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Construction training experts welcome campaign to reduce industry lung damage risk

Posted on Oct 30, 2018

Leading construction industry training provider Construction Skills People has welcomed a campaign that has been launched to find out what firms operating within the industry are doing to protect their workers’ health, particularly over exposure to dust and damage to lungs.

Although today the health complications associated with dust exposure are much more widely known, by no means has that eliminated the health risk that substances such as asbestos, silica and wood dust still pose.

As part of a campaign to tackle the issue, The Health and Safety Executive announced this month that inspections will be held which, for the first time, will shine a light on respiratory risks and occupational lung disease.

Inspectors attending sites across the country throughout October will be looking at the measures businesses have in place to protect their workers – specifically looking for evidence of construction workers knowing the risks and to check they are using the right controls.

If necessary the teams will use enforcement to ensure staff are protected.

HSE’s Peter Baker, chief inspector of construction, said: “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.

“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.”

Stuart Anderson, the Client Services Director at Construction Skills People, said: “It is important to recognise that these potentially damaging dusts and substances are a common find on construction sites, but ensuring workers know the correct health and safety procedures and are trained to deal with such situations will help to mitigate the risk.

“At Construction Skills People, we offer a wide range of vocational qualifications and commercial training courses specifically for the construction sector, and our in-depth industry knowledge allows us to advise our clients through the complex minefield of Health & Safety legislation and regulation.

“Any business looking to enrol their employees in a health and safety course should contact us to find out more information.”