A new initiative has been launched in the fight to tackle health problems associated with construction workers breathing in dust.
Supported by the Health and Safety Executive, the industry has launched the Construction Dust Partnership (CDP), a network of partners committed to tackling this serious issue, which can result in permanent disability and early death.
The CDP brings together key stakeholders across the construction industry with representation from manufacturers, suppliers, contractors, designers, training bodies and workers. This partner-led initiative harnesses the collective power of all those involved to raise awareness across the industry, drive improvements forward and encourage behaviour change.
Sally Clayton, Product and Procurement Manager at Arco, said, “Site safety isn’t just about achieving an incident and accident-free work environment, it’s also about eliminating and minimising the occupational health risks that people face as a result of simply carrying out their job.”
Projects to date include a series of toolbox talks, road shows, posters, and educational resources which are available to access at a dedicated section of the CITB website.
Construction dust includes silica, wood and other dusts (e.g. gypsum from plasterboard). The effect of inhaling these particles can result in severe and irreversible respiratory illnesses such as occupational asthma, lung cancer silicosis and COPD.
Currently, over 500 construction workers are believed to die each year as a result of exposure to silica dust alone.