiological abnormalities; and
    7. further work should be undetaken to gain a better understanding of the ideal periodicity of the various components of health surveillance and of predictive factors that are associated with the development of silicosis, accelerated lung function decline and COPD.
    Comment

    HSE has been taking steps to raise the profile of controlling exposure to silica dust within the construction industry. Enforcement activity on silica exposure risks increased seven-fold from 2008/09 to 2009/10 with approximately 100 Notices served by inspectors.

    This follows the Time to clear the air’ initiative and interim guidance on the control of silica risks associated with the cutting of roof tiles

    Latest Construction Health and Safety News

    CONTRACTS MANAGER HANDED TWO YEAR PRISON TERM

    Safety fall arrest netting would have saved life of deceased workman

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 15th January 2020

    WORKER FATALLY INJURED BY CONCRETE BEAM

    Lifting operation not properly planned, managed and supervised

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 15th January 2020

    TREE FELLING OPERATIONS LACKED DEFINED COMMS

    Workman struck by falling tree inside “normal” exclusion zone

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 14th January 2020

    CONTRACTOR ARRESTED OVER WELFARE FAILINGS

    Recalcitrant sole trader failed to attend court hearing

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 14th January 2020

    MAJOR DEMOLITION CONTRACTOR FINED £500,000

    Collapse of concrete slab caused death of worker and excavator fall

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 14th January 2020

    FALL FROM LADDER WHILST CARRYING BUCKET

    Contractor failed to provide basic safe lifting aids

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 14th January 2020

    FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH HSE NOTICE PROVES COSTLY

    Director given suspended jail term and company fined £60,000

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 14th January 2020

    DEVELOPER FAILED TO PLAN AND CHECK COMPETENCE

    Fall caused by ad-hoc working methods and lack of monitoring

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 14th January 2020

    CYLINDER LEAK TEST CAUSED FATAL INJURIES

    Corrosion inhibitor triggered failure and shrapnel ejection

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 14th January 2020

    FESTIVE GREETINGS TO ALL OUR READERS

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 20th December 2019

    JAIL TERM FOLLOWS ROUTINE HSE SPOT CHECK

    Director of a roofing firm handed a suspended prison sentence

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 19th December 2019

    TEENAGER FELL 3M DURING BLOCK AND BEAM WORK

    Workers uninstructed and left to devise own safe system of work

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 19th December 2019

    PARCEL CARRIER FINED HEAVILY OVER FLT INCIDENT

    Reversing fork lift lacked segregation from pedestrians

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 18th December 2019

    CONTRACTOR FINED OVER FLOOR OPENING FALL

    Thorough risk assessment and edge protection were both inadequate

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 18th December 2019

    THREE WORKERS “CARRIED ALONG” IN SEWER INCIDENT

    Mentally affected and one man treated for long-term traumatic stress

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 11th December 2019

    SOLAR FIRM AND DIRECTOR SENTENCED OVER DEATH

    Brother of business owner died in fall during panel installation

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 10th December 2019

    DIRECTOR AND COMPANY FINED FOR ASBESTOS RISK

    HSE refurbishment campaign inspection revealed asbestos offences

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 10th December 2019

    BULK BAG COLLAPSE CAUSED BY UNSAFE STACKING

    Bulk bag collapsed onto workman when struck by fork lift

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 9th December 2019

    INTERLOCKED GUARD NOT WORKING TO ISOLATE POWER

    Two workmen seriously injured when plant started unexpectedly

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 9th December 2019

    STREET FURNITURE RISK TO PUBLIC FINED £1.4M

    Council prosecuted following injury to child playing on hinged bollard

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 9th December 2019

    WORKMEN SUFFER SERIOUS BURNS FROM CABLE STRIKE

    Assessment and system of work failed to appreciate electrical risk

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 29th November 2019

    LADDERS WERE INAPPROPRIATE FOR WORK ON ROOF

    Workman paralysed after falling whilst installing roof ladder

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 28th November 2019

    FIRM FAILED TO MANAGE EXHAUST VENTILATION

    HSE enforcement notices on wood dust and welding fume ignored

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 27th November 2019

    RECALCITRANT DIRECTOR BARRED FROM OFFICE

    Dangerous telehandler used despite earlier fatality and enforcement

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 25th November 2019

    DIRECTOR HID UNSAFE WORKING PRACTICES FROM HSE

    Workers exposed to sprayed paints containing asthma causing isocyantes

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 25th November 2019
  • Higher Safety Higher Safety Chipmunk Data Chipmunk Data