Construction workers want more emphasis placed on the dangers of dust

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8th April 2015 11:30 - Construction

A new industry survey, conducted by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health and the Construction Dust Partnership, has revealed Construction workers want more emphasis placed on the dangers of dust that construction workers want more emphasis placed on the dangers of construction dust.

More than 600 people working within the construction industry took part in the survey. Of the 600 respondents, 61 per cent were health and safety advisors for the sector.

The survey aimed to shed a light on the health problems surrounding construction dust and how they can be managed.

In the UK, 500 people working within the construction industry die from lung cancers as a result of silica dust. As well as cancer, construction dust can cause other diseases of the lungs such as asthma, silicosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder.

In response to a question about how much of a priority the industry currently makes tackling dangers of construction dust, 44 per cent answered “very little”. Of the respondents, just 12.5 per cent believed that construction dust was a “priority health issue”.

As well as a lack of priority, the respondents also identified an inadequate awareness of the risks among construction workers, as well as little effort to tackle the problem.

Occupational cancer causes 8,000 deaths a year in the UK. The report identifies silica dust among the carcinogens of a higher risk.

The report highlights the fact that extraction and dust suppressant equipment is not used appropriately, with many of the respondents believing that not enough people know how to correctly use on-tool dust extraction equipment.

The respondents claimed that instead of correctly using dust extraction tools, construction workers are wrongly relying on respiratory equipment as the primary way of attempting to control dust risks.

The survey also showed that people are confused about its availability, effectiveness and suitability for different tasks.  

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