HSE launches dust awareness campaign

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will be targeting construction sites in the next few months as part of its dust awareness and respiratory health initiative, ‘Dust. It Can Kill.’

The campaign is being run by the HSE to remind construction workers and employers that dust can cause serious health issues, affecting parts of the body including skin, eyes, lungs and the digestive system. Though it may not result in an immediate, noticeable illness, in the long-term it can lead to conditions such as asbestosis and silicosis years after initial exposure, which is why increasing dust awareness within the workplace is key.

500 deaths per year

The HSE estimates that around 500 construction workers die every year because of previous exposure to and inhalation of dust.

But, those in charge of construction sites have a duty under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) 2002 to protect their staff from the risks posed by construction dust.

There are a number of things employers can do to protect their staff. This includes:

• Make workers more aware of the risks of construction dust
• Eliminating the risk of dust exposure through good design and planning prior to tasks being carried out
• Having the right measures in place to control dust
• Provide workers with appropriate PPE, such as goggles and dust masks
• Ensure workers maintain high standards of hygiene, including washing hands regularly

Protect your staff

It’s crucial for employers to not only comply with but have a true understanding of the health and safety regulations that are in place to protect people in the workplace.

Aegis can help you stay on top of your duties and responsibilities as an employer to keep your employees safe at work. For more information on the support we can provide, get in touch with our team today.