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INDUSTRY WEBSITE HIGHLIGHTS DUST DANGER

HSE strikes partnership on construction dust management

A number of industry bodies and associations are working together to emphasise the dangers of dust within the construction industry.

The members of Construction Dust Partnership(CDP) include HSE, CITB, and Electrical Contractors Association, Hire Association Europe, European Power Tool Association, IOSH, Unite the Union and many others.

The CDP aim is to:

“To raise awareness within the construction industry about lung diseases related to hazardous workplace dust and to promote good practice to prevent these diseases, particularly for those undertaking high risk tasks”

The membership has collectively agreed to:

  • Target – hazardous construction dusts, particularly those that give rise to the greatest risk of lung disease;
  • Improve – the construction industry’s awareness of the risks of developing lung disease due to the inhalation of these dusts;
  • Identify – those construction tasks that give rise to the greatest risk to workers developing such conditions; and
  • Work together – to agree and promote proportionate controls to minimise the risks from these high risk tasks.

Those involved believe that a partnership between the regulator and the industry can deliver more of an impact than that which could be achieved by working in isolation. It helps develop innovation, drive improvements and ensure consistency.

Agreed priorities can also be targeted and the most effective use made of resources. The partnership is built upon a mutual agenda and close working relationships with those industry representatives who are keen to play a part.Resources page

CDP website information

The web pages have been developed by the CDP to help contractors, employers, operatives and others manage the risk of exposure to dusts and raise awareness to this issue within the construction industry. 

The CDP states that the main issue in construction is that of preventing exposure to silica dust, along with wood, gypsum and other types, which can cause a number of potentially fatal lung diseases, some of which may not appear for 20 years or so.

Around 500 workers die of dust-related illnesses each year, which the CDP aims to reduce through raising awareness.

It is using a number of different approaches to educate workers and employers on the dangers, including toolbox talks, roadshows and web-based information.

A positive reaction has been recorded from the majority of those contacted and CPD report that workers are far more likely to adopt safe working procedures when they realise the potential consequences.

Further emphasis has also been placed on the benefits that working safely with dust can bring, including improved productivity.

Regulator enforcement throughout June 2014

 The Construction Division of HSE is undertaking a two-week health inspection initiative in June 2014 involving 500 inspections covering all significant health risk issues, e.g. control of dust or other hazardous substances, moving and lifting of blocks, kerbs and paving, and the noise and hand-arm vibration dangers associated with activities such as cutting and breaking concrete products

HSE chief inspector of construction Heather Bryant, said:

“The construction sector has made good progress in reducing the number of people killed and injured by its activities.

Just as importantly, we need to tackle where workers are unnecessarily being exposed to serious health risks, such as silica dust, which can have fatal or debilitating consequences.”

 

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